Find out where to find accommodation to rent in Luxembourg, plus details on your rental contract, deposit, cost of renting in Luxembourg, and rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Most foreigners moving to Luxembourg initially opt to rent accommodation. Indeed, the majority of housing supply in Luxembourg is apartment accommodation. There are also many serviced aparthotels and hotels in Luxembourg for short-term stays. However, with Luxembourg sharing borders with Belgium, France, and Germany, many foreigners choose to become cross-border commuters. In some cases, it may be possible to find cheaper accommodation to rent in Belgium, rent in France, or rent in Germany. This guide explains what you need to know about renting in Luxembourg.
Should you rent or buy property in Luxembourg?
With increasing numbers of European workers in Luxembourg, it can be difficult to find affordable property to rent. While more than two-thirds of Luxembourg’s residents own their own homes, around half of all foreigners working in the country rent. Properties can be hard to find and it’s rare to see ‘for sale’ or ‘to let’ signs outside houses.
Alongside a skilled international labor force and growing population, house prices increased in recent years, especially in the capital city; prices tend to be lower in the surrounding towns and in the northern and southern parts of the country. Average monthly rents in Luxembourg City range from around €1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment to €2,300 for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center. You’ll find prices slightly lower outside the city center.
Those considering a longer stay might consider buying property in Luxembourg. Renting is advisable when you first arrive, however. At the end of 2015, property prices averaged around €400,719, or €5,130 per square meter, and showed signs of steady rises.
If you sell a property within two years of purchase, you must pay a form of capital gains tax, which applies at standard income tax rates. Tax is payable on any financial gains from the property minus your selling costs (such as estate agent fees). If you have the property for more than two years before selling, you only pay tax at half of the standard rate. Those with investment plans of longer than at least three years might be able to recuperate transaction costs and reduce profit taxes.
Find a property to rent in Luxembourg
A significant proportion of Luxembourg’s population are foreign workers living alone or in shared accommodation. As a result, the housing supply tends to include more apartments than family houses. Rental apartments are the most popular type of home as of the end of 2015, with around 2,800 apartments on the market compared to just 350 houses. The government publishes housing figures every quarter at observatoire de ‘l’habitat.
Most properties in Luxembourg are let unfurnished, although there are specialized companies that offer furnished properties. If you move into a furnished property, your landlord should arrange an inventory report (etat des lieux) to list the condition of the fixtures and fittings. Typically, furnished properties shouldn’t be more than double the cost of the equivalent unfurnished ones. If you’re moving with your dogs or cats, make sure to keep an eye out for homes that allow you to keep your pets in the home.
In Luxembourg City, most homeowners rent their property via estate agents. Homes for rent are available on property portals, at agency websites and in local newspapers, such as Luxemburger Wort, Tageblatt, Lux Post, Le Quotidien, Lux-Bazar.
Online property portals
If you’re looking for a flatshare in Luxembourg, www.appartager.lu lists advertisements from people searching for a room.
Another option is to use a relocation agency. They provide a personalized service to help newcomers find housing and deal with the formalities of settling in a new country. You can find details about relocation agencies at editus.lu
Documents for signing your Luxembourg rental contract
Once you find a rental property, you need to sign a lease or rental contract (contrat de bail à loyer/Mietvertrag). Take along a translator if you want to confirm details and aren’t yet fluent in a local language (French, German, and Luxembourgish).
Normally, you sign a rental contract for a fixed term, which is agreed between you and your landlord. If you an apartment in a building, there may fees for common charges such as concierge wages, maintenance, and shared utilities.
Before agreeing to let a property, the landlord usually requires proof of your identification and right to work in the country, your employment status, income level. In some cases, they ask for references from a previous landlord.
Understanding your Luxembourg tenancy agreement
Your lease should cover several key points, including the term of the agreement, the rent costs and when they must be paid, any shared costs such as utilities, details about how the lease can be terminated, and the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant. The landlord must also provide an energy performance certificate alongside the tenancy agreement. You can view an example of a standard tenancy agreement (in French) here.
Costs of renting a home in Luxembourg
The cost of renting in Luxembourg averages around €876 per month for a studio flat, €1,400 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, and €2,500 per month for a four-bedroom house, according to government statistics.
Renters in Luxembourg also need to pay a deposit upfront. This is usually around two months’ rent; in some cases, it’s up to a maximum of three months. Tenants pay annual liability insurance of around €250.
When paying a rental deposit, it’s common to transfer it into a special bank account for the duration of the lease. This escrow account held by the bank typically means the money cannot be touched until both parties agree. This landlord can request to keep some or all of your deposit if you break your contract or damage the property. If you don’t have the funds to pay, you can attempt to seek financial assistance from the state.
Moving in and out: the inventory and giving notice
Signing the inventory
The inventory (etat des lieux) process takes place before the tenant officially takes possession of the house. It involves the landlord and tenant establishing the condition of the property and is dated and signed by both parties.
It can either be part of the tenancy agreement or a separate document. If no inventory has been undertaken the tenant is presumed to have received the home in good condition, although the landlord will not be able to reclaim the tenant’s deposit for damages if no inventory was undertaken.
While inventories are generally drawn up jointly by the landlord and tenant to avoid the costs of employing a third party, it can be prepared by a registered independent party if required.
To terminate your lease, you’ll generally need to do this with three months notice, unless otherwise stated in your contract. The landlord, meanwhile, must also respect the notice period, provided you have not broken your tenancy agreement.
If you move out before the end of the contract, it’s often possible to negotiate this with the landlord by finding a new tenant yourself. By doing this, the owner can avoid agency fees.
You can reclaim your deposit once you complete the inventory process and return the keys. You should also receive an annual statement of expenses for fees such as utilities. If there’s an issue with your deposit, you can speed the process up by sending a formal letter demanding the return of the deposit within a set time. As a last resort, you can take legal action if absolutely necessary.
Tenant rights in Luxembourg
The renting system in Luxembourg is strongly pro-tenant. Landlords can increase the rent every other year based on an index from the Official Gazette (Memorial – Journal Officiel du Grand-Duche de Luxembourg). They can also review the rent if the value of the property changes (for example, due to renovation work). If the home is a luxury property (propriete de luxe), then rent increases don’t need to follow the rules in the index. Rather, they are agreed upon between the landlord and tenant.
Tenants should return the property in the same condition from when they moved in. Damage from general wear and tear or normal use shouldn’t affect your deposit.
There are bodies in place to deal with disagreements between landlords and tenants. These prevent the need for parties to go to court unless in extreme circumstances. If your landlord attempts to increase your rent and you can’t reach an agreement, the landlord can apply for a rent increase via the Rent Board of his town. You, in turn, can ask for a rent reduction.
Housing benefits and assistance
The Luxembourg Housing Fund provides rental housing for applicants with low incomes throughout the country, with applications classified by priority. To apply for the Rental Housing Fund, you can’t already own a property or have another tenancy agreement. If successful, your rent subsidy is calculated based on your annual disposable household income and the amount of habitable space your property has.
People on lower incomes can also apply to rent a property for up to three years through a Social Estate Agency (ISA). To apply for housing through ISA, you must go through social services; a social worker completes the application for you.
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
Find a house in Luxembourg using Expatica’s housing search.