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Furnished or empty rental: what differences?

Verified 24 August 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

What is a furnished and an empty dwelling?

A dwelling is furnished when it has at least certain elements. The list of these mandatory elements depends on the date of signature.

Lease signed after August 2015

The accommodation shall include at least the following furniture:

  • Bedding with duvet or blanket
  • Shutters or curtains in the rooms
  • Cooking plates
  • Oven or microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer or refrigerator freezer compartment with a maximum temperature of -6°
  • Sufficient crockery for the occupants to take meals
  • Kitchenware
  • Table
  • Seats
  • Storage shelves
  • Light
  • Household maintenance equipment adapted to the characteristics of the accommodation (vacuum cleaner if there is carpet, broom and mop for tiles...)

If the housing does not have at least these elements, then it is an empty housing.

Before September 2015

The act does not specify the criteria for furnishing furnished accommodation. It was the judge who, over time, clarified the characteristics of a furnished dwelling.

To be considered as such, a rented lodging furnished before 1to September 2015 must therefore be equipped with furniture and equipment in sufficient quantity and quality to allow the tenant to live there normally with his personal effects only.

In order to be qualified as furnished, the accommodation must include at least the following:

  • Furniture
  • Bedding
  • Gas cooker or hotplates
  • Refrigerator
  • Kitchen utensils

If the housing does not have at least these elements, then it is an empty housing.

Main differences

The main differences are the duration of the lease, the security deposit, the notice (or leave) and taxation:

Comparison tables of different lease types

"Classic" residential lease

Good mobility

(furnished accommodation)

Empty Housing

Furnished accommodation

Lease duration

3 years minimum

- 1 year minimum

- if the student tenant: (9 months minimum

From 1 minimum to 10 months maximum

Attention: only certain tenants can sign a mobility lease.

Security deposit

Maximum 1 month

Maximum 2 months


Owner's notice period

6 months before the lease due date

3 months minimum before lease due date

No need to give notice to lease term

Tenant notice period

Depending on the location of the accommodation:

- 3 months minimum

- or 1 month minimum

1 month minimum

1 month minimum

Owner Income Tax

Reportable property income

Reportable rental income

Reportable rental income

"Classic" lease: common rules

Many rules are identical in the case of an empty or furnished "classic" residential lease. These rules concern in particular: