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Moving house in Belgium: What's involved?

01:00 28/09/2019

Moving house can be a document-heavy process. Written notice is often required for the three-month period before breaking your apartment lease or closing your contracts with utility companies.

You should sign your rental agreement as soon as you arrive and try to arrange to take over the electricity and gas accounts from the previous tenant if possible. Otherwise you will have to make an appointment with the suppliers to have the accounts activated. You will need to show some form of identity.

When you’re moving within Brussels, you normally need to reserve a parking space in front of the building for the removal van at your local police station. When you move in, make sure your name is on the doorbell. The police will check this after you apply for a residence permit.

Contact your local town hall as soon as you arrive and ask them about the formalities required to register as a resident. You will need a passport or ID, as well as a job contract from your employer or proof that you have some means of supporting yourself. You must start the registration process within eight days of arriving in Belgium. EU institution staff can avoid this step by registering with the Commission office, but they will receive an ID that is only valid in Belgium.

You will get a letter from the town hall telling you to collect your residence permit. This is usually valid for five years and allows you to carry out procedures such as registering your children at a local school, signing up to a health insurance fund and joining the local public library. You’ll need to repeat all or part of the process if you move house.

Written by The Bulletin