The search for a house

After you have been recognised as a refugee, you have 2 months to find your own home. After that time, you must leave the reception centre or the house of the CPAS/OCMW.

Looking for a place to rent

As soon as you are recognised as a refugee in Belgium, you will have to look for your own home. This may be a studio, apartment or a house. After being recognised as a refugee, you can continue to live in the reception centre or in the house of the CPAS/OCMW for another 2 months. Use this time to look for a house! If you still have not found a house after 2 months, Fedasil can extend this period to a maximum of 4 months.

Get your documents in order

Before you start looking for your own home, make sure all your documents are in order.

You need these documents to conclude a rental contract

Where can you find a suitable house?

You can look for a house

  • on the private market: through an estate agency or through friends, acquaintances or volunteers who will help you find one.
  • on the social market: a Social Rental Office (SVK/AIS) or the Social Housing Company (SHM/SLS) offer houses to people who need a home.

What do you need to be aware of when renting a house?

  • Check that the house is in good condition. Is there enough space? Are there damp patches? Is there water, heating and electricity? Is the house a safe place for your family?
  • Make sure you do not pay too much! Ask your social worker, or trusted person who has been living in Belgium for some time, for advice.
  • The landlord and you (the tenant) have to sign a rental contract.