The new Flemish Rental Decree includes a specific regulation for student rentals. It came into force on 1 January 2019. It applies to all leases signed on or after this date.
As the law is very new a lot of landlords will not yet be familiar with it.
The most important stipulations are:
Rental price and charges
All costs and charges must be included in the rental price. Only the consumption of water, energy and telecommunications can be charged separately.
The rent for successive leases with the same tenant can only be indexed.
The deposit may amount to no more than to two months’ rent (without the costs of water, energy and telecommunications).
The deposit has to be paid at the earliest three months before the start of the rental agreement. It has to be transferred to a blocked account in the name of the tenant or on the landlord’s account. It is not allowed to pay it in cash.
The tenant has the right to sublet his/her room without the landlord’s previous permission if s/he is following an exchange programme.
No automatic renewal
The contract ends on the agreed date without notice. Automatic renewal of the contract can not be invoked. If both parties wish to continue the current contract, they will have to conclude a new rental agreement
Early termination of the contract
Under certain conditions, students can terminate their tenancy agreement prematurely.
The rental agreement can be terminated by the tenant before it comes into effect. If this happens more than three months before the start of the contract, it is free of charge. If the tenant terminates the lease less than three months before it comes into effect, s/he has to pay a termination fee equal to two month’s rent to the landlord.
Students may also unilaterally terminate their rental agreement if they stop their studies or if one of their parents (or another person who is responsible for their livelihood) dies. There is always a notice period of two months, starting on the first day of the month after the month in which the notice was given.
In all cases, cancellation must be sent by registered letter, mentioning reasons and attaching documentary evidence.
The contract ends automatically upon the death of the tenant.