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What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?

  • Traffic (safety and noise levels)
  • Parking facilities
  • Proximity to the motorway, public transport, schools, workplace, shops, churches, etc

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What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?

The biggest concentrations of English-speaking foreigners are located in the south and southeast of Brussels. See below for some popular communes in The Brussels-Capital Region and the Brussels area.

Central Brussels

  • Brussels city,
  • Etterbeek,
  • Ixelles/Elsene,
  • St. Gilles/St.Gillis.

East Brussels

  • Auderghem/Oudergem,
  • Woluwe St. Lambert/St. Lambrechts-Woluwe,
  • Woluwe St. Pierre/St.Pieters Woluwe.

South Brussels

  • Uccle/Ukkel,
  • Watermeal-Boitsfort/Watermaal-Bosvoorde.

Brussels Area

  • Kraainem,
  • Overijse,
  • Rhode-St.Genèse/St.Genesius-Rode,
  • Tervuren,
  • Waterloo.

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Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?

They tend to rent.

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Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?

Three month’s deposit is usually required. A special bank account is created for this purpose and is blocked for the duration of the contract.

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Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?

For furnished accommodation, utilities are usually included in the price of rent. Unfurnished accommodation can be rented with or without utilities (both situations are equally common.) In general, there is at least a cooker (stove) included in the rent. Other utilities are to be provided by the tenant. In some cases it is possible for the landlord to adapt the arrangement to the needs of the tenant. In addition to rent, tenants often pay monthly charges to cover the maintenance of shared areas such as the hall, staircase and elevator.

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Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?

There aren’t any major security concerns particular to Brussels neighbourhoods. As in all lager cities, there are some neighbourhoods that are more suitable for families with children than others. It is always good to get input from friends and colleagues who are familiar with the city.

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I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?

  • Electric current: AC 220-240 volts,
  • Frequency (Hz): 50,
  • Plug shape: standard two pinned type (Schuko),
  • To use electrical appliances from the UK, all you need is an adapter bought in most hardware shops
  • Appliances from the USA (1010 volts/60Hz.) need a power transformer.

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Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?

Although house and apartment prices in Brussels have been rising steadily for the past decade, compared to other large cities in Europe, properties are reasonably priced. Accommodation is usually fairly easy to find.

Some useful terms when searching for a home in Brussels:

  • House: a dwelling that shares one or two walls with the neighbouring houses
  • Villa: a stand-alone structure
  • Studio/flat: has one convertible living room, bedroom with a separate kitchenette and bathroom
  • Apartment: has one separate living room, a full kitchen and on or more bedrooms
  • Maison: a townhouse with usually a garden in the back
  • Maison de maître/herenhuis: an elegant townhouse that is often terraced
  • En filade: three rooms in a row that are usually separated by double doors
  • Duplex: apartment with one room on a higher level
  • Cuisine americaine: open plan kitchen, with no separating door,
  • Semi-equipped kitchen: usually includes at least a sink and some built-in cupboards
  • Equipped kitchen: usually includes at least a cooker (stove) and a fridge
  • Super-equipped: usually includes all the basics plus a dishwasher, microwave and/or other appliances,
  • Living: living room or parlour.

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Useful Links

Brussels-Capital Region – living in Brussel

www.brussels.irisnet.be/living-in-brussels?set_language=en

Wonen in Brussel (Living in Brussels) – website providing information about renting and buying property in Brussels, includes neighbourhood descriptions and a property database.

www.woneninbrussel.be

Expatica – information on finding accommodation in Belgium

www.expatica.com/be/housing.html

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Please contact your closest embassy or consulate for confirmation.

 

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