Are you a homeowner in Brussels? Congratulations! Living in our constantly buzzing capital is a unique and seductive experience. But its cultural richness is not its only advantage. Many grants and subsidies are available to Brussels property owners. And here's a short overview.
From 1 January 2017, Brussels has adapted its legal provisions regarding tax benefits linked to mortgage loans and has also implemented significant changes to inheritance mechanisms.
From 1 January 2017, the Brussels-Capital Region has done away with the house bonus and replaced it with reduced registration fees. From now on, the benefit consists of a reduction of registration fees on the first portion of €175,000 of your asset, which is a saving of €21,875 (compared with a maximum of €9,375 previously). This reduction is limited to acquisitions below €500,000. The purchase must be on the basis of full ownership of a main residence and the beneficiaries are committed to keeping it as their main residence for at least five consecutive years.
Furthermore, all households who pay property tax for their own home in Brussels will receive an annual bonus of €120 (in compensation for the increase in property tax, which came into force in 2016).
Good news for stepfamilies: the conditions for access to inheritance tax rates have been relaxed. From now on, children of the spouse or legal cohabitant are treated in the same way as direct descendants. There is therefore no longer a difference between children and stepchildren; they will all be subject to the same rate! (Note: this provision does not make your stepchildren legal heirs. You still need to write a will for this to take effect).
For further information about tax benefits linked to housing in Brussels, visit the notarial profession website (information not available in English).
Home renovation allowance
This allowance is granted by the Brussels-Capital Region to encourage renovation of your home in Brussels. It can also be granted for houses that you rent out, on condition that this is done through a social housing agency (AIS). The grant covers work linked to the building, structure and interior fittings in order to remedy issues with age, health, security, comfort or space. The amount of allowance is based on a percentage of the amount of work accepted. This varies from 30 to 70% depending on the income of the owner-occupier and the area in which the house is situated, with a maximum of €35,000.
What type of work is covered?
The grant covers work linked to the building, structure and interior fittings in order to remedy issues with age, health, security, comfort or space.
- Your are the owner-occupier (or you rent out your house via an AIS)
- You have not yet started the work
- You are a private individual (and not a company): full owner, co-owner, bare owner or usufructuary of the home
- The home is situated in the Brussels-Capital Region and was built over 30 years ago
- You are committed to occupying the home for at least five years after completion of the work and it will be carried out in compliance with the requirements of the Housing Code.
You will find a list of eligible work and detailed information about the home renovation allowance on logement.brussels website (only in French or Dutch).
Facade enhancement allowance
Would you like to freshen up the outside of your home? This allowance, granted by the Brussels-Capital Region, will help you breathe new life into the front of your house, but also to protect it against damp and graffiti and restore certain elements. The amount of the allowance depends on the area in which the house is situated and household income, while the percentage assistance varies from 30 to 85% on a case-by-case basis.
- You are the owner of the property, even if you do not live there (or tenant under certain conditions or retailer with a lease that is valid for at least six years and a main residence in Brussels)
- You have not yet started the work and this will be carried out by an authorised contractor
- The property is situated in the Brussels-Capital Region and was built over 25 years ago
- It is an adjoining building, near to the roadside of which at least two thirds of the levels are occupied by housing accommodation
You will find detailed information about the facade enhancement allowance on logement.brussels website (only in French or Dutch).
A whole series of energy grants have been put in place by the Brussels-Capital Region Government in order to improve the energy performance of Brussels homes. These grants mainly cover inspection (grant A), insulation (grant B) and heating (grant C).
Brussels residents spend an average of €1,400 a year on energy bills, of which 60% is for heating. Investing in good insulation and means of producing heat efficiently will enable you to not only make significant savings, but will also add value to your home.
What type of work is covered?
The grants focus on three priorities:
- A full energy inspection of your home carried out by a specialist, in order to identify any weaknesses in the building and to list work to be done to rectify them.
- Insulation of all elements of the home that can lead to heat loss (roof, walls, flooring, doors and windows) and optimisation of interior ventilation.
- Energy-efficient heating, using a modern boiler connected to a thermostat but also the use of natural resources by means of a heat pump or solar panels.
- Any private individual or legal entity (homeowner, manager or tenant) with property in the Brussels-Capital Region can apply for an energy grant.
Important: Before commencing work, it is important to make sure that you are entitled to a grant and that your application for a subsidy has been accepted. Further information
For further information, go to the Region's website dedicated to energy grants (French or Dutch info).
You can also download a summary table of the energy allowances granted by the Region as well as the brochure produced by bruxelles.environnement that explains the terms and conditions here.
Summary table of the energy allowances
Brochure energy allowances 2017
In addition to allowances granted by the Brussels-Capital Region (regional renovation allowance, regional facade enhancement allowance, regional energy grant, etc.), certain Brussels communes also grant community allowances to their residents.
These community allowances vary depending on the commune:
- Additional allowance to the regional renovation allowance
- Additional allowance to the regional facade enhancement allowance
- Additional allowance to the regional energy grant
- Allowance for water-heating
- Allowance for solar panels
- Allowance for tank
- Allowance for green roofing
- Allowance for compost bin
- Allowances for installation of additional sanitary facilities
You can find further information about the community allowances at the following website.
You can also contact your commune authority directly to find out more.