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Getting deposit back from landlord


Hello there,
So I've been having a problem with my previous landlord ever since I moved out about 5 weeks ago. Basically I have haven't received my deposit of 1400 euro's back from him without any explanation. I've been to his offices twice and sent over a dozen emails.
Intially he would give excuses as to why the money hasn't been wired (e.g accounting error, on holiday or already sent and will be arriving soon) but at this stage I don't really believe him,

If anyone can advise me legally on what to do (I know in the u.k they have the Request for Return of Security Deposit application) I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks in advance


You take him the Blocked Account Release form (get one from the bank where you opened the blocked account), get him to sign the release, and the bank releases you money.

Jan 31, 2019 20:39

If I could get him to sign I would, but he has avoided contact with for almost 2 weeks now.

In the UK the system is:

1. Return of security deposit form is sent via certified post to recipient, and they are given ten days to respond.
2. If no response is given the same letter is sent via standard post and landlord is given 7 days to respond.
3. If no action is taken by landlord then legal action can be taken.

Is this a similar process with the blocked account realese form, (and is it a standard form or bank specific)

Jan 31, 2019 21:17

This is not the UK.
Get the form from your bank. The landlord can't get the money either without your signature or a court order.

Jan 31, 2019 21:26

Ok I am probably getting taken for ride as my deposit was made in cash at the time (however the contract stated it was going to a blocked account) and maybe didn't fully understand what I was signing as my French was poor,

I came to believe that it was the landlords responsibility to put this money into a blocked account.

Since the landlord is avoiding me even when I attempt to come to his office I will have to speak to a lawyer about this l.
Thank you for your help.

Jan 31, 2019 22:08

A classic error. Anyone renting a place in Belgium needs to carefully check the lease, make sure the deposit goes into a blocked account and have an etat de lieu on arrival and departure. The expert at the etat de lieu who should be independent will decide the costs of repairs etc.
Without all these in place, you will probably have to write this off to experience. Legal costs could be much higher.
Sadly many landlords consider the deposit to be theirs to cover repairs.

Feb 1, 2019 00:22

According to Belgian law, there are three legal options to establish a rental guarantee with money (a guarantee can also be established with other means but this is rare):
- a bank account established in the name of the tenant; the signature of both the tenant and the landlord is required to release the funds at the end of the rental period.
- a bank guarantee, i.e the bank puts up the money instead of the tenant, and charges a (hefty) fee for this service
- a bank guarantee which is established in connection with the CPAS (this option probably not much used by the average expat tenant).

If the landlord receives the guarantee in cash, they have to establish a bank account in the name of the tenant without delay.

I'm willing to bet that your landlord never actually did establish the bank account in your name. If he had, it is my understanding you would know about it as the bank would have contacted you to obtain your signature.

So he kept the money and most likely he does not now have the sum in hand now that he has to return it to you (the "already been sent, will arrive soon" is the classic "the cheque is in the mail" excuse").

By the way, in addition to the initial guarantee he also owes you the amount of any interest it would have generated had it been placed in a bank account (ok, with the interest rates being so low during the past years this would probably be only a few euros).

Feb 1, 2019 08:06

I am afraid the only way to claim your money back is to go through the normal procedure established in these cases.
Since you failed all the previous amicable attempts then your next step is to send a registered letter of "Mise en demeure" , which is basically an official request to release your deposit in XX amount of days (you decide : one week, 15 days, etc) and with the warning that failing to do so you will approach a Juge de Paix and take legal actions (with the risk that he will have to pay legal costs if found at fault for withholding the deposit without any reasons). Sometimes the Mise en Demeure is enough to move things around...

You can find templates online if you Google it and you need to adapt it to your case.

But you need to understand all the passages and follow through with a Juge de Paix in case of no reply. No need to employ a lawyer for the first step. There are also association that helps tenants and support them legally for these types of disputes.

Feb 1, 2019 09:12

Don't speak to a lawyer, or even try and navigate your way through writing letters / going before a Justice de Paix as unless you really understand what you're doing, you'll make a mess of it and they guy will just ignore you.

Instead, go and see a huissier de justice. This is precisely what they are for. Their fees are fixed and in the case of debt recovery, are largely paid by the debtor, so it won't even cost you anything.

Feb 1, 2019 10:14

Thanks so much for your help, I'm going to find a huissier de justice to assist me.

Feb 1, 2019 11:16

Again, a Mise en Demeure is usually the first step and it is sometimes required as evidence before initiating a procedure with JdP or HdJ.
It defines clear expectations and consequences for inaction.

But in the end do what you want.

Feb 1, 2019 12:24