Tips to Find Your Perfect Apartment in Brussels
Thinking about moving to Brussels? You’re not alone—Brussels is the number one expat destination in Europe—and for good reason.
With its beautiful architecture, cultural diversity, efficient public transport, and buffet of culinary delights, this charming city offers something for everyone. It may seem overwhelming to start the search, but it’s easy to find your home-sweet-home thanks to tons of websites, chock-full of housing options. With traffic becoming an increasing problem in Brussels, public transportation should be part of your decision making in choosing your housing. Although you may hope for accommodation which is within walking distance to your office, that’s not always possible or preferable. Also think about whether you will need access to the Eurostar (Midi Station) or the Airport. The STIB is the Brussels’ transport service, and their journey planner is an excellent way to figure out whether the location you are considering will be an easy commute. Start by looking at STIB.BE the portal for the public transport system in Brussels. Figure out the trams, and metros which head to your office and then you can narrow down the neighborhoods which are good for you. (For more tips on choosing neighborhoods check out our top tips here Best Brussels Neighborhoods for Expats :)
1. Popular Rental Portals in Brussels
A quick Google search for “apartment+rental+Brussels” will land you hundreds of hits. How do you narrow it down—and how do you know if that dream room is legit? The more popular rental portal sites, such as immoweb or immo.vlan tend to specialise in unfurnished, long-term housing. This can be risky business if you are booking online, or with a private landlord, scams are not uncommon. We have heard horror stories of deposits paid for flats that didn’t exist. If you want to start with a furnished place, sites like spotahome can be useful. These portals tend to showcase a broad range of available options, with huge variations in quality.
Life in a new city can be daunting. With work taking up a lot of your time and energy, it’s difficult to find time and opportunities to make new friends. Shared housing can be a good opportunity to share costs and start making your new social network.
2. Try Coliving!
Brussels is the epicenter of the coliving movement in Europe. With such an influx of international professionals coming to work for the EU and related institutions there is consistent demand for flexible, all inclusive, furnished housing. At Morton Place, we focus on fostering communities of like minded residents with a variety nationalities with whom you can share your first steps in this new city. Coliving homes offer built-in community, camaraderie and exciting networking opportunities, especially as a new arrival in Belgium. Other shared housing options can be found on roommate sites such as s appartager, or housinganywhere . The providers might require a subscription, limiting you to a certain number of searches per week, or, in other cases, unlimited access until you find your dream space.
3. Find it on Facebook
There are several local Facebook groups that offer apartment hunting and shared housing resources. You can sign up with popular groups such as bxl a louer, bxl a louer studio-apart, as well as BRUXELLES: location and brussels flats and rooms to rent to start looking, and post while you’re on the hunt. While these sites are an excellent resource and helpful for making connections, it can be difficult to find the most up to date housing options.
4. Leverage Your Net-Work
If you’re moving for work, your HR department likely has lots of information about settling down in Brussels. Ask if your organization works with a relocation agent who might be able to pass along the inside scoop on any rooms or apartments on their radar. Maybe other colleagues are interested in coliving and you can go on the hunt together. If you work with the Commission or another EU organization, get connected to their welcome office intranet which lists hundreds of rentals around Brussels.
5. Trust Your Gut to Avoid a Scam
Although most providers are legitimate, beware of bad actors. If the posting is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t transfer money until you’ve visited the space in person or via video tour. Ask your potential landlord for references if possible. Make sure you check dates, hidden fees and rental agreements so you know all the fine print before you commit.
Enjoy Brussels –
We hope we get a chance to introduce you to the vibrant coliving communities of Morton Place – contact us for a video or in person tour.