Responsible hosting in Belgium
We’ve put together this article to help Hosts on Airbnb become familiar with hosting responsibilities, and to provide a general overview of different laws, regulations, and best practices that may affect Hosts. You’re required to follow our guidelines, like our Hosting Standards, and to make sure that you follow the laws and other rules that apply to your specific circumstances and locale.
We recommend that you do your own research, as this article isn’t comprehensive and doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. Also, as we don’t update this article in real time, please check each source and make sure that the information provided hasn’t recently changed.
Health and cleanliness
In the context of the COVID-19 health crisis, the implementation of appropriate health and safety measures will be at the heart of the recovery of the tourism sector. Global information about Airbnb’s enhanced cleaning protocol can be found in general info about hosting places to stay.
Key recommendations on cleaning
- You can find more information from the Belgian Minister of Health
- For cleaning and disinfection guidelines, recommendations from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- Additional information from the Brussels authorities for touristic accommodations
Local partnership with Ekoklean
To help hosts in Belgium, Airbnb has closed a partnership with the sustainable cleaning expert, Ekoklean. This collaboration with Ekoklean will contribute to the operational implementation in Belgium of the global hygiene and cleanliness protocol developed by Airbnb in partnership with leading experts in hospitality and medical hygiene.
As of July, Airbnb and Ekoklean offer a series of features and services developed to help Hosts offer professional cleaning and disinfection services:
- The "Ekoklean on demand" program: a new cleaning and disinfection service performed by teams of professional cleaners
- Cleaning and disinfection kits containing environmentally friendly personal protective equipment and medically approved disinfectants.
Tax is a complex topic. Your own tax obligations can vary based on your particular circumstances, so we recommend that you research your obligations or consult a tax professional to get more specific information.
In general, the money you earn as a Host on Airbnb is considered taxable income, which may be subject to different taxes like rental tax, income tax, or VAT.
The deadline for the filing of tax forms for Belgium varies each tax year. Check with Federal Public Service of Finance to find out the exact date, and whether you need to declare the amount you earn from hosting, which you can find in your host earnings summary. We’ll also send you an annual earnings statement to help you understand and comply with your tax obligations. It’s also a good idea to find out if you’re eligible for other credits like tax reliefs and allowances.
As a Host providing short-term accommodation in Belgium, you may be liable to taxes and social security contributions in Belgium. In that context, it is important that you adhere to the relevant Belgian tax and social security provisions, report the relevant income to the authorities and timely pay the taxes and social security contributions due.
Please see below an overview of the Belgian tax and social security requirements that may apply to you in this context, with a reference to the relevant websites of the authorities where you can find more information. The below is provided for information purposes only and is not, nor should be construed to be, legal or tax advice. You should consult with your tax or legal advisor in case you have any doubt as to how these requirements will apply to you.
Belgian income tax
Belgian tax residents and non-residents who provide short-term accommodation (or other services) in Belgium are as a rule subject to income tax in Belgium.
Belgian resident taxpayers (i.e., any individual with their residence or centre of economic interests in Belgium) are subject to Belgian personal income tax with respect to their worldwide income. Non-residents are subject to Belgian non-resident income tax with respect to their Belgian-sourced income (e.g., income from renting out an immovable property located in Belgium).
In that context, the income related to the provision of short-term accommodation in Belgium (furnished or non-furnished) or more generally to any service provided in Belgium, is as a rule subject to tax in Belgium (both for resident and non-resident taxpayers) and must be reported in your annual income tax return (for details on your revenues earned in respect of Hosting on Airbnb, please refer to your Transaction Summary).
The income tax is levied based on progressive rates ranging from 25% to 50% (applicable rates for income year 2021, to be increased by communal surcharges ranging from 0% to 9% of the taxes due - fixed at 7% for non-residents).
The tax/income year runs from 1 January to 31 December. All relevant income received in such period needs to be included in the tax return covering that particular income year.
