Luxtoday
Housing

How to rent an apartment in Luxembourg

Everything you need to know to find and move into an apartment in Luxembourg.

You can search remotely if you are in another country, and locally if you are in Luxembourg.

Remote
On-site

Both scenarios have their advantages and disadvantages. They can be summarized in the form of a table.

Finding an apartment: pros and cons of different options
Viewing timeA tour of the neighborhood, the apartmentExpenses
RemoteAt a time that works for you and the agentIt all depends on the details you checked with your realtorNo additional hotel costs
On-siteDuring the realtor's office hoursIt depends on what you have studiedNeed to find a short-term apartment to stay in while searching
Registering in the community

Within 3 days of moving to Luxembourg, you must come to the administration office and register. If you are staying in a hotel, you do not need to worry about registration — the hotel will take care of everything. If you are renting through AirBnB or Booking, you should write to the owner of the accommodation and ask if they are willing to register foreigners.

It is usually more difficult to search remotely than offline, as owners want to meet their tenants personally. If you are looking for an apartment for a long-term stay, it is worthwhile to search in person for at least 3-8 weeks. You can do this by staying in a hotel or renting temporary accommodation.

To find an apartment, you will need a bank account.

However you decide to look for accommodation, it is worth narrowing down your search by choosing the most suitable and desirable locations. To do this, you need to understand what Luxembourg is like as a country to live in and what you can choose from.

12
cantons
100
communes
2
major regions
12
communes with city status
Кантоны Люксембурга. Источник: Скриншот с сайта guichet.public.lu.
12 городов-коммун в Люксембурге.Источник: Википедия

Let's learn a little about how to choose a future place to live and what to look for. 

Cantons

Luxembourg is divided into 12 cantons: northern cantons — Clervaux, Diekirch, Redange, Vianden, Wiltz; eastern cantons — Echternach, Grevenmacher, Remich; southwestern cantons — Capellen, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, Mersch. A canton is a unit of administrative-territorial division of the country. It can be compared to a region to make it more familiar.

Communes

The 12 cantons are divided into 100 communes. A commune is the local municipality around which the life of each of its inhabitants is organized. The communes provide public education, for example by assigning children to schools, maintaining local roads and other infrastructure, providing social support and access to medicine, and supplying water, gas, and electricity.  Only citizens arriving in Luxembourg or those who have changed their address are registered in the commune. There are 12 communes with city status in the Grand Duchy. These are Luxembourg, Grevenmacher, Vianden and Wiltz, Diekirch, Differdange, Dudelange, Echternach, Esch-sur-Alzette and Ettelbrück.

Major regions

Finally, the cantons are roughly divided between the two major regions of the Grand Duchy: Oesling in the north and Guttland in the south. To make it clearer, we can orient ourselves as follows: Oesling includes the 3 northern cantons of Clervaux, Vianden, and Wiltz. It also partially includes Diekirch and Redange. Guttland includes Echternach, Grevenmacher, Remich, Capellen, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, Mersch.

Rental costs tend to be lower in the northern part (Oesling) than in the southern part (Guttland).

If you decide to settle in the capital of the Grand Duchy, it's worth exploring Luxembourg's neighborhoods.

132,778 residents
is the population of the capital as of January 1, 2022
24 neighborhoods
range in size and population density
Historic center
Vibrant nightlife
Business Center
For families with children
Near the airport
Green Harbor

The cost of your future home will depend on many factors: the number of rooms, the presence of pets, access to transportation, but the choice of municipality plays an important role in the price. The north is cheaper than the south, so it will be cheaper to rent an apartment in one of the communes in the north (Wiltz, Clervaux) than in the south (Niederanven, Luxembourg, Walferdange).

Average cost of renting a 1-bedroom apartment*
CommunePrice (euro)
Luxembourg1836
Sandweiler2170 
Walferdange1599
Hesperange1987
Strassen1991
Niederanven1925
Bertrange1940
Mersch1537
Wiltz1402
Clervaus1248

Costs are based on housing data from the Observatoire de 'Habitat, published quarterly by the Luxembourg government.

