Tips for buying or renting a property in Luxembourg
Whether you decide to buy or rent a home in Luxembourg, here is a brief guide to Grand Duchy's housing market and where to find property in Luxembourg.
Housing prices in Luxembourg are high compared to most countries. Owning a home, however, is very popular, 75 percent of the population owns their own homes. Many decide to purchase a plot of land and build their ideal house.
When planning your move to the Grand Duchy, you might want to start by renting a simple house or an apartment, so you can carry out your home search locally. For expats whose residence in Luxembourg has a foreseeable expiration date, renting is preferable. This is due to the price and the hassle of buying a house in Luxembourg.
Rent can be expensive, particularly in the capital where a two-bedroom apartment may cost over EUR 1,000 and a one bedroom apartment over EUR 800. Prices will be lower in surrounding towns and in the northern and southern parts of the country. Properties can also be hard to find, especially since owners often avoid using for sale signs. There are a number of ways to find a property to rent, whether you are already in Luxembourg or not.
- If you have any acquaintances in Luxembourg, ask them to be on the look-out for you. They may live in or near a neighbourhood that appeals to you.
- Look at advertisements in local newspapers (e.g., Luxemburger Wort, Tageblatt, Lux Post, Le Quotidien, Lux-Bazar).
- Visit estate or rental agencies in Luxembourg or their websites from abroad. (These can be found in our Luxembourg listings.)
- Always check notice boards in Luxembourg shop windows, supermarkets, universities and offices.
- Read newsletters from local clubs, organisations and churches.
- Consider sharing with a roommate. The website www.appartager.lu lists advertisements (including photos) posted by people offering or searching for a room in apartments/houses in Luxembourg.
Most owners will let unfurnished properties, but for a higher price furnished (meublé) rentals are available. It is more common to find these on a short-term stay, such as six months to a year.
Once you have found your rental property, you must sign a lease or rental contract. You may want to get this translated as the details are important. The contract should list the address, your additional privileges and any furniture included with the property. Regarding payment, the contract should note your rent, the date of payment and perhaps the form of payment.
Most landlords require a deposit, which usually amounts to anything between one and three months’ rent. Normally, you will sign a rental contract for a fixed term of three years, but you might be able to arrange a shorter term if you are on a specific assignment. Another option is to have a diplomatic clause inserted in the contract. This clause allows you to give a one month written notice to terminate the lease, instead of the standard three month notice. However, this is only possible if you have a job-related reason for leaving. Remember, with rentals it is usually compulsory to chip in for common charges such as concierge wages, maintenance of the lobby or lift, paying for shared utilities etc. Overall, leases are well-organised and will protect your rights.
Although prices vary throughout Luxembourg, an average price may be EUR 500,000 for a house and EUR 250,000 for an apartment. Housing prices make Luxembourg City one of the most expensive European capitals. Financial institutions have reacted to this, making the average length of a mortgage 25 to 30 years instead of 20 years.
Because of the size of the country, commuting is rather easy and many people decide to live in neighbouring Belgium, France or Germany to avoid high house prices.
Housing terms (French – German):
rent: loyer – vermietung
buy: acheter – kaufen
estate agent: immobilier – makler
lease: bail – mietvertrag
deposit: caution – kaution
mortgage: hypothèque – hypothek
commute: commuter – pendeln
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