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Refusal to return deposit by landlord

Question

Hey guys,

I'm writing this in anticipation of a likely event considering that this landlord has done this before. Sorry for the long message.

I'm currently in Brussels for a 5-month internship and I've booked a room in a 9 bedroom share house. I have paid the deposit and continue to pay all the rent in time, although I never got an etat de leu and the landlord says this is not required as he aldreay has photos of the room before I moved in. He laso has not put the money in a blocked acount, but asked to wire the money into his personal account (I didn't know about the blocked account thing until after I had paid) Now, I have taken photos and filmed the room the day after I moved in and will do again on move out day.

If the landlord does the same, as he has done with others, and refuses to pay back the deposit because he comes up with damages that he says I have caused, even though I will have photos showing the room in the condition that I found it.

What can I do in such a situation? I will not be living in Brussels after my internship and will move back to Sweden. What are my options? I want to be prepared and not be screwed by the landlord as so many before me have.

wezembeekwanderer

This is an unfortunate situation and there is a high risk that you will be ripped off and there will be little you can do about it, except put it down to life experience.
You don’t say how long you have been in there. But if you can find a way of getting your photos stored or shared so that you can prove that they were taken when you moved in, then you will have a good argument. You can also employ an ‘expert’ when you move out to be there during the etat de lieu who will defend your case. His presence alone might be enough to stop the landlord.

Jan 30, 2020 23:50
kasseistamper

I read recently that the rules on multi-occupancy rented properties have been changed. Unfortunately I cannot remember too much detail but I'm sure that the limit on rooms that can be rented in one building is now as low as 3.
It might be worth doing some research. Possibly at your commune or with help from the staff at the place where you are working. If I'm right, your landlord is not going to want the local authorities to be told that he is not following the new rules.
Good luck.

Jan 31, 2020 10:24
J

Don't pay your last rent to the value of the deposit.

Feb 3, 2020 10:59
wezembeekwanderer

Not paying your rent is very dangerous. You can be taken to court for breaking your contract and receive a very high fine. It may not seem fair, in the same way a landlord not repaying your deposit is not fair. But the difference is you are breaking your contract.

Feb 3, 2020 22:33
CM

I suspect there's no contract to break in a 9 bedroomed shared house (presumably furnished, meaning there would be tax to pay on the rental income as well).

Feb 4, 2020 18:31
Oppressed in Oppem

You could try the free legal advice service here:
https://1819.brussels/en/tools/who-can-help-me/tele-barreau

Feb 5, 2020 10:52