Leaving an apartment in Brussels - What to do?

Dear all,

It has been a while since I wrote in the forum last time, so first of all, hello everyone!

I have been living in Brussels for more than 3 years now and recently decided to move out of the apartment I rented when I arrived and change area.

I thus found an apartment and sent an email to the landlord informing him of my intention to leave in 3 months time. In addition to the email, I also sent a registered letter with proof of receipt, which I received 4 days after my letter was sent.

Even though I asked my landlord for instructions on what to do (when to do the etat de lieux de sortie, when/how to give back the keys, whether he wanted to rent it out to others) I received no response. Waited a month or so and wrote again. No response. I have only received an email asking me to let in the people for the traitement pesticide.

I now wrote another email saying that I will not pay the rent until I receive a response and instructions on what to do and communicated to the building manager that I will leave on the date indicated to the landlord. Do you see particular issues with this?

What happens if the landlord does not respond? How do I give back the keys and do the etat de lieux de sortie (and receive back my deposit)?

Other than this, I have a question on the damages. During my stay (approximately 1-1.5 years ago) there was an issue with the facade of the building and water leaked into my apartment. The facade was fixed by the building manager but the leak had damaged the wooden floor. I did not do anything as this was a leak due to issues with the building and the previous owner was involved in this and informed about the damages to the floor (if he wanted to get money to fix the floor he was the one who should have asked the building manager). The apartment was then sold and I informed the new owner of this damage. Given that this was obviously not in the original etat de lieux, can the new owner say that I am liable? I would object that (i) it was the previous owner responsibility to obtain compensation from the building manager, (ii) he bought the apartment as is so any damage prior to him buying the apartment is an issue he should resolve with the previous owner.

What do you think?

Need a bit of help here.

Thanks a lot and have a great Sunday!

Welcome back again :)

Do you have a telephone number for your landlord?

Maybe you should try to call him/her?

What kind of contract do you have? Unless explicitly agreed otherwise, contracts in Belgium are signed for 3/6/9 years. If you leave early (before 3 years pass), you need to pay a fee equal to 1, 2 or 3 months respectively depending if you leave early in the 3rd, 2nd or 1st year of rent. That said, I’d really urge you to get in touch with the landlord. Phone or mail him or go see him. Does he have a representative? E.g. the building manager? What does the contract say about that?

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