What you should know about cohousing
Today, the interest in alternative housing forms such as cohousing is constantly growing. Cohousing can be both socially and economically more interesting than just renting a house. Find out here what you need to know about this form of housing.
What is cohousing
Cohousing is a form of living together where at least two families live together and have at least one shared space (e.g. dining room, kitchen, garden, etc.) and a private area.
Cohousers can choose to rent a house or flat together, but nowadays there are also many cohousing projects. These projects are designed by real estate developers with cohousing in mind.
Social and economic benefits of cohousing
Cohousing offers many advantages for tenants of all ages. For people in their twenties or thirties, but also for single parents or the elderly.
Here are a few advantages:
- You share rent, energy consumption and furnishing costs with flatmates.
- You get the chance to move into a slightly larger or more luxurious home that would not normally fit into your budget.
- You can save more than when you live alone (or pay as much for something bigger).
- You enjoy independence without feeling lonely.
- You get to know new people.
Rules that must be respected
When moving into the house
If several people are to live together, it is first of all very important that all parties are listed as tenants in the tenancy agreement.
If you live with others, you are also required to add a ‘co-tenancy agreement’ to your tenancy agreement. This document lays down agreements about the financial division of the rent, the deposit, fire insurance, household chores, etc. By writing down these agreements in black and white, you avoid conflicts and enjoy living together.
Finally, all persons must be registered at the address in question.
When a tenant leaves
When one of the tenants wants to leave, this person has to give a registered letter of notice to the owner of the property. At that moment, the notice period of at least three months starts. In the event of early termination, the departing tenant must find a new tenant.
The outgoing inventory of fixtures (état des lieux) takes place on the date when the departing tenant leaves the property. Here, a description is made of the entire property, including the common parts.
The costs of the inventory of fixtures and the new tenancy agreement are paid by the new and departing tenant.
When a new tenant moves in
When a new tenant is chosen, he or she must be introduced to the owner of the property. The owner then decides whether the candidate tenant is approved or not.
When this person moves in, a new tenancy agreement has to be established between the owner, the new and the existing tenant(s). The new tenant enters into a contract of at least one year and must prove that he or she is able to pay the monthly charges.
Cohousing, a rising trend
Shared living is becoming increasingly popular. In Brussels, no less than 49 cohousing projects were created between 2010 and 2018, which is the equivalent of almost 1,000 flats.
Especially the elderly show a lot of interest in this type of housing, but young families are also increasingly opting for cohousing. The reason for this increasing interest is twofold: on the one hand, there is a growing demand for houses in Brussels, and on the other hand, there are many people for whom owning a house or flat is not financially possible.
Are you interested in cohousing with friends or acquaintances? Then discover our selection of flats in Brussels and Antwerp.