Who can rent student accommodation?
Student housing can only be rented by students (e.g. degree students, exchange students, PhD students, ...). You must be able to provide proof of your student status (like a student card). Student rooms are mainly aimed at individual students. Sometimes studios are available for two people.
When to look for student accommodation?
The last couple of years the number of students looking for a student room in Antwerp has increased. So start your search in time!
Where to look for student accommodation?
All international students who will be staying in Belgium for more than three months have to apply for a residence permit upon arrival. Please ensure that your landlord is aware of this. German, French and Dutch nationals are exempted from this regulation. Usually Belgian students are still officially registered at their parental address, even when they rent a room close to the university during the week. Renting rooms through AirBnB is strongly discouraged when you have to apply for a residence permit (non-EEA students and EEA students staying for more than one semester).
Kotweb offers the largest range of student accommodation in Antwerp, it is a unique initiative between the Antwerp city authorities, higher education institutions in Antwerp and STAN, Antwerp's student portal.
We advise you to search for student accommodation which has a green quality label and a model lease (contract).
- Quality label: As a student, you cannot just rent any flat, room or house. Accommodation for students must comply with certain statutory regulations in terms of quality, fire protection and urban development. The Antwerp city authorities inspect all student accommodation in Antwerp. Based on this inspection, they assign a quality label to each student property. If you search on any other website, you won’t be able to see the result of the safety inspection, the quality label, and won’t know whether the student accommodation has been approved by the Antwerp authorities.
- Model lease: Kotweb provides a model lease (contract) that students are advised to use. Please check with your landlord whether they use the standard lease or not. Rental agreements for student rooms are different from traditional renting contracts. If the landlord uses the model lease, you can be sure it is a contract with a good legal basis and corresponds to this rental law. The model lease is available in Dutch and in English and can be checked online.
When do I sign a rental agreement?
You only sign a rental agreement when you're completely certain that you're coming to Antwerp and that you want to stay in this student accommodation. If you’ve found an accommodation on a different website and you are not sure if it is a scam or not, don’t hesitate to contact us. But to avoid scams, we suggest you use Kotweb.
- We advise you to sign a model lease on Kotweb.
- Ask for an English translation so you fully understand what's in the rental agreement, because you are legally responsible for what you sign.
- Keep in mind that you have to pay until the end of the agreed stay. So make sure the period on your rental agreement matches your actual stay.
- Keep in mind that you’re only allowed to terminate the tenancy agreement early when you decide to drop out of university/college. To do so, you must provide the landlord with a supporting document issued by the educational institution. The tenant is also allowed to terminate the tenancy agreement early when one of his parents or another person dies who is responsible for his upkeep. The tenant must provide the landlord proof of decease. Any such termination is subject to a two-month notice period, which starts on the first day of the calendar month after the month in which he gave notice.
What is the average price?
Your landlord can charge a fixed amount for utilities such as heating, electricity, water, etc. or a provisional charge. The provisional charge is paid in advance and actual usage amounts are calculated at the end of the lease. Avoid any nasty surprises and ensure you clarify which of these two systems will be used before you sign a lease.
What is a deposit?
A deposit is an amount of money that the landlord can use to compensate for possible damage. If you leave the room clean and without any damage, the landlord will refund the total deposit amount.
- Check your rental agreement for the deadline for refunding the deposit.
- A deposit cannot be used to pay your last month’s rent.
- A deposit is usually one or two months’ rent.
- A deposit cannot be paid in cash.
- Sometimes the bank deducts costs for international bank transfers, for example when a tenant pays their rent or deposit for accommodation in Antwerp. Keep in mind that the landlord needs to receive the full amount of rent, so if the bank deducts some costs, the tenant will have to pay extra. If the bank deducts costs from the deposit, the landlord can only refund the amount they received.
Is a delivery report at the commencement of the student tenancy agreement mandatory?
The tenant and the landlord are under obligation to draw up jointly (in the presence of both parties or their representatives) a detailed delivery report at their joint expense. This must occur during the time when the dwelling is still uninhabited or during the first month of the tenancy. The delivery report must be attached to the tenancy agreement and be registered. The delivery report acts as proof of the condition of the dwelling at the start of the tenancy. This is important at the end of the tenancy, as the tenant is required to return the rented property in its original condition.
What furnishings are included?
Check with your landlord what furnishings are included with the accommodation:
- a desk
- a wardrobe
- a chair
- a bed
- a mattress
- bed linen (sheets, pillow, pillow case and blankets)
- kitchen utensils
Note: A sleeping bag is a good temporary solution.
How to avoid scams?
Don’t be scammed by booking student accommodation that does not exist.
On Kotweb you can find tips on how to check if a room really exists.
What if my building does not have a doorbell or mailbox?
When applying for your residence permit, it is stated that the building where you will be staying must have a working doorbell and mailbox. If your building does not have these, contact your landlord to kindly inform him or her about this. It is stated by law that there must be a working doorbell and mailbox.