Renting accommodation in Mozambique can be a major hurdle for expats. Most cities, especially Maputo, have a huge shortage of adequate long-term housing. Expats especially struggle finding housing that meets their standards. Housing in Mozambique tends to not be as luxurious as what one may find in first-world countries like the UK or USA. On the other hand, apartments tend to be more spacious and sunny than what one would find in Asian countries like South Korea or Hong Kong.
Rent is very expensive, so expats will need to budget carefully when it comes to finding their ideal home. There are also few laws in place to protect renters from rent increases. This makes renting accommodation in Mozambique feel like a gamble at times.
Finding accommodation in Mozambique
When looking for accommodation in Mozambique, expats should start browsing as far in advance as possible. Generally, short-term vacation rentals are much easier to find. Online websites have the highest rate of success for renting. There are different websites that are popular, like Property Maputo and Airbnb. Other good options are browsing the classified sections of local newspapers like O Noticias.
Nowadays, the most common way expats find housing is through postings on forums and groups on social media platforms. Expats who choose to use this route should be cautious of scams. It is important to always view the property in person before signing a lease. Word of mouth also goes far in Mozambique. Property owners will frequently prefer to let their accommodation to someone who has come recommended to them from a previous tenant or business associate.
Rental agents aren’t regulated in Mozambique. They also tend to charge very high commissions. For these reasons they aren’t frequently used. If an expat chooses this route, be sure to clarify expectation from the start with both the agent and the renter.
Types of accommodation in Mozambique
Types of accommodation available in Mozambique vary widely. Most expats choose to live in large cities like Maputo or Beira. In these cities expats can find free-standing houses and apartments in large apartment buildings. The cost of these options are also very varied with free-standing houses being the most expensive option.
The majority of long-term rental properties tend to be unfurnished. This means apartments won't have large appliances like fridges and washing machines. However, most accommodation will always have a stove. There are also furnished options when renting. Expats need to keep in mind though that these properties will be much more expensive than unfurnished ones. Deposits for furnished housing may also be higher in some cases. Most short-term rentals are furnished.
Renting accommodation in Mozambique
It is essential that a clear and detailed contract be negotiated with the prospective landlord. Mozambique has very few laws protecting renters. Expats should be careful not to get trapped into a badly worded rental agreement. