Most newcomers and even for some of us living in Luxembourg for a while, the art of renting in Luxembourg is cumbersome and unclear. We thought it would be great to have a quick summary on how renting process works in Luxembourg.
Basics to get started:
Rental properties in Luxembourg are on high-demand. Luxembourg's resident population, primarily driven by expats, is increasing. The availability of rental properties is not increasing at the same level as the incoming demand. Hence, both the property prices are high and the rental prices are high. The rental pricing is on the same or similar range of renting in Paris or London.
What does it mean to you? It means, you need to start early looking for a property to rent. It takes few months to finalise the rental process unless you get lucky.
Where do people rent?
Most people working in Luxembourg rent within the Luxembourg country. However, if you're an EU citizen, you also have the option of renting and living in border areas such as Trier (Germany), Arlon (Belgium), and Metz/Thionville (France). A number of people commute across the borders to work in Luxembourg and live in other countries. If you're a non-EU citizen, your Luxembourg visa does not permit you to live in other countries - you're required to live in Luxembourg country.
What are the prices like?
Prices depend obviously on the size of the property, location and type of apartment and facilities. So, make your own decision on what you're renting. In general, a ball-park figure in Luxembourg city:
Single room - EUR 800 - EUR 1100
Studio - EUR 1000-EUR 1300
One bed room apartment - EUR 1500-EUR 1800
Two bed room apartment - EUR 1750 - EUR 2100
Three bed room apartment / Houses - above EUR 2500
What will you be paying for?
The general rents and expenses on renting are the following:
- Rental deposit (2-3 months is standard)
- Basic Rent
- Maintanence costs (this usually includes general cleaning and maintainence of common areas, and includes/excludes garbage maintenance)
- Electricity costs (usually not included in the rent)
- Water costs (on-top or included within the rental price. It depends)
- Internet + telephone costs (not included in the rent)
- You're required to take insurance for the apartment (few hundred EUR a year)
- Agency fee. If the property is with an agency, then you also pay the agency fee (agency fee is bourne by the tenant. It is usually 1-full month of basic rent, not including maintenance and other costs, + VAT). In cases where the current tenant suggests someone to the rental agency, the agency fee is half-a-month rent + VAT.
Majority number of rental properties in Luxembourg is managed by agencies. Whilst there are house owners who are renting the properties without agencies, this tends to be rather a smaller offering. Most properties are managed by agencies and the agency fee is bourne by the tentant.
As mentioned above, agency fee is typically one month basic rent + VAT. If you've been referred by the current tentant to the agent, then it is usually half-a-month rent + VAT.
It is normal and common to take from agency managed rental properties in Luxembourg. Do follow the process of renting though.
What's the renting process?
1. Find a property from online sites, your company housing forums, and friends' references. We recommend to start with our community and online platform
facebook.com/groups/luxembourghousing (post what you're looking for and scan the current offers)
luxexpats.lu/real-estate (scan the current offers)
Luxembourg Expats Premium members (luxembourgexpats.lu/premium-subscription): If you're looking for help to put us with some agents who can look for a property for you, write to us here: facebook.com/luxembourgexpats or email on email@example.com (we will place you in touch with agents we refer).
2. Once you find the property, call-up and discuss, and organize a quick visit.
Most good properties are rented within days, so you need to make a quick decision.
It is not common to be able to rent a property if you've still not arrived in town. Some people who are coming from far away countries such as India, it can be helpful to have a trusted agent. Do check with your employer if they are providing relocation assistance and the agent can find a place for you. It is common to come and take-up a temporary Airbnb or hotel accomodation and look for a permanent rental property.
3. Once you decide on the rental property, following is the general process of renting:
- you confirm that you're interested in taking the property
- they will require your employment contract, passport copy and visa/work permit, and also three months of salary slips.
- Most house-owners/agencies prefer CDI (unlimited) contract. CDD (Limited) from EU institutions are usually accepted. CDD from non-EU institutions might face challenges and hence might maker your search harder.
- Once the agency/house owner confirms accepting you as a tenant, they will send you a rental contract. The rental contract will be in French (only French is legally valid). Agencies might provide you with an unofficial English translation but you can do this yourself with translate.google.com or deepl.com
- The contract usually cannot be quit in the middle. Yearly or three year contracts are possible. If you need to quit the contract in between, it is generally not possible by both parties, unless mutually agreed. It is however common to have what is called as "Diplomat cluase". With a Diplomat Clause, in case, you're leaving the country, then you can provide a three months notice. It is however common that the house owner accepts a replacement if you need to change in-between. Note however that the house owner might not accept any replacement but someone who's equally as good as you and having a CDI.
- Once you sign-the contract, the first month rent and 3 months of deposit (or an agreed deposit) is transferred to the given bank account.
Rental deposits via bank transfer or bank deposit:
Rental Deposit can be done via bank transfer to the owner's account or can be done via bank deposit (most banks offer housing deposits including BIL, BCEE, ING). The deposits are held on your name but will be released only after the agreement of the land-lord. There is not much of a difference whether you transfer or hold it in deposit except that the house-owner cannot use your deposit. Otherwise, when the house owner decides a certain amount to be deducted, holding a bank deposit is as good as a bank transfer.
Don't dos in renting
- Do not pay money without signing contract. If anyone asks to transfer money to reserve the property, this is not the norm and is likely to be a scam.
- Behave as a good tenant. Keep the flat proper, do not make unncesssary troubles to neighbours including party noise. Word of mouth travels around the small country and might find it difficult renting properties in the future.
- Remember you cannot quit in-between. Most landlords accept replacement if you find a satisfactory replacement that is acceptable to the landlord. So take your commitment seriously and do not act erratically.
Renting a property in Luxembourg might take 2-3months and hence always good to start early. Living far away from your work place requires commuting and also lack of social life. So it's a compromise you've to make based on whether you're single or have a family and whether you can drive or will depend on public transport.
This is a quick-guide and not an extensive guide. Message us if we are missing important points, we will add-up.
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