However, regardless of the community, if you plan to rent a home, the tenant should be prepared for significant expenses on the first day.

What does the tenant pay for the apartment
Payment for the 1st month
The amount is the cost of rent for 2-3 months
Deposit
The amount is the cost of rent for 2-3 months
Agency fee
The agency fee is 1 month's rent plus 17%
Furniture
Usually apartments are rented empty, without appliances and furniture, there is only a kitchenette
Payment of utilities
Utilities are rarely included in the rent; they are usually paid by the tenant
Insurance coverage
Owners are required to purchase risqué locatifs insurance from any insurance company
Agency fees are not paid by the owner but by the tenant

In Luxembourg, it is common practice that there is always an intermediary when renting an apartment. The agency fee is always paid by the tenant

This is a paradox, but it has been established for years because the long-term rental housing offer (a year or more) is much lower than the actual demand. In fact, I think that a fixed rate or an equal split of agency fees between tenant and landlord would be a fairer policy. Overall, one-sided agency fees and excessive deposits make life very difficult for everyone…
Irina Bettendorf, real estate agent, in an interview with Luxtoday

Irina Bettendorf, real estate agent, in an interview with Luxtoday

Read interview
Example: renting an apartment in Luxembourg for 2000 Euros

You must pay immediately:

  • 2000 euros: payment for the first month
  • 4000 or 6000 euros: deposit equal to the rent for 2 or 3 months
  • 2000 euros + 17% = 2340: The agent will pay the first month's rent plus 17% (2000*17:100=340)

Total amount

€8340
If the deposit is 2 months rent
€10340
If the deposit is 3 months rent

+ Insurance

Owners often ask for rental risk insurance (risqué locatifs) from one of the insurance companies such as LaLux, Baloise, AXA and Allianz.

Cost

The price of the insurance depends on what type of accommodation you rent: a house or an apartment, how much you decide to insure and what you include in the insurance coverage (the cost of furniture, equipment, etc.). You can expect to pay between 15 and 30 euros per month.

Period

The insurance can be paid either immediately for one year or monthly. In any case, the contract is concluded for one year. It can be terminated earlier if specifically agreed.

Important to know

Keep the following important points in mind and read the tips carefully to help you avoid mistakes when calculating your budget and making a deposit.

The deposit cannot be used as a rental payment
The rental price cannot exceed 5% of the amount invested in this property
Bank guarantee as security
Rent-to-salary ratio

You can rent an apartment in Luxembourg for short term (up to 3-6 months) or long term (from six months to one year or more). To open a bank account and obtain a residence permit, you need a long-term lease. Short-term rentals are suitable while you are looking for a permanent home.

Long term rent
Short term rent

Things to consider in your search for a permanent home

In any case, if you are going to live in Luxembourg, you will need to find a place to rent long term. Usually everyone searches on local sites. It is important to take into account some important characteristics of the advertisements published.

