Commute or rent a room?
You're about to start your studies at a college or university. You've chosen your classes but haven't decided yet whether to commute or rent a room? These considerations will help you decide:
- How much are you willing to spend on room rent? How much would it cost you to use public transport to commute?
- How long is the trajectory from your house to the school? If it's more than an hour, single journey, we would advise you to rent a room.
- Renting a room = living independently, taking responsibility.
- Maybe you'd prefer to stay at home? Is it easier for you to study there? Are you in a local community?
- As a room student you can partake actively in student life. There's always something to do in your student town.
The hunt for a room!
You've decided to rent a room? Here's some tips for your search:
- make a selection based on price, location, number of months on the rental agreement,..
- pick three or four options and contact the landlord to arrange a room visit. Always arrange a meeting for this!
- compare price and quality
- talk to students who live at the room address about their experiences in the building
- pay attention to the minimal comfort conditions (sink in the room, heating, isolation,...), fire security and hygiene
- don't neglect to see the room in person!
- pay attention to the rental agreement suggested by the landlord. Read it attentively. The model agreement provided by Kotwest is recognizable by the house logo in the right upper corner.
The rental agreement
We prefer a rental agreement in writing to an oral agreement. This is why Kotwest offers a model agreement. This can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Do note: alterations can't be made without the written consent of Kotwest.
Some tips regarding the rental agreement: make sure these issues are addressed if you use a different agreement than the model supplied by Kotwest:
- name and address of the landlord
- address, room number and location
- facilities in the room and/or the building
- term of the rental
- rental price: how and when to pay it, extra costs, final bill,..
- severance arrangement
- agreement pertaining to staying during weekends, second exam period,...
- starting point of heating, gas and water counter in case of individual counters
A contract is best made in 4 copies: one for the student, one for the landlord, one for the school and one for registration.
Carefully read each paragraph!
To avoid any problems, use Kotwest's model agreement!
The rental price
The rental price of a room or studio varies greatly. In West-Flanders, the average rental price for a student room based on a 12 moth rental contract is about 365€/month, all costs included. You can always find cheaper or more expensive options.
In the rental agreement there needs to be a clear description of which costs are included and which are charged seperately. Three formulas are possible:
All in: All costs are included in the rental price. Variations in your energy use won't be calculated For example € 250,00
If energy costs aren't included in the rental price, they will be paid separately. The rental contract has to state clearly in which fashion these costs are calculated: through a flat rate or using an advance with a final bill at the end of your rental period.
Flat rate: This means you will pay a fixed amount each month, regardless of your energy use. Variations in your energy use won't be calculated, for example your rental price is 200 euros and the energy costs are charged at a fixed rate of 50 euros.
Advance payments with final bill: In this formula you pay a certain amount for your energy use each month, but depending on your use you will either get money back or have to pay extra at the end of your rental period. All energy consumption costs have to be accounted for by the landlord using the official bills.
Tip: if you have an individual counter for your energy use, note the number at the start of your stay and let your landlord sign this.
Your student room can never be registered as your domicile or main address!
As codified by the Royal resolution of July 16th 1992, people who are living away from their family home for studying purposes are considered temporarily absent.
When signing your rental agreement, your landlord will usually request payment of a deposit worth 1 or 2 months' rent.