The tax return can be filed on paper or electronically through Tax-on-web via the platform myMINFIN. The filing deadline of the tax return depends on whether you are a resident or non-resident taxpayer:
- For resident taxpayers: the filing deadline is generally towards the end of June of the year following the tax year (note that the Belgian tax authorities confirm the exact filing deadline each year on their website), unless you file your return electronically (in which case the deadline is generally in July of the year following the tax year) or have an accountant or tax service provider who takes care of the filing of the return for you (in which case the deadline is generally October of the following year).
- For non-resident taxpayers: the filing deadline is typically towards the end of the year following the income year (i.e. November-December, that the Belgian tax authorities confirm the exact filing deadline each year on their website).
Note that the above-mentioned deadlines may be subject to change, please consult the tax authorities' website for more information on the exact dates for a given income year:
Following the filing of a tax return, you will receive a notice of assessment from the Belgian tax authorities. Once you receive such assessment, you typically have two months to pay the taxes due (if any). Late payment interest will normally apply if such taxes are not paid in time.
Non-compliance may lead to a tax increase ranging from 10% to 200% of the tax due and/or to an administrative fine ranging from EUR 50 (for the first infringement) to EUR 1,250 (to be applied per infringement).
For further information, please consult the following official websites of the Belgian tax authorities, our Responsible Hosting page and/or your tax advisor.
- Déclaration impôt non-résident indépendant | SPF Finances
- Taux et revenus imposables | SPF Finances
- Revenus imposables | Belgium.be
- Déclaration à l'impôt des personnes physiques (IPP) | Belgium.be
- Aangifte belasting niet-inwoners zelfstandige | FOD Financiën
- Tarieven en belastbaar inkomen | FOD Financiën
- Belastbare inkomsten | Belgium.be
- Aangifte van personenbelasting (PB)
Belgian social security
Belgian employers, employees and self-employed individuals are subject to social security contributions in Belgium.
The Belgian social security implications of short term lettings can be summarized as follows:
a) The short term letting does not constitute a professional activity
In such a scenario, there are normally no social security implications.
b) The short term letting constitutes a professional activity
The activity will as a rule be considered a self-employed activity, either in a principal capacity (absent any other professional activity or if you are already professionally active in a self-employed capacity) or in an ancillary capacity (if your primary professional activity is that of an employee).
In both hypotheses (principal or ancillary capacity) you are under the obligation :
- To register with a social security fund for the self-employed prior to the start of the self-employed activity or, alternatively (if you are already professionally active in a self-employed capacity), to notify your social security fund of the additional self-employed activity that you are about to start.
Non-compliance may lead to an administrative penalty varying between EUR 500 and EUR 2,000.
- To pay on a quarterly basis the social security contributions for the self-employed, by reference to the invoice that will be sent by your social security fund .
Non-compliance leads to an increase (3% per late quarter, to be further increased with 7% for any outstanding amount on January 1 of the year following the income year concerned) of the quarterly contributions due, as well as to late payment interest.
- To register with a sickness fund of your choice and to pay a small fee on a quarterly basis.
Non-compliance is of a nature to jeopardize your entitlement to legally provided sickness allowances.
If you hire personnel for purposes of your professional hosting activity, you must register as an employer with the social security administration for employees. This is usually done via a payroll agent.
Upon each payment of salary to your employees, you need to withhold 13.07% employee social security contributions. The employee social security contributions, together with the employer social security contributions (in the order of 27%) must be reported and paid on a quarterly basis i.e. (Administratieve instructies / 2021-4 (socialsecurity.be). Non-compliance with these provisions entails a claim for social security contributions in arrears, in which case you - as an employer - are held liable for the employer and employee contributions in arrears (without being able to charge back the employee portion to the employees concerned), increased with a 10% penalty and late payment interest at the rate of 7% per year.
For further information, please consult the following official websites of the Belgian social security authorities, and/or a legal advisor.
