Landlord refuses to return deposit - what to do?

Dear all,

I am from Denmark but have lived and worked in Brussels for 4 years. I rented a furnished apartment in Etterbeek and never had any problems - until now.

I left the apartment last week and handed over the keys to an assistant who works for my landlord. The apartment was super clean and the assistant did not have any comments or complaints at all.

However, the landlord is now back from his vacation and has sent me an email saying he will not sign the bank form to release my security deposit - unless I agree to pay 450 euro in extra charges (for water, heating, electricity etc.)

He has not documented these extra costs in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, I have hardly used my apartment for the last 6 months so my expection is that my consumption and bills must have gone down this year.

I have taken a closer look at the rental contract that I signed with the landlord in 2019, and I have found a section which clearly states that he should send me an overview of the bills and calculations for monthly charges once a year. But this has never happened - not this year and not in previous years.

Any tips on how I can proceed? Does anyone know a good attorney for landlord/rental contract issues? Is there a public authority, a board for rental contract violations or similar that I could contact?


Sorry to hear that you had such a problem. As you mentioned, if you used hardly your appartment for the last 6 months, its most likely that you dont owe anything but as you said the landlord has to provide the document to check that. I think you can contact the commune of Etterbeek to see if they have a relevant housing departmant which could assist you in that matter

First of all money is your bank and landlord cannot touch it without your approval and you cannot either without his approval.  Ask in writing to show the proof of consumption. Ask 2-3 times and keep everything in writing and avoid verbal. If he does not provide the proof then you can file a case at Le juge de paix to get an order to free up your money but that would take some time I guess. Be firm and do not give up. Unless it is justified with a bill and meter then you do not have to pay.