Luxembourg is notoriously expensive for renters. Why? The country is small and there are not so many houses to go around, which makes the demand for housing very high. Plus, Luxembourg attracts a continuous influx of people from overseas. Almost 50% of Luxembourg’s population comes from abroad, attracted by jobs in tech, finance, justice, and politics. Luxembourg is home to European Institutions, tech giants, such as Amazon, is one of the financial hubs of Europe, and hosts NATO offices. They provide employment opportunities and attract professionals from overseas to the Grand Duchy. When you prepare your move to Luxembourg, you have to take into account that renting prices are quite steep. In 2020, the average monthly rent for an apartment in Luxembourg City was 1,585 € and around 4000 € for a house.
Given the scarcity of housing and the high prices, people relocating to Luxembourg are faced with the difficult task of finding a home. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to find and rent a flat in Luxembourg City.
In Luxembourg, most landlords rent out their property via estate agents. If you find your apartment through an estate agent, you will have to pay a commission for their services that usually amounts to a month’s rent plus VAT. You can start by checking out rental agency websites, property portals, or expat Facebook groups. If you move to Luxembourg for your job, your company might arrange for a corporate serviced apartment in Luxembourg City. Or you can use the services of a relocation agency that can arrange for your accommodation, help with the bureaucracy involved by settling in another country, and even help you find a school for your kids.
If you find an apartment that suits your needs, the next step is to sign the tenancy agreement (contrat de bail à loyer/ mietvertrag). Bear in mind that the contract will be in one of the official languages of Luxembourg: French, German, Luxembourgish. Make sure that you understand the terms of the contract and get a translator if needed. In Luxembourg, tenancy agreements for long-term rentals are for 1 to 3 years. You will need to pay a deposit that amounts to 1 to 3 months of rent, depending on the apartment, if it’s unfurnished or furnished. Most landlords will compile an inventory of the apartment that records its condition at the beginning of the tenancy. You will need to sign it and this will be used to settle any deductions for damages from your deposit. By law, the landlord is required to provide you with the energy performance certificate of the accommodation you are renting. Throughout the tenancy, the tenant will pay for utilities, maintenance, and common expenses if the flat is situated in a shared building. The tenant is also required to get home insurance.
You should also be aware of the so-called ‘Painting Clause’ that implies that you will have to completely repaint the flat if you leave it before 3 years. Most landlords tend to add this clause by default and it could become expensive for you.
If at all possible, insist on having the so-called ‘Diplomatic Clause’ added to your tenancy agreement. This will allow you to end the agreement before the end of the lease, but only if you need to leave Luxembourg for work.
You also need to remember that, different from other countries, Luxembourg lease agreements are automatically renewed for at least 1 full year after the lease term unless stated otherwise.
Given the challenge of finding a long-term rental that suits your needs, you might opt for temporary housing in Luxembourg, particularly for the first months following your move. Getting a short-term let will give you the respite to look for your long-term home in Luxembourg at ease. The options vary from getting a room in a shared flat to renting a high-end corporate serviced apartment. These apartments come furnished and, in the latter case, with 24/7 on-call guest service and weekly housekeeping. The short-term let solution is particularly suitable for people who are relocated by their companies for work, who need to find accommodation quickly and be able to start at their new job as soon as possible.
These are some of your renting options upon relocation to Luxembourg. If you opt for a short-term let, you might want to consider the services of a corporate housing provider operating in Luxembourg. With your temporary accommodation taken care of, you will be able to get to know that city and choose the area and the house that suits you best.
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