Rental prices are very high in Ghana, and there are very few laws in place to protect renters from rent increases.
Renting in Ghana can be extremely difficult. Overall, the city suffers from a shortage of adequate long-term housing - particularly housing that meets expat standards. Short-term vacation rentals are much easier to find.
Searching for rentals online in advance is possible - though it is wise to investigate the property in person before signing a lease. Consider renting a short-term vacation rental online first, before committing to a longer-term lease.
There are a number of websites online that advertise Ghana rental properties. Some of the most used are:
Ghana News has classified sections in their print-version that advertises rental properties. These classifieds are not available online.
The most common way to find a rental is through personal networks and public postings. Keep an eye out for fliers at popular expat hangouts in Accra - and be sure to ask around. Word of mouth can take renters a very long way.
Rental agents are unregulated in Ghana and can charge quite high commissions. They are not often used. If you are going this route, be sure to clarify expectations at the onset with both the agent and the renter.
Visiting the apartment is a very important step in securing a rental. It is extremely important that during this period, you clarify exactly what will be included in your rent (including items in the apartment).
Important things to look out for are:
You might also consider visiting the property at different times of the day, to get a feel for the neighbourhood more broadly.
Often, landlords will request that you pay a down payment that will cover the duration of your lease. Legally, landlords are not supposed to take a down payment for anything more than a 6-month period. However, often they will request a down payment that covers up to 3 years.
It is important that you sign a written contract with your landlord. In addition to including details on the agreed upon rent arrangement, make sure this document states what items are included in your apartment.
Generally, there are few laws protecting renters in Ghana. Be extremely clear with your landlord when negotiating your lease, and be extremely careful about what you sign.
Legally, you must provide three months notice before terminating a contract. It may be expected that you find a replacement tenant, and landlords may be slow to return your down payment. Laws and resources to protect the renter are very limited in Ghana.