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Hi all,

First time posting on here because I'm in a rather sticky situation.

I'm currently living in Belgium doing an 8 month stage as part of my university studies in the UK. This is my first time living abroad. As far as I understand it, I need to apply for residency in Belgium because the duration of my stay is longer than 3 months.

So that I did, and it was a long, drawn-out affair trying to get ahold of translated copy of my birth certificate but I eventually got an appointment at my local commune and started the process. They said the police would come to verify I was living at the address - fair enough, I'd read it was part of the process.

But I didn't even realise this was at odds with my rental contract which states not to list the address as a primary residence. I didn't know domiciliation was a thing and that it is required for residency (isn't it?)

I've been incredibly naive - the first time I heard the phrase domiciliation was when my landlord was having a go at me down the phone for being dishonest... I understand her reasons for not wanting domiciled tenants and her concerns about taxes and she has been emailing me to say "do not open the door if they come, don't let anyone in, don't let them see you in the house" etc. It's quite scary, to be honest.

Well, my housemate answered the door to them yesterday and I felt so torn but at the end of the day, I can't exactly turn the police away and say "actually I don't live here."

I hope to rectify things with another appointment at the town hall, but Wednesday can't come soon enough. I've well and truly opened a can of worms not just for myself but for my housemates, as my landlord is saying she could well kick everyone out :(

What should I do in this situation? After all, I have breached the terms of my contract and I may have to look for alternative accommodation. If so, how can I do that, and terminate a contract early, with such short notice? Can my landlord legally invoice me and make me pay for any taxes this may incur?


In Belgium, a student is not resident at their place of study but is resident at their "home". So no, you don't need to register.

Check this with your university accommodation office.

Jan 12, 2021 22:33

I agree that you should check with your uni and take a copy of the contract to show them.
It's hard to imagine that a contract which is worded to allow your landlady to avoid paying taxes (i.e. to break the law) will be legally enforceable. And, whilst a Belgian student is considered to be resident at their family home, I'm not sure that this applies to 'foreign' students.

Jan 13, 2021 10:02

Students from another country (whether EU or not) intending to study in Belgium for more than 3 months DO have to register with their commune, although I am puzzled by the requirement for a translated birth certificate as normally a passport (plus visa D for non EU) or ID card (EU only) should suffice, so you have done nothing wrong.
If your landlady hassles you further, call the police.

Jan 13, 2021 22:48