Buying and leasing

Unlike Europe and the Americas, there is no statutory framework for buying, selling or renting property, which protects consumers. All transactions are chiefly governed by the agreement reached between the landlord and tenant. Be very vigilant in negotiating any terms of leases or contracts.

Real estate agents and development companies are the best source of available housing. Word-of-mouth among the expat community is also an excellent way to find out about places soon to come on the market. There is no comprehensive list produced by a real estate association that lists properties available for rent or sale. The closest thing are websites listing properties for rent.

There are also no fixed rules or requirements debarring laymen or non-professionals from touting real estate. Property is now listed on multiple web platforms -,, and It is important, however, to make sure that the people advertising the property are the legitimate owners or agents of the property.

There are a number of things to know before entering negotiations. As mentioned above, up to three years' rent can be requested "up front" for rental properties. Don't assume what was in the house when you viewed it, is included in the rent. Clarify which kitchen appliances, air conditioners, water tanks, generators, etc, are included with the property. There are few properties that are fully equipped and you will have to negotiate for these items.

Lastly, verify with service providers that there are no outstanding bills and if there are, make adequate provisions as to whom will be responsible for arrears or unpaid bills.

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:39