Where can I find rooms?

Our advice

If staying in the University Halls of Residence is not your ‘cup of tea’, if you are not eligible or if they are fully booked, you can look for a suitable living unit on the private rented market.

The search for a comfortable and safe living unit on the private rented market is quite challenging and will take time and effort. But we are happy to provide you with tips and tricks to make your search as comfortable as possible.

Where can I find rooms?


A good way to start is to check out the offers via KotatGent. This website provides a list of living units, also short term housing. The living units are inspected and approved by the Ghent department 'Toezicht' and the Fire Department.

The Housing Office too can provide you with a list and information on short term rentals. Feel free to ask the Housing Office for a list of available housing units via Nathalie Geeraerts.

Did you know that cities such as Bruges, Kortrijk, Ostend, and Roeselare could also be an option? They have a direct train connection to Ghent which makes commuting easy. Apart from that, life in these cities is vibrant: you will find that there are a lot of supermarkets, shops, pubs, restaurants, fitness clubs, museums, etc. Students digs can be fond on www.kotwest.be/en or diggitstudentlife.eu.

You can also find living units for students on websites such as:

Or via Facebook:

Some of these websites are in Dutch. Use Google Translate or this explanatory dictionary

Rental prices will vary depending on the size, facilities, location etc. The approximate rent per month (incl. consumption of water, electricity, heating, internet etc.) for a room in Ghent is € 405 and € 544 for a studio (with a private kitchenette & bathroom).

A few tips

We recommend visiting the living unit in real life to avoid any problems, but we understand that from an international student’s point of view, that is likely to be impossible.
If you have the opportunity to come to Ghent to look for suitable housing, you will find that there are several temporary housing options for the first few days. You can stay in a hotel, a youth hostel, a B&B, a holiday home or on a camping site while you are looking for a suitable living unit. Find a hotel, a hostel or bed and breakfast on Visit Gent.

Regardless of the way you have to look for accommodation, we wish to assist you in your search by giving you the following tips and tricks:

Be vigilant and cautious

    We certainly don’t want to scare you off but we want to advise you to be careful. Beware of fraudulent advertisements. Fake landlords are renting out (non-)existent accommodation. If things don’t seem quite right, trust your instinct.

    • Double-check the provided address. Check out Google Maps to make sure the address really exists. Make sure the pictures match when you use Google Streetview. If you’re not in Belgium yet, you could ask someone at your faculty – e.g. a colleague, friend or classmate – to view the room for you.
    • Always ask for the landlord’s personal information (name, surname, phone number and a photocopy of his/her ID). Be aware that a copy of an identity card or passport sent via email is easily faked.
    • Ask for an ‘interview’ via skype or whatsapp and a 360° view of the living unit. Watch out for the so-called landlord who uses all kinds of excuses not to make a video call.
    • You will find that the rent for a ‘fake’ living unit is much lower in comparison with other similar rooms or apartments. Keep in mind that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is…
    • Never transfer money via Western Union or to a non-Belgian bank account.
      Never pay a deposit before you sign the rental agreement and before you are 100% sure that the accommodation exists and is for rent.
    • Reread the rental agreement and look for mistakes in the English language.

    If you notice any suspicious ads or if you become a victim of a swindle, immediately file a formal declaration with the local police.

    Rental agreement

    • Read it carefully. Keep in mind that whatever you sign is binding.
    • Pay attention to the conditions for termination
    • Know what is (and what is not) included in the rent
    • See to it that verbal promises are noted in the agreement
    • Make a record of the digits on the energy meters (use of water, electricity, heating) at the start/end of your stay
    • Ask the landlord to use the model rental agreement of Kotatgent

    Deposit

    • Maximum 2 months’ rental  
    • Make sure you get a receipt from the landlord if you pay cash

    Inventory (= physical condition of the room)

    • Must be drawn up in detail, preferably in the presence of the landlord. Be accurate and precise.

    Safety

    • Ask your landlord for the certification report (conformiteitsattest) from the City of Ghent and the Fire Department
    • Check if there are fire extinguishers, smoke detector systems and emergency escape routes
    • Watch out for dangling or dangerous electrical wiring
    • Look out for damp/mould problems

    Registration

    Ask your owner to register the rental agreement. This gives you the assurance that you can stay in your living unit until the final date stated in the agreement, in case the property is sold. Registration is free of charge.

    Domicile

    The ‘hoofdverblijfplaats’ (or ‘vaste verblijfplaats’) is the actual, official address where one lives (during and after their studies). For International students, it is the official address in their home country.

    The ‘domicilie adres’ is the actual place where one can be contacted, the legal address for official correspondence. This is why many people are confused: this is not in every situation the same. For international students (for the duration of the learning agreement: enrolment at Ghent University), this is different. Their official address during the study (in case the duration of the stay in Belgium is longer than three months) is the address of their room/studio/flat/cohousing/…; the place where one actually sleeps. This address will be subject to registration in the ‘vreemdelingenregister’ (Foreign Register).

    Fire insurance

    A fire insurance covers the living unit you rent against all kinds of risks. A standard fire insurance policy covers your liability to the landlord as a tenant. Inquire about the landlord’s fire insurance. Check your travel insurance to see what is insured and what is not.

    Still need help?


    Finding housing in Ghent can be strenuous. In order to help students who are currently on the search for digs, the Housing Office will host a series of webinars (30’) on how to find accommodation.

    What can you expect? A presentation with general tips and tricks followed by the opportunity to ask questions. What you don't have to expect is a list of landlords or rental agencies to contact, as they are already mentioned above.

    Follow this link and meet us online on:

    Tuesday, June 21 at 15.30 pm
    Wednesday, June 22 at 9 am
    (Wednesday, June 29 at 15.30 pm - This webinar will exceptionally not take place, please join the webinar on Thursday.)
    Thursday, June 30 at 9 am

    Who can I turn to if a problem occurs?

    If a problem occurs, you can find some contact points on this web page.

    Flemish Housing rental decree 

    Here you can find the rules for student tenancy agreements.


    Best of luck in finding a great place to live in Ghent or in one of our neighbouring cities!