There are several different options for renting a property in Morocco from the traditional to modern dwellings. Finding the perfect place usually takes some time, so plan well in advance and visit before moving if possible.
Many expats live in Morocco, particularly in Casablanca. Rabat, Marrakesh, Fes and Tangier also host expat populations.
Apartments are "come as they are" in Morocco. This means apartments are not painted and without repair before moving in. It is the responsibility of the tenant to take care of any and all repairs while living there. Major renovations should be discussed with the landlord. Unfurnished rentals are offered bare, meaning they may not have a refrigerator, stove and oven unit, or any other kitchen appliances. Some bathrooms may include a traditional toilet and water faucet for flushing the toilet with a bucket. Heating and cooling systems are also not typical of apartments (and are often unnecessary in the mild climate) with space heaters and fans a more common solution. Floors are typically uncarpeted so area rugs are popular.
In the major cities of Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech an apartment costs between 2,500 and 6,000 MAD per month. In smaller cities prices are lower. Apartments in the lower range are more typical of neighborhoods with basic unfurnished apartments without full bathrooms.
Online listings can give you a feel for the market and allow you to determine if a place fits your specifications before you spend time going to look at it.
Several papers have a helpful classified section.
Expat and social forums and classified's are another resource for job seekers. You can get a realistic expectations of what it's like to live in Morocco as well as make helpful contacts. Check out Easy Expat's classifieds, forum, and network to connect with expats.
Real estate agents are extremely helpful in finding a home and understanding the real estate climate. Usually known as a samsar in Morocco, they provide you with a description of available properties, escort you to viewings, make sure your contract complies with expected standards.
Samsars usually hold another full-time job and rarely have offices so the easiest way to find someone is usually to just ask around. Inquire at tea cafes, convenience stores, and other places where locals convene. If you are employed with a company, they may have an official agent they work with they can refer. Also check with friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
While viewing apartments with an agent, be sure to ask to see a wide range of housing options. As a foreigner, many agents assume that you want a lavish or expensive apartment. Do your research ahead of time by asking fellow expats how much their rent is, and remember there are always options for every budget. If your agent won't show you them, find a new agent.
The renter and the landlord pay a small commission to the samsar for his services if an apartment is rented.
Rental contracts should be in writing to protect your rights as a tenet. This may be uncommon in some areas as month-to-month leases can be quite popular. Typically, you pay the first months rent and move in and no contract is ever signed. If you do have a contract, it will usually be in Arabic or French. Make sure you understand the contract fully before signing. You can consult an advisor or lawyer, or have the document translated by a certified translator. Documents in Morocco have to be legalized (notarized) at a local town administration building in order to be considered a valid agreement. Documents that are not legalized are considered null and void, and will not stand up in any court.
A deposit may not be required, but if it is required it should be stated in a contract and paid before moving in. The deposit should be the same amount as one month's rent.
As many rental arrangements are month-to-month, the required notice is quite short. If you have a contract, consult it for the terms regarding notice.
Upon leaving a property, you should again inspect it with the landlord and discuss any issues or necessary repairs. Damages are usually taken out of the deposit, and the remaining deposit returned.
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