Leaving Your Rental Property in Belgium – a Checklist

By - June 11, 2013 (Updated: December 1, 2014)

Packing up and moving on

Packing up and moving on

The annual expat migration season has arrived in Belgium. If you are one of the many expats relocating this spring, check out this handy checklist for leaving your rental property in Belgium, supplied by the folks at Map Relocations.

  1. Make a plan and prioritise tasks in order of time criticality.
  2. Gather all your important documents into one folder (lease contract, utility contracts/bills, insurances, guarantee/deposits, maintenance contracts for alarm, heating system etc.)
  3. Check your lease contract to see what your notice period is. The penalties for breaking a lease can be high. Ensure you send a registered letter to cancel your lease, at least 3 working days before you intend the notice period to start (always the 1st of the month).
  4. Organise the exit survey on time.
  5. Organise the maintenance of your heating system and alarm system and ensure you receive the certificate from the technician. (Check your entry survey report to see what systems you are responsible for: septic tank, open fire, water softener, gutters)
  6. Do not cancel your phone or internet until the last minute, as you will find this essential in organising things to do with your departure but beware: many companies require at least 3 weeks’ notice of the cancellation date.
  7. Make repairs in advance of the exit survey to minimise damage costs.
  8. Organise a professional clean in order to minimise costs at your exit survey. A normal houseclean will not suffice. Tap filters need to be de-calcified, ovens and grills cleaned, curtains dry-cleaned etc.
  9. Organise your mail forwarding.
  10. Make sure the removal company will reserve parking spaces/lift or contact your local commune or police department to arrange it yourself.
  11. Return your car plates either direct to the DIV or your insurance broker.
  12. Don’t forget to de-register at the commune or you will continue to be taxed.
  13. Keep your bank account open for at least 6 months until all final bills have been reconciled and paid and refunds on insurances, car tax etc. have been made.

Do you have any top tips for relocating out of Belgium? Share them in our comments below.

Looking for more resources for living in Belgium? Check out our Expat Resources page.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by Jennifer

    Jennifer June 11, 2013 at 11:31

    Thanks for this useful checklist. Can anyone recommend a removal company in Belgium? I’m moving from BXL to the US and having a hard time finding a reasonable price to move a few boxes. Thanks for any feedback.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 11, 2013 at 11:33

      Hi Jennifer, We had a great local mover last time around but they don’t do overseas shipping. If you haven’t already done so, try asking in the Life in Belgium group on Facebook.

  2. Comment by T.Hawkins

    T.Hawkins June 11, 2013 at 12:05

    Hello, I’m military and they use Gosselin moving company..I think they are in Antwerp.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 11, 2013 at 12:13

      Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Comment by Rosie

    Rosie June 11, 2013 at 18:21

    Hi. Do you know how long it is reasonable to wait for all bills to be settled? I moved out in February and my old landlady is refusing to give us the bill for the hot water until October/November even though the whole building would have been surveyed in April.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 11, 2013 at 19:06

      Hi Rosie. That seems a bit excessive to me but I don’t know what the actual regulations are. Unfortunately there is little protection for renters in Belgium and a lot of power for landlords. You could try contacting the commune you used to reside in and see if they can give you any clarity on the matter.

  4. Comment by Elisabeth

    Elisabeth June 11, 2013 at 21:25

    Hi Alison, thanks for great advise! Do you have the name of that local removal company you used? I’m looking for someone who can take a few boxes to Sweden.

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 12, 2013 at 09:36

      Hi Elisabeth. It was quite some time ago now but I believe this was the company we used. It was only for a move within Belgium though so I can’t comment on their international shipping abilities.

  5. Comment by lievemc

    lievemc June 12, 2013 at 16:27

    Some good advise on renting in general – when you do the survey at the start of your rental period, be VERY detailed, note every bit of damage and preferably bring an expert (friend who’s an architect, engineer etc) and do the same at the end – otherwise you can get stung and charged for all kinds of damage that wasn’t detailed at the start.

    I had a professional landlord being very casual at the beginning, sending his secretary to walk through the apartment with me, just noting some minor damage here and there – and at the end he came in person with an ‘expert’ and noted every little bit of damage. It was impossible to prove that I didn’t cause that damage since it wasn’t in the original survey and he kept most of my deposit, or I would be sued. I warned the people who took over the apartment after me to be very careful. I’ve learned my lesson!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 12, 2013 at 16:35

      Very good advice! I would add, take lots of photos during the walk-through, as well.

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