My Building Is Not Urbanistic: What Now?


Was your home remodeled without being declared? Or was the building split into different apartments without a permit? Do not panic! Building crimes can always be regularized. Below you can read how.

In large cities, “investment properties” are very popular thanks to their interesting returns. In reality, however, these are often single-family homes that were split into several apartments without a building permit. And that is a serious construction violation (also read our blog The 8 most common building crimes ).

No need, however, there are solutions to remove a building from the gray zone. That way you are not alone, it also gives you peace of mind.

My Building Is Not Urbanistic What Now


Are you interested in a property? Then first ask the town planning department of the municipality what its official urban design and historical status is. Based on this information, you can then either point your arrows at another property or negotiate a lower price.

If the sale continues, the seller is in any case obliged to provide you with the urban information. Your civil-law notary must explicitly inform you of this (a discrepancy between the existing situation and the official condition must even be included in the sales certificate).


Are you already owner? Then you can always submit a regularization request. The outcome is not fixed in advance, but the urban development department can, in the case of an unrecognized division, decide to allow the existing division, provided that you can submit a number of items of evidence. The following documents can be requested:

  • The detailed plans of the property
  • A proof that there are separate counters for gas, water, and electricity. In Brussels, every breakdown that dates from before 1991, the year in which the Brussels-Capital Region was founded, favored a regularization
  • The list of tenants who have lived in the various housing units over the years (to be requested from the municipality’s population service)
  • The fire safety certificate.

The urban development department can also propose a new division of the building (for example by merging various housing units) or categorically refuse the breakdown (when there is clearly “house dairy”) and require you to restore the building to its original state.

While certain simple files can be dealt with quickly (in the case of a simple change of destination, for example, where no permit is required), this is much less evident for other applications. Especially when your application needs to be dealt with by a service that is lagging behind. In Brussels, your business can, for that reason, last for months and sometimes even years.

You are counting on the timing below:

  • between 3 and 8 weeks before the preparation of the file
  • 120 calendar days until the spatial planning and urban planning department provides an answer
  • the time needed to set you up, including any renovations

As a general rule: let yourself be helped! Numerous specialized offices (with specialized lawyers, architects, and lawyers) can help you to make your property in order to achieve urban development without any significant difficulties … and increase it in value!

Yet this: if renovations have changed the official cadastral situation of your home for an amount of 50 euros or 15% of your cadastral income, you are obliged to request a recalculation of your cadastral income. If you do not, you can be fined or prosecuted.

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