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Rentals in Morocco

In Morocco, there is a large selection of properties for rent for short stays. You can find daily and weekly pricings and sometimes monthly arrangements can also be made. Prices are usually more expensive than those of a long-term rental for an equivalent properties but also cheaper than the prices for a similar standing hotel room.

Prices and seasons
In high season (June, July and August for the north of Morocco), prices may be quite high, but always a bit more affordable than in equivalent tourist resorts of south European countries. In low season, many of the beach properties may stay unoccupied for long periods and so this is reflected in the form of much lower prices.

Typology and features
As with the for sale market, properties for holiday rentals can be of two main types: coastal apartments and villas and medina residences.
The majority of these properties are furnished, however it is a good idea to check beforehand how well furnished they are to ensure that all the necessary pieces of furniture and appliances will be there on arrival.

In addition, many of these properties may offer a wide range of extra services that can make the stays in them as convenient and carefree as a hotel stay (laundry and cleaning service, a cook, or even a chauffeur).

Holiday letting agents
In addition to the traditional real estate agencies, there are agencies specializing in holiday rentals. A Google search with the terms “Morocco” and “Holiday rentals” will be enough to find many of these agencies. Their particularity is that the tenant does not pay a commission fee but the owner of the property. In exchange, the rental prices are usually somehow increased as mean for the owner to compensate the fee.

Renting to live
Many expatriates rent a property in Morocco while they are living in the country for career reasons. Most long-term leases require a minimum commitment of 6 months (sometimes a year), 1 month deposit if the property is not furnished and up to 3 months if it contains valuable furniture and appliances, the estate agent fee is usually 1 or 2 months rent, depending on the services included.

Legal aspects
Unlike purchase agreements, many rental agreements are formalized by private contract without the intervention of a notary. If the contract is made privately, it must be taken to the town hall for the signatures of the parts to be certified (“légalisées”), this gives the document greater legal validity. For tax reasons, it is compulsory that a copy of the contract be registered within the 30 days that follow the signing. The registering fee is 200 DH.

Lease contract
The following elements must be present in any lease contract (although some of them are facultative, they should be included to prevent conflicts between the parties):

– Identification of the parties (owner and tenant)
– Identification of the property
– Starting day and length of the lease
– Exact amount of monthly rent
– Day of the month by which the rent must be paid
– Method of payment
– Purpose of the leasehold (residential, professional, commercial)
– Period of notice for leaving the property if the duration if the agreement is open-ended
– Exact amount of the deposit
– Indication of which of the parts will be paying water, electricity and condo fees bills
– Termination clauses
– The duties of the tenant must be detailed, for example
o Maintenance of the property in good condition
o Notify the owner if the property is damaged
o Ask for permission before undertaking any structural works
o Not to sublease the property

Rent via an estate agent
Besides the property search and the negotiation with the owner, some estate agents offer a number of extra services: to carry out all administrative and legal procedures, to draw up the contract, to draw up and verify the “état des lieux”, to be the stakeholder for the deposit and to be in charge of transferring the money for the monthly payments (payment by bank direct debit is not common in Morocco).

Deposit
The amount of deposit is usually the equivalent to 1 month’s rent. But this can be raised up to 2 or 3 months rent for properties very well furnished or containing valuable elements.

Often it is the estate agency that is in charge of keeping the deposit that the tenant has paid. This may help prevent conflicts between the parties, especially because the owner of the property will not be able to spend that money and then have problems to pay it back.

The deposit is recovered after the tenant leaves the property. The expenses caused by damages to the property can be deducted from the total amount.

Etat des lieux
This French phrase means ‘state of the property’. An état-des-lieux document is a good thing to have for both the landlord and the tenant. This document details the state of the property and any furniture or equipment it may contain. This prevents the landlord to ask for compensation on things that were already in bad condition when the tenant arrived and also prevents the tenant from saying that something was already broken or in bad condition when it wasn’t.

This document must include a description of every room listing all the architectural elements, pieces of furniture appliances and their state of conservation. The “état des lieux” must be sign up by the two parties.

Utility bills
The costs of electricity and water are almost always paid by the tenant and, unlike some European countries, the condo fees too. In Morocco, medium and high-standing apartment blocks still have porters and most of this money goes to pay their wages.

TIP
It may sound cliché but it is true: always ask for your receipt. You are entitled to have one for any money you pay and one day you may need it to prove that you actually did. Ask for a deposit receipt, a monthly rent receipt and a condo fees receipt. Ask your estate agent for them if he manages your rental payments and ask your porter when you pay to him the condo fees.

Furnished properties
The range of furnished properties is not as wide as in many European countries. Besides, you have to bear in mind the cultural differences regarding the type of furnishings expected in a house. In the middle market and lower end expect only the very basic appliances in the kitchen: sometimes just a gas kitchenette without oven and a sink. Bathrooms are likely to be of the traditional type (i.e. toilets without bowl). And finally, many properties will have Moroccan sofas called “mtareb” (and there will be many of these) instead of beds. “Mtarebs” are useful because a house with them can sleep a large number of people and that’s the reason of their success in Morocco. However, for some unused Europeans they may feel uncomfortable.

On the other hand, high-end furnished properties will come with all the European-style pieces of furniture and elements, with the exception of one Moroccan living room.

Non-furnished properties
If you are renting a non-furnished house, you’ll find many furniture stores in the main commercial areas of any large town. You’ll find all the style range: from the very pretentious and baroque to completely contemporary and modern.

If you are looking for something quick, functional and reasonably priced go to Kitea, which is something of a Moroccan version of Ikea. They have a large selection of Western style pieces and you can furnish you whole apartment or house without leaving the store. Another option is the furniture department of the Marjane hypermarkets.

Regarding electric appliances they can be found everywhere and you’ll find more or less the same brands and models than in your home country.

Buying or renting?
You may be interested in buying a property in Morocco, but you’d rather take your time and get to know the country, the people, and the property market. In this case, renting a property may be the best option for you. It is the ideal way to get to know the country before committing yourself to owning a property here. This experience may even be repeated, for example trying the medina lifestyle and then the coastal lifestyle.

Renting to find your dream house
Renting a property may be the more comfortable way of house hunting. You will be able to explore carefully your favourite area of Morocco. You won’t be paying expensive hotel rooms and you may be more comfortable than in a hotel. When you find a house you like you can do all the administrative process with the comfort of having a rented accommodation.

TIP
The properties that are offered for holiday rentals are usually more exotic and appealing than the long-term rental properties. Besides, they are usually furnished and often located in the more lively and tourist areas. In exchange, these rentals are much more expensive and are paid on a weekly or daily basis. However, these properties are very convenient in the case of house-hunting. They are close to the interest areas of cities and towns and are furnished, which will spare you a lot of trouble.

One thing that can be tried is to come out of the high season and negociate with the owner of one of these properties a special price for the low season months. Since many of these properties are empty much of the low season. You and the landlord can get to a very interesting deal for the both of you.

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