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Student accommodation: main or secondary residence?


What's the best type of lease for a student ? Should you consider your accommodation as your principal or secondary residence ? Should you opt for an empty or furnished flat ? How does your choice affect your taxes ?


Having a primary versus a secondary residence as a student

It may seem trivial, but it's important to think about the type of lease a student should sign. Should your student accommodation be your primary or secondary residence? To answer this question, let's start by defining the terms. A primary residence is any home occupied for at least 8 months of the year. Conversely, a second home is not the main place you live but is supposed to be for holidays or leisure. 

If, as a student, you live in both your own home and your parents' home, you may be charged a second residence tax. Please note that the amount varies depending on the municipality. You may also benefit from a reduction or exemption. 


Primary or secondary residence, empty or furnished, what's best for a student?

Typically, students choose university rooms or a primary residence either on their own or in a shared house or flat. But if you choose the secondary residence option, you should be aware that this type of contract is much less regulated. So pay close attention to the specific terms of the lease. You'll still need to make sure you have home insurance, it's compulsory. Now for the final pont, should you choose empty or furnished accommodation? There are many advantages to furnished accommodation:

  • You'll have all the furniture and equipment you need on site, provided by the owner
  • The lease period can be reduced to 9 months, which corresponds to an average student year. 
  • The notice period for leaving furnished accommodation is just one month.

So, have you decided on the right student accommodation for the start of the new academic year ? It's worth giving it some thought !