Get the latest on the Coronavirus outbreak for the military community on Military OneSource.
SHOWING 1 - 1 OF 1 RESULTS
United States Army
Learn about the variety of housing possibilities available as well as information about setting up utilities in your home . Housing options are available to your unique situation including: housing for families, single service members, families that are enrolled in the exceptional family member program, pet owners and unaccompanied personnel. Explore your options to find a home that best fits your needs.
Important: Prior to receiving any housing assistance, a copy of the assignment orders must be provided. Keep in mind that because of the complicated and sometimes tricky rental laws in Belgium, a very thorough briefing will be given. This housing brief is quite lengthy and will be done by appointment only.
U.S. Army Garrison Benelux-Brussels’ Housing Services Office maintains current listings of available houses in the area. These houses generally belong to owners with whom the housing office has been dealing for quite some time. To access these listings, visit the website.
The HSO pre-screens to ensure they are adequate quarters for government personnel. A housing representative will meet with you upon arrival at the HSO. You can explain what you would like to have for quarters (size/location/specifications) and they will help you by providing you listings of available units.
You have the option of using a Belgian real estate office to help you find a house. No fees will be charged to the tenant. The HSO recommends that no deposits be paid without consulting the HSO. Furthermore, never sign any kind of letter of intent without consulting your housing office. Your housing office will further assist you with all your housing-related issues such as temporary housing allowance, housing listings, lease signature, residential security inspection, loaner furniture and utilities.
Housing is plentiful for Americans looking for a house to rent, but rental prices are high. Surveys are done every year to set average housing costs by grade or rank. Personnel attempt to find housing within their ceiling amount so that the cost is covered by their housing and supplemental housing allowance. There are no housing areas maintained as U.S. government property. All housing is either leased individually by military and civilian employees or is part of a lease program by the embassy. Embassy housing is only provided to personnel falling under the chief of mission or certain positions in the U.S. delegation. Please check with your administrative section.
Most houses are 180-220 square meters (1,937-2,367 square feet). Three-, four- and five-bedroom houses are most common, but in fewer cases, six-bedroom houses are also available. Rooms are generally not as large as what you might expect in the United States. Keep this in mind before shipping your furniture. Most houses have a fenced yard.
Closets, cabinets and furniture:
Apart from kitchen cabinets, most houses have no closets, cabinets or any other furniture installed. Such items are to be purchased individually or loaned from the centralized furnishings management office’s furniture branch.
Electricity and appliances:
Electricity in Europe is 230 volts. If you intend to ship 110-volt appliances, make sure to have transformers. Transformers can be found in the thrift shop where departing service members put them on sale. The standard secondhand rate is about one Euro per 40 watts. Keep in mind that a plugged-in transformer, even if the appliance is not being used, uses electricity and can considerably increase your electricity bill. Appliances such as washers and dryers may be loaned from the furniture office. Such appliances are equipped for use with the local voltage.
Exceptional family members:
There is no housing in Brussels designated for exceptional family members. If you are going to be assigned to Brussels and you need specific housing requirements for an exceptional family member, it is recommended to request a different assignment.
Once you decide on an economy house or apartment, a residential security inspection will be conducted. Although there is no obligation to go with the recommendations of the security inspector, we highly recommend that you do not take a house that does not meet the security requirements (e.g., if the landlord refuses to upgrade the house). A clause for acceptance of security improvements by the landlord will be included in your lease. A move-in housing allowance is available for military personnel to cover reasonable security-related expenses. This does not include alarm system maintenance contracts or camera surveillance. If there is an alarm system in the house, the tenant is responsible for the mandatory yearly maintenance of the system. False alarms are at the expense of the tenant and run around 300,00 Euros. Also keep in mind that the government is running this program for your security. Use the security features in your house (shutters, window locks, etc.) for your own protection, even if you leave your house for five or 10 minutes.
Embassy-sponsored personnel and personnel under the chief of mission are not authorized to rent, lease or buy quarters without the express permission of the embassy regional security office. Check with your administrative section to see if you are in this category.
Prior to moving into your new dwelling, a thorough inspection will be done by a professional inspector. A detailed report will be written afterwards. The inspector will provide a copy to the tenant and landlord. Keep your copy in a secure place as it will be used for your out inspection upon your departure. The report is done in the local language, either French or Dutch. Upon request, your housing office can provide you a courtesy translation; however, this is not as detailed as the original report. The cost of the moving-in inspection ranges from 600-800 Euros. The cost is split between the landlord and the tenant. Military personnel get their expenses reimbursed through MIHA rent; civilians have to check with their civilian personnel office for reimbursement.
