kicked out apartment
Hello good afternoon.
I have a question regarding an apartment we are currently renting. ( standard 3 years contract)
In August 2020 we moved into a new apartment My wife, new born and 4 year old. After 3 week in the apartment the owner told us that they wanted the place back for them to live in it since they lost their current job abroad and they were coming back to Belgium. The standard contract specifies that we could not be kicked out the 1 year of the contract and that we needed to received a notice 3 months before and one month penalty.
We agreed with the owner that we will do what is possible to move out before the year. After we visited numerous apartments and starting to pack many things in boxes, and a few days before having to receive the register mail with the notice period to vacate the apartment (May 2021) they told us “if you want to stay you can stay” they were going abroad again.
We said yes since we di not find a good place despite our efforts and a couple of days ago they told us their plan changed again and they and that they place back and that soon we will get the register mail telling us we need to leave in 3 months’ time.
My question is, are we somehow protected for all this back an forth? We have two kids in crèche and the other maternelle that go to nearby schools! Can we extend the notice period? Alternatively Can anyone recommend an association of tenants that could give me some answers?
Thank a lot and sorry for the long text.
Make an appointment to see a notaire/notaris, take your contract along and ask them. The advice they give is free, they only charge if they have to prepare a document for you, and they are the official experts in property law as it applies in the different regions.
A notaris who speaks Dutch will almost certainly be able to speak English as well, and that is also likely to be the case for quite a lot of French speaking notaires.
I agree that it is worth going to speak to a notaris/notaire but I suspect that you are not going to get any good news.
If the first request for you to move out had not happened and you were only asked to move now in accordance with the contract which you signed, presumably you would have accepted it as being inconvenient but just hard luck.
The fact of the 'back and forth' being unfortunate does not alter the bottom line that the landlord is asking you to leave in accordance with the terms of the contract.
You can ask the landlord for more notice but, if he refuses to help, I cannot see that you can do anything else.
Rules and compensations differ for short term rental contracts (up to 3 years) and long term contracts (9 years).
In your case the 3 months notice and 1 month compensations is correct. From what I read online there is not even a mention that the owner or immediate family is obliged to reside in the apartment, while is clearly stated for the 9 year contract (even penalties equivalent to 18 months rent if the owner or immediate family do not take residency there).
Short term contract is much more flexible on both sides as it seems.
However if you want professional help and having your case analyzed in details you can google for Syndicat des Locataires which is based in Anderlecht .
The online forum on the website www.pim.be is also a good place to ask these type of questions, plenty of knowledgeable local experts there always quick to answer.
Just to let you know that your landlord has discussed this case at www.pim.be (all the details match exactly so 100 % sure it is the same rental property). There is a very informative discussion of 30 messages. Definitely worth a read so you can see what they are planning and thinking.