If you wish to settle in Brussels, you should first inquire on its rental market. Finding accommodation can be quite tedious but here is more info to help you in the process…
Brussels has been one of the European Union's major expatriation destinations for many years. In fact, thousands of people worldwide dream of settling and finding a job there. While the city offers various professional opportunities to foreigners, accommodation is just another issue. In fact, it can be quite complicated for foreigners to find accommodation although the local real estate market is very developed. Rent prices in Brussels tend to be quite high and offers are much lower than the demands.
However, it would be wise that you inquire on Brussels’s different neighborhoods before proceeding. This could help you determine where you would prefer to settle and which type of accommodation would better suit your needs.
Brussels consists of several neighborhoods, including industrial, commercial and financial districts, as well as residential areas. The city's most popular neighborhoods are the following:
Brussels city center which is not only the city's but also the country's historical center. In fact, it is famous worldwide thanks to the Mannekin Pis, the urinating character. It is also known to be a cultural center due to the presence of the Royal Museum, the Royal Palace, the Grand Plaza. Marolles, for its part, is popular for its cozy atmosphere and its typical cafes.
Chatelain will simply delight you with its lush green parks and its artistic cachet. Chaletain is a bit far from the busy city center and hosts the Victor Horta New Arts Museum. But you can still find trams which can take you back to the city center.
Ixelles is definitely a popular neighborhood, especially with students and foreigners. You will also be able to discover its exotic tastes if you wish to settle there. The Cambre Abbey is another part of its cultural aspect.
Jette is ideal for family expatriation. This neighborhood is especially appreciated for its children's farms, parks, as well as for its markets. It also hosts a student population due to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Molenbeek-Saint-Jean is another lush neighborhood where you will be able to discover the Karreveld Castle, as well as huge natural parks where you can have picnic. Creative minds may visit the Foam laboratory with its design, art, technology and cuisine workshops.
Saint Gilles, for its part, is a multicultural area. It is, above all, known to be an ancient market area. Over the years, nature is still abundant. This is proved by the Forest Park where families are likely to stroll around and have a picnic. Moreover, the Van Meenen Plaza is more lively in June during the annual Portuguese Folk festival.
Uccle is essentially a residential neighborhood which is surrounded by green space. You will not only find a romantic lake and a park, but also the Wood House, which is one of its places of interest. The Saint Job Plaza is surrounded by the Sonian forest, and regularly hosts popular markets.
Watermael – Boitsfort, which are found in the countryside on the edge of the Sonian Forest, are other convenient residential neighborhoods. You will find many charming cottages which will allow you to discover the other side of Brussels. You can also visit the Natural History Museum during your leisure time.
Woluwe Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert are other residential neighborhoods, including a developed public transport network. Its complex ecological, green parks, and medieval churches will also seduce you. You are likely to find your peaceful haven there if you manage to find affordable accommodation.
Foreigners can use various channels to find accommodation in Brussels: private offers, student housing, room sharing and even social housing. Word-of-mouth, local newspapers, internet, as well as real estate agencies will definitely be helpful tools during your accommodation search. You may also walk around the different neighborhoods in order to spot “For rent” or “Te huur” signs on vacant housing, hanging near window panes or on balconies.
But if you are making a short stay in Brussels, you can choose from a variety of apart-hotels, flat-hotels and furnished holiday rentals. Room sharing is also quite widespread in the city.
Foreigners are very unlikely to seek social housing in Brussels. However, you had better be aware of the following requirements for applicants:
- a social registration certificate
- a received order to leave the unearned or extended territory
- a declaration of unmatured arrival as provided in Annex 3 issued under the 15/12/1980 law
- a special residence permit as provided in Annex 35 issued under the 15/12/1980 law
- the applicant should be able to introduce an appeal against an expulsion from the territory taken on the basis of the law of 15/12/1980 to the State Council.
Rent prices in Brussels have been increasing steadily since 2012. However, the trend seems to have reversed. Thus, according to experts, half of Brussel's tenants pay an average € 600 per month while 25% pay some € 500. The remaining 25% pays some € 750 euros per month.
Moreover, you are more likely to find apartments in Brussels' different neighborhoods, although there are exceptions, such as the 3% “kots” housing for students.
Expat.com – Housing offers
Brussels Irisnet www.brussels.irisnet.be
Rent Xpress www.rentxpress.com
Only Apartments www.only-apartments.com