Once the residential security inspection has been completed, the Housing Services Office will assist you with signing the contract. If your landlord does not speak English well, the HSO can provide someone to assist you with the translation. Be sure to check with the HSO prior to signing your name to anything; this will prevent you from being stuck in a contract you can't get out of. Take the time to accurately complete a property condition report (with photos, if possible) and have your landlord sign the document before you move in. This could prevent you from paying for damages caused by a previous tenant when you vacate the house. Housing recommends the use of a real property expert to do the inventory and condition report of the house as described above.
In Belgium, most houses come without light fixtures. For military personnel, a lump sum of money called a moving-in housing allowance is provided. This allowance is a lump sum and is intended to purchase items such as light fixtures, curtain rails, drapes, etc.
The average rental cost varies from 1,500-2,800 Euros, depending on the size and location of the house. Some areas are more expensive than others. Your housing office will advise you on the different locations.
Most landlords demand two or three months’ rent as a security deposit. Although housing always tries to insist on a one-month security deposit, most owners in the Brussels area will insist on the legally authorized amount of two or three months’ rent, depending on the region.
A security deposit can be obtained in different ways.
Deposit into a bank account: You put the money in a closed bank account during the length of your stay. Interest accumulated during your tour are for you. The landlord will release the bank guarantee upon your departure if all housing clearing requirements have been fulfilled and any damages have been paid for.
Bank guarantee letter: In this case, the bank takes the responsibility to settle any damages with your landlord upon your departure. You’ll pay the bank a yearly fee to cover this. Of course, you remain responsible to reimburse the bank for incurred expenses.
Advanced overseas housing allowance (military only): In this instance, your finance office lends you the money to put down as a security deposit in a bank account. You remain responsible for reimbursing the government. Usually every 15 days or every month, a small reimbursement is made to the government, but you can also opt for making a one-time reimbursement payment upon your departure. Accumulated interest is for the service member.
Due to a penalty clause for loan contracts and tax rates, real estate experts state that it's worth buying a property in Brussels only if you are going to stay more than six years.
When you buy a property, a delay of six months is usually necessary between the day of signature of the sales agreement (compromis de vente/verkoop overeenkomst) and the actual signature at the notary's office. A down payment of 10% of the value of the property is due upon the signature of the sales agreement. The remaining 90% plus approximately 20% notary fees are due no later than four months following the deed signature.
If you intend to buy a house, it may be wise to first rent an efficiency apartment. This will allow you to carefully select a house of your liking, without having the constraints of temporary lodging requirements. When you buy an apartment, it is very important to first check if any work has been planned by co-owners of the building, since you will be responsible for such maintenance as well. This may result in very unpleasant financial surprises. Additionally, you will be charged a fee for common area maintenance (stairwell cleaning, yard maintenance, building manager fees, etc.). You will also have to take out building insurance. Such expenses can run quite high and need to be considered in planning your budget. All these additional expenses depend on the size of the apartment. We strongly recommend you contact the housing office prior to getting involved in a sales agreement.
Brussels Belgium has no mobile home parks.
Visit InMyArea.com to search for utility providers based on your zip code. This website serves as a one-stop shop where you can explore your options, compare prices and purchase services.
U.S. Army Garrison Benelux-Brussels has off-post housing only. Personnel are free to select a house of their liking in the area of their choice. Please note that some areas are not recommended due to high crime rate. Additionally, you will only be entitled the allowance for the area you are assigned to. Traffic is usually heavy during rush hours and outside school vacation time; therefore, it is wise to carefully consider the choice of your location. Schools and school bus routes should also be considered if you have school-age children.
To look at available housing you can check the off-post housing website.
Please note that none of the listed houses are exclusively reserved for our customers. As an alternative, you can also check the local website.
Housing – Prior to receiving any housing assistance, a copy of the assignment orders must be provided! Keep in mind that because of the complicated and sometimes tricky rental laws in Belgium, a very thorough briefing will be given. This briefing takes between two and two-and-a-half hours and is by appointment only. The USAG Benelux-Brussels Housing Services Office maintains current listings of available housing in the area. The HSO prescreens housing to ensure it will provide adequate quarters for government employees. A housing representative will meet with you upon arrival at the HSO. Call the HSO at 011-32-2-717-9734/9731/9778.