Finding a rental property
In Luxembourg, supply of housing is low but demand high.
A study by estate agent atHome in March 2020 found that prices for rental properties had increased by 6% over the previous 12 months. Whilst this might seem steep, the cost of buying an apartment had gone up by 15% over the same period.
Certainly, if you are moving from overseas but unsure of how long you'll stay, then renting a property is the best accommodation option.
In addition, families whose monthly rental payment is more than 25% of their household income are entitled to a government rent subsidy, revised upward at the start of the Covid pandemic.
Deciding on an area
Work and school locations are the two biggest influencers in deciding where you should rent. Whilst public transport is free in Luxembourg, journey times can quadruple during rush hour making even short commutes time-consuming.
Check out schools locations and bus/train timetable routes. Generally speaking, city locations tend to favour apartments whilst the suburbs have a greater number of houses with gardens.
Budget will be a big factor in your location. The average monthly rental cost for an apartment in Luxembourg at the end July 2020 was €1,550 (€1,686 in Luxembourg City) and for a house €2,913 (€3,611 in Luxembourg City) according to the Housing Observatory which lists the latest rental price trends here.
You can find more about the areas in Luxembourg from our Neighbourhood Watch series.
Because it’s a landlords' market, you’ll find you’re chasing estate agents. If you’re coming from overseas for a pre-visit, you can line up house viewings in one day. Expect estate agents to find properties at the top end of your budget.
Remember that notice periods can be 2-3 months, so start your property search in plenty of time. Many estate agencies specialise in specific localities so if you know where you want to live, register with them (you can use the sites below which aggregate other agency adverts).
Beyond estate agencies, private rentals are posted on www.wortimmo.lu, which is also an aggregator site. Don’t forget to ask around at work, someone might be moving or renting their property.
Estate agencies will expect a month’s rent plus VAT in fees. There are also options for flatshares, houseshares and furnished apartments in addition to student accommodation. You can find out more about temporary accommodation and short-term lets here.
The online estate agencies are a good place to start your rental search:
www.home.editus.lu/en (for a list of smaller agencies)
www.myspace.lu/ (for furnished apartments)
www.vaubanfort.lu/ (flatshare inclusive rentals)
www.luxfriends.eu/en/ (house share)
www.erasmusu.com/en/ (student accommodation)
Are utilities included?
Unfurnished rentals do not usually include gas (or oil), electricity, telephone, broadband, rubbish collection, and water rates, but some city apartments may include these in the rental price. Flat and house shares will often offer all inclusive rates and provide furnishings including a TV.
Many properties will list energy ratings and you can ask the current tenants what the utilities cost. Expect to add a couple of hundred a month to your rental costs for these. For more information on getting your utilities switched on, read our article Need a connection?
Things to know before you sign
In addition to utilities you may have responsibility for other elements of the property. Contracts can include servicing the boiler, sweeping out chimneys and maintenance of the garden.
Contrat de bail à loyer (rental contract)
Contracts vary, but generally the standard is 1-2 years with a diplomatic clause. Be aware, that you literally have to leave the country to invoke this. It is getting easier to secure one-year contracts but specify this with the estate agent.
If your rental property includes some utilities, the landlord has the right to reconcile costs at the end of the year and it is not unheard of for people to receive quite hefty gas and electricity reconciliation bills.
Equally, repairs can sometimes take landlords an eon to conduct, so consider adding a clause that states the landlord must repair essentials such as heating, dishwasher or oven within a maximum time limit.
Guichet.lu has details on entering a rental agreement here.
Dépôt de garantie (deposit or bond)
A refundable deposit is usually required in cash or more commonly via a bank guarantee, which is paid into an account in the tenant’s name, but requires authorisation from both parties for money to be released.
A deposit cannot exceed 3 month’s rent and must be refunded minus cost of repairs or service charges within 6 months of the end of the lease – so expect to wait to get it back.
Etats des lieux (inventory)
Before or on the day you move in, your landlord or the agent will go through a rental inventory with you, listing everything included in the property and the state of this. It might be extra stress, but be careful to go through this a room at a time, as you might find you are charged for damage that you didn’t make when you leave the property.
This is also a useful time to check you know how the oven, dishwasher heating, hot water etc work. Gardening equipment such as lawnmowers, and washing machines, light fittings and curtains are usually not included in the rental.
You will both sign the Etats des Lieux and when you leave your rental property you will both need to sign this again to release deposit funds. For details on the rental inventory from guichet.lu click here.
You will be contractually required to have household and fire insurance covering the building, and insurance to cover contents supplied by the landlord such as a fully equipped kitchen.
You can find at all you need to know about insurance in Luxembourg here.
If you have a problem with any of the equipment provided ie heating, dishwasher, oven, you should be able to call the estate agent or landlord directly to fix these.
Most contracts state that the property must be left in the condition you rented it. If your children have left sticky handprints all over the paintwork or scratched the parquet flooring, expect to be charged for these to be redecorated or repaired.
Notice on a rental property must be given usually 3 months before the end of the contract in writing and sent by registered post. Check your contract for the stipulated notice. Those sharing a flat or subletting a room in a house share might have different terms and should check with the company or person from whom they rent.
The landlord has the right to show prospective tenants the property in the final three months if you have given notice. If you want to leave early and can find a tenant who is acceptable to the landlord, you might be able to circumvent the contract. The landlord also has the right to give notice on a property if s/he intends to sell it.
Get the Luxembourg Times delivered to your inbox twice a day. Sign up for your free newsletters here.