Unsplash, Point3D Commercial Imaging Ltd.
Unsplash, Point3D Commercial Imaging Ltd.
Real apartment size
In many ads, the photos are taken with a wide angle lens, so the apartment has a very large appearance. In reality, it may be quite small, so it is important to check the actual square footage of the ad.
Address
If the address is not given in full (only the block) or not at all, the area can only be roughly determined or it is generally impossible to understand where the apartment is and what its surroundings are. Also, on some local websites, apartments without a specific address are shown exactly in the center of Luxembourg, which is usually not true.
Date of rental
Some apartments can be rented with a waiting period of 2 weeks or 2-3 months or more. If you need to provide a bank guarantee as collateral, the waiting period may be the best option for you. This is discussed in more detail in the previous step of this guide in the Bank Guarantee section.
Moving with pets
Typically, there are fewer pet-friendly apartments available for rent than there are pet-friendly options. It is important to pay attention to what the phrase "no pets" means. Often it means no animals at all are allowed: not just cats and dogs, but also rodents or fish.
Limit the number of residents
Some listings specify how many people can move in. If it says one or two people can live on the property, it will not be suitable for a family with children.
Energy efficiency class of the house
Every house in Luxembourg has an energy performance certificate, better known as a home energy pass. It indicates the energy class of the dwelling, i.e. the thermal insulation indicator of your home. The owner of the dwelling must give this certificate to the tenant. The document is valid for 10 years and is transferred from owner to owner. The passport indicates CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, and thermal insulation on a scale from A to I, where A is the rating of houses with the best indicators, B is the rating of low-energy houses, C is the rating of conventional energy-efficient houses, I is the worst energy efficiency indicators.The higher the class, the less you need to turn on the heat in winter and the lower your energy bills will be.
Conditions that apply only to you
The availability of a parking space, if you have a car; an elevator, if this is important to you, for example, if you have a child in a stroller and the apartment is on the 5th floor; 2 bedrooms or 2 bathrooms, or you need an apartment with a balcony, etc.
Show all

Almost all local rental sites allow you to save your search criteria and set up notifications when apartments that match your criteria become available.

It is worth calling rather than writing because in this case, the chances of being able to visit the property you are interested in are much higher. This happens because the demand for apartments is higher than the supply. The agent is simultaneously being texted and called from unknown numbers by many people who want to make an appointment to view the property.

The agent does not know the person who is looking for an apartment, so you should call with a prepared story about yourself, including answers to key questions:

  • What is your financial situation, do you have a work contract, where do you work, what is your monthly income
  • How many people are in the family, are there children and pets, how many pets are there, what are they like
  • What is the psychological situation of the person: how long has he been looking for an apartment or has he just started, has he had a negative experience or not, etc.

Many people are not ready to discuss these things, so they prefer to write an email or meet with an agent in person. But it's faster and more effective to discuss this on the phone.

One of the most important stages is the viewing. This is an opportunity for the prospective tenant to get to know all the nuances of their future home.

What to check
Network
There may be no phone service in the apartment
Internet
Already connected or can be connected
Garbage bins
Find out where to throw garbage
Plumbing
Check the functionality of the faucets, toilet tank, etc.
Double-glazed windows
Do they provide quiet, warmth, and ventilation
Electrical sockets
Check that they are in good working order and conveniently located
Energy class
The higher the energy class, the lower the utility bills
Smell
There should be no foreign, unpleasant odors
View from the window
Make sure you're happy with what you see
Radiators
Check their general condition and functionality
Neighbors
If they make noise, you may feel uncomfortable
Cold drafts
There should be none, nor any strange smells

Be sure to ask the owner

  • Who owns the property, is it possible to verify ownership?
  • What utilities are paid: water, heating, electricity, sewerage, chimney cleaning, garbage collection or anything else. Ask the owner for a list of them and their costs (les charges).
  • Is it possible to provide security in the form of a simple bank guarantee?
  • How will further communication take place if the apartment is rented to you: does the owner plan to come and check the general condition; how often; does he plan to receive payment: in person or by transfer to a card?

In Luxembourg, and especially in the capital, it is the landlord who chooses the tenant, since demand is high and supply is limited. Usually, the apartment is shown to several applicants and their documents are sent to the landlord for the final decision. Often it is sufficient to send a copy of your passport or residence permit and a work contract, but not always.

Required documents
Check that you have the required package of documents
The agent will give you the exact list of documents required by the landlord.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
Work Contract
The apartment owner needs to know who the tenant is: who he works for and what company he works for. The amount of remuneration specified in the contract allows the owner to conclude the tenant's solvency.
Passport or Residence Permit
Any legal document that gives the right of residence.
Last three pay cheques
The landlord needs to know if the tenant has a stable income. In some cases, this document is of great importance to the owner and is often requested as a guarantee of solvency.
Family constitution certificate
If you have children, it would be very helpful to show this document. Or at least a written mention that there are children and how old they are.
Family SV
It is optimal to write a summary about your family. This is a short document that describes what a great person you are and explains why you should be the one to rent out your apartment. The letter should make it clear that you are a reliable tenant and a pleasure to do business with. If you have pets, include a description of them. Such a personal letter is very helpful when looking for an apartment.
Check that you have the required package of documents
The agent will give you the exact list of documents required by the landlord.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.

The agent acts on behalf of the owner, knows the owner's needs, and the agent's job is to find the right tenant for the owner. Not vice versa.

Feedback from Luxtodays readers
Feedback from Luxtodays readers

Write a resume for your family, it helps a lot. If you want your daughters to sleep in the same bedroom, then justify in the same letter why — like the children are so close friends that they want to live in the same room (formally you need a 3 bedroom apartment for a family of 4 according to the unwritten rules of renting in Luxembourg, but I don't know your criteria, maybe you are looking for 2 bedrooms for 4 people, hence the rejections).

We once liked an apartment so much that we even offered to pay six months in advance in addition to the deposit; the agent liked us, who "sold" us to the owner in every possible way, but still, the owner said "no, I want a family with a higher monthly income" and turned us down 🙈.

If the apartment owner approves your candidacy as a tenant, they will send you a copy of the lease for your preliminary review. This is not a final document, but a preliminary one: so that the tenant can study everything carefully and ask questions.

The agreement must be in writing in duplicate, as oral agreements are not evidenced.

What to check in the contract
Apartment rental period
Amount of payment
Frequency of payments
Deposit amount and method of security
Termination conditions
Additional rental costs and what is included in them
Inventory of the property with photos of defects: it will be made when entering the apartment
Changes that the tenant has the right to make during his stay in the apartment and what he is not allowed to do
Any other points discussed by the owner
Agreement
Rent
Housing
What you need to know about the rental agreement in Luxembourg
Read article

The agreement must be in writing and in duplicate, as outdated agreements will not be honored.

Rent Cost
Security Deposit
Lifehack

The most reliable way to get the deposit back is to deposit it as a simple bank guarantee (not "on-demand"). To do this, however, you need to open a bank account and to open an account, you need a lease. Is it a vicious circle?

Not quite: it is important to understand that the deposit is required and paid precisely at the moment of moving into the apartment, and not at the moment of signing the contract.

Therefore, you can rent an apartment that is not available now, but after some time, for example in 2-4 weeks, and sign a lease. With this contract, go to the bank, open an account, and ask for a simple bank guarantee.

Before the tenant takes possession of the premises, a written report on the condition of the property is prepared.

The act covers all the important points in detail.
Defects
Damage, chips, scratches, etc.
Meter data
To be paid upon arrival
Photo record
It's better to take photos and attach them to the description

The document is signed by both parties on each page. Dated at the time of composition.

Once the tenant has signed the apartment acceptance certificate, he is financially responsible for any damage to the apartment he has rented. The deposit is a guarantee that the apartment will be left in the same condition as when you arrived.

In other words, if you rent an empty apartment with white walls and no lamps or furniture, it must be returned to the owner in this condition. And remember that when you leave, you will almost always be asked to repaint the walls.

Please be informed that if you are renting an apartment or house, utilities may be included in the rent. If so, they must be included in the contract. If utilities are not included in the monthly rent, and there was a previous tenant, transfer the utility bills to your name after them.

To pay utility bills, all you need is a local bank account. In mobile banking, you can set your preferred payment method — automatic collection (domiciliation) or self-payment by bank transfer (virement).

faq

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it easy to rent a house in Luxembourg

How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Luxembourg

How to find an apartment in Luxembourg

What are the rules for renting an apartment

We took photos from these sources: Spacejoy for Unsplash

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