- Instructions administratives / 2022-1 > Les personnes > Règles générales
- Obligations légales pour les indépendants | INASTI
- Administratieve instructies / 2022-1 > De personen > Algemene regels
- Wettelijke verplichtingen van zelfstandigen | RSVZ
Automatic reporting of Hosts' income to the Belgian Tax Authorities
From January 2022, online platforms operating in Belgium, including Airbnb, are required by law to report specific data to the Belgian tax authorities on a yearly basis where the Host is an individual and not a company. This data relates to:
- Hosts' identity (including their name, Belgian national registration number, if available, date of birth, and address),
- Activity on the platform during the previous calendar year (including their gross income, amount and nature of any fees deducted and description of services provided by the Host); and
- The date that they commenced activity on the platform (or terminated activity on the platform, if applicable).
This applies to both Homes Hosts and Experience Hosts.
Free tax guide
We want to make it easy for you to understand your tax responsibilities as a host on Airbnb, so we’ve partnered with an independent third-party accounting firm to provide a free tax guide (available in: [Dutch]|[French]|[German]|[English]) that covers general tax information in Belgium.
Value-added tax (VAT)
Each municipality of Belgium is authorized to introduce a tourist tax for travelers that stay in their territory. Contact your municipality's services for more information. If your accommodation is located in Brussels, visit the Brussels Tax website for more information.
City and regional regulations
Each different city or region in Belgium may be subject to unique rules that impact Hosts based on local laws. This section contains details on some known rules that apply to different regions, but we recommend researching local rules on your own.
Brussels capital region
The Brussels Capital Region adopted regulations on tourist accommodation in 2014 and 2016. Tourist accommodation in the Brussels Capital Region must comply with a series of requirements and procedures, including a prior registration. Check with the Brussels economic division, email them directly, or call +32 (0) 2 204 25 00.
The Flemish region adopted regulations for tourist accommodation in 2016 (LogiesDecree). This includes online notification of hosts. This regulation has been in effect since April 1, 2017. Check the Flemish tourism site, email the tourism department, or call +32 (0) 2 504 04 00.
In July 2021, Airbnb and the Flemish Tourism Authority Visit Flanders signed a Memorandum of Understanding on data sharing, in order to support quality short term rentals. At the request of Visit Flanders and up to 6 times per year, Airbnb agrees to share data about the activity of Hosts in Flemish neighbourhoods in the context of a major event (ex: a festival). This includes the name and address of the accommodation, its capacity, and details of the Host (name and email address). On that basis, Visit Flanders will be able to check whether the accommodation has been duly notified, is fire-safe and meets all the minimum quality standards required by the LogiesDecree.
The General Tourism Committee of Walloon Region simplified home sharing rules under the tourism code, effective 1 January, 2017.
The new regulations includes simple online declaration with the Office of the General Tourism Committee. Hosts may rent their accommodation without a time limit, provided that they have, in particular, liability insurance and a fire safety certificate (or a simplified inspection certificate).
Regulations and permissions
It’s important to make sure you’re allowed to host on your property. Some examples of restrictions include contracts, laws, and community rules. Check with a lawyer or local authority to learn more about regulations, restrictions, and obligations specific to your circumstances.
You can use the general info in this article as a starting point around hosting regulations and permissions.
Contractual agreements and permits
Sometimes leases, contracts, building regulations, and community rules have restrictions against subletting or hosting. Review any contracts you’ve signed or contact your landlord, community council, or other authority.
You might be able to add an addendum to your lease or contract that can provide clarity about concerns, responsibilities, and liabilities for all parties.
If your property has a mortgage (or any form of loan), check with the lender to make sure that there aren’t restrictions against subletting or hosting.
Subsidized housing restrictions
Subsidized housing usually has rules that prohibit subletting without permission. Check with your housing authority or housing association if you live in a subsidized housing community and are interested in becoming a Host.
If you share your home with others, consider making a formal agreement with your housemates in order to outline expectations. Housemate agreements can include how often you plan to host, guest etiquette, whether you'll share revenue, and more.
EU consumer protection law
According to EU consumer protection law, when you commercially offer goods or services online, you’re required to provide your customers with specific information. When you host through Airbnb, it’s considered a service. We have information and tools to help you decide whether you should identify as a hospitality expert and understand your responsibility to protect consumers in the EU.
We’ll take appropriate action if anyone notifies us of potential misuse. We have guidelines to help local authorities report housing misuse.
We care about the safety of Hosts and their guests. You can improve your guests’ peace of mind by providing a few simple preparations like emergency instructions and noting any potential hazards.
Emergency contact information
Include a contact list with the following phone numbers:
- Local emergency numbers
- The number for the nearest hospital
- Your contact number
- A number for a backup contact (in case guests can’t reach you)
It’s also a good idea to make sure guests know the best way to contact you in case of an emergency. You can also communicate with guests using messages on Airbnb as a safe alternative.
Keep a first aid kit and tell your guests where it is. Check it regularly so you can restock supplies if they run out.
If you have gas appliances, follow any applicable gas safety regulations and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Provide a fire extinguisher and remember to maintain it regularly.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route. Post a map of the route so it’s easy for guests to see.
Here are some ways you can help prevent potential hazards:
- Inspect your home to identify any areas where guests might trip or fall
- Remove the hazards you identify or mark them clearly
- Fix any exposed wires
- Make sure your stairs are safe and have railings
- Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests
Some guests travel with young family members and need to understand if your home is right for them. You can use the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account to indicate potential hazards or indicate that your home isn’t suitable for children and infants.
Working appliances, like furnaces and air conditioners, can greatly affect your guests’ comfort during their stay. There are lots of ways you can make sure your guests stay comfortable:
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated
- Provide instructions on how to safely use the heater and air conditioning
- Check that the thermostat is working correctly and make sure that guests know where to find it
- Service the appliances regularly
Establish safe occupancy limits. Your local government may have guidelines.
Part of being a responsible Host is helping your guests understand best practices for interacting with your community. When you communicate local rules and customs with your guests, you’re helping to create a great experience for everyone.
If your building has common spaces or shared amenities, let guests know the rules for those places.
You can include your house rules on the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account. Guests usually appreciate it when you share your expectations with them up front.
It’s usually a good idea to let your neighbors know if you’re planning to host. This gives them the chance to let you know if they have any concerns or considerations.
Guests book through Airbnb for lots of reasons, including vacations and celebrations. Let your guests know how noise impacts neighbors early on for a smoother experience.
If you’re concerned about disturbances to your community, there are different ways you can help limit excessive noise:
- Implement a quiet hours policy
- Don’t allow pets
- Indicate that your listing isn’t suitable for children or infants
- Prohibit parties and additional unregistered guests
Communicate any parking rules for your building and neighborhood to your guests. Examples of possible parking rules:
- Only park in an assigned space
- Don’t park on the west side of the street on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to street cleaning
- Street parking is only available from 7pm–7am
First, check your lease or building rules to make sure there isn’t a restriction on pets. If you allow guests to bring pets, they’ll appreciate knowing good places to exercise their pet or where they should dispose of waste. Share a backup plan, like the number of a nearby pet kennel, in case a guest's pet upsets the neighbors.
Always respect your guests' privacy. Our rules on surveillance devices clearly state what we expect from our Hosts, but some locations have additional laws and regulations that you’ll need to be aware of.
If you don't allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind guests. If you do allow smoking, be sure to provide ashtrays in designated areas.
Work with your insurance agent or carrier to determine what kind of obligations, limits, and coverage are required for your specific circumstances.
Host damage protection and Host liability insurance
AirCover for Hosts includes Host damage protection and Host liability insurance, which provide you with basic coverage for listed damages and liabilities. However, these don’t take the place of homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance, or adequate liability coverage. You might need to meet other insurance requirements as well.
We strongly encourage all Hosts to review and understand the terms of their insurance policy coverage. Not all insurance plans will cover damage or loss of property caused by a guest who books your accommodation.
Learn more about AirCover for Hosts.
Liability and basic coverage
Review your homeowner's or renter's policy with your insurance agent or carrier to make sure your listing has adequate liability coverage and property protection.
Other hosting information
Check out our hosting FAQs to learn more about hosting on Airbnb.
Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of Hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of Hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website. Airbnb isn’t responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).