Expats moving to Luxembourg tend to rent accommodation, at least initially. While this is certainly the best option for short-term expats, renting in Luxembourg is expensive, which is why those who stay long term often buy property instead.
Many expats choose to rent in a neighbouring country such as France, Germany or Belgium, where rentals are often cheaper, and then commute to Luxembourg.
With that all being said, expat salaries in Luxembourg tend to be high, and most expats are able to afford rent.
Types of accommodation in Luxembourg
Locals usually own their homes, while expats tend to rent in Luxembourg. The vast majority of rentals are apartments, as opposed to family homes. That said, townhouses, single-family homes and villas can also be found in Luxembourg, but most of these will be available for purchase only.
The types of homes available is highly dependent on where in the country an expat is based, as houses may be more easily found in small towns and the countryside, while apartments are far more common in city centres.
Furnished vs unfurnished
Most rentals in Luxembourg are unfurnished. If an expat would prefer furnished accommodation, a few specialised companies do offer this. Naturally, furnished properties are more expensive than unfurnished, sometimes up to double the monthly rent. Expats should consider the differences in cost between shipping their belongings from home, buying new furniture and appliances in Luxembourg, or renting furnished accommodation. The latter, depending on the property, might still be the cheapest solution.
If choosing furnished accommodation, expats should ensure that the landlord supplies them with an inventory of the home’s furnishings and what condition everything is in before moving in. Expats should also find out beforehand if the property is pet friendly if wanting to relocate with a cat or dog.
Finding accommodation in Luxembourg
Properties are generally rented through estate agents in Luxembourg. Expats can also search for rentals on online property portals, on agency websites and in local newspapers.
Things to consider when searching for suitable accommodation include cost, proximity to the workplace and children’s schools, and accessibility to public transport networks, among others. Hiring an estate agent who knows the area is therefore highly useful.
Expats may also want to consider hiring a relocation company. These companies offer a full suite of services, which often includes finding accommodation, shipping goods, orientating and helping expats settle in their new home, enrolling kids in schools, and more.
Renting accommodation in Luxembourg
Once an expat has chosen a rental property, there are several steps they will need to follow before they can move into their new home
Prior to signing a lease, a landlord will most likely request proof of identification and work visa, an expat’s employment status, income level and possibly also references from previous landlords.
Expats will generally decide on a fixed term with the landlord for the rental contract. A standard lease in Luxembourg is between two and three years, but expats will be able to negotiate for a shorter lease if they won’t be staying in the country that long.
We highly recommend that expats take a translator along with them to sign and negotiate the lease if they are not fluent in a local language. This will help them avoid any miscommunications regarding the contract.
If an expat needs to end the contract early, a notice period of three months is usually required, unless otherwise stipulated in the lease.
A deposit of around two months’ rent is generally required. It can be up to three months’ rent but will not exceed this. This is usually paid into a separate account for the duration of the lease and will be returned to the tenant provided the property has not sustained any damage. On top of the deposit, tenants will also have to pay annual liability insurance.
Utilities in rental properties are often already set up and included in the rental cost. If this is the case, expats should ensure they know exactly what the costs are and what they are paying for each month. If utilities aren’t included in the rent, expats are usually able to easily sign over the existing utility connections to their name, or sign up with a different supplier altogether.