Annual utilities cost in Brussels
2018 was my first year in Brussels and after I calculated the total cost of my apartment's utilities, I came up with the amount of 3,400. This included electricity, gas, water and common charges of the building.
As I am new here, is this considered a lot or not?
I forgot to mention that I live in Avenue Louise on the 5th floor.
If you are a single person living in a newly built small apartment, then it's high, if you're two parents and four children in a large old apartment, it's low.
For electricity and water, see these two posts:
As an owner of a 110 sqm apt I think the amount is quite right. I pay around the same amount for my yearly consumption including water, heating, elevator, cleaning, electricity only for common areas but not for my personal apartment. Plus some other extra costs for owners only. 2 people living in the apartment.
But we are trying to be careful with water and heating consumption.
Are you an owner or a tenant? I suppose the second, so did you read all the meters at the beginning of your tenancy? Do you pay a monthly provision to your landlord? Did you receive a clear and detailed invoices with the costs for 2018 with the exact calculation from the moment you started the lease?
As you can see lots of variables that only you know.
As a landlord i can tell you it is in your full right to request and receive a detailed invoice from the person who's renting the property. it should actually be written in the small print of the contracts (Annexe).
I give it to my tenant and it is basically the invoice I receive myself from the Syndic which is the company that runs the building. In the invoice there is a clear distinction of the costs to be charged to the tenant and to the landlord. Also you should check if the calculations are done based on full 2018 or just from the moment you took over the property and based on the reading of the metres. When my tenant started sometime during the year I did calculate my portion and his portion of costs.
If your landlord refuses to provide such documents then i guess you have to dig in further...
But i can tell you big buildings in Brussels are expensive and Syndics really charge you for everything at sometimes inflated costs. So (unfortunately) no surprises on 250/300 EUR a month.
Small building or "copropriete" have much lower costs that is for sure. Sometimes just some cleaning and electricity (no more than 20/30 euro per month), they also are handled by the owners eliminating the costs of expensive external Syndics.
You have your own bills for water, gas and electricity and yearly maintenance of the heating systems. In this way you can better control your consumption and not rely on a centralized system.
However these smaller buildings are usually quite old and most likely poorly insulated so check very well the conditions and the energy certificate (which is compulsory for a landlord to even put in the advertisement of the property). Old windows, drafty, thin walls, high ceilings, all very charming but stay well away from it if you don't want expensive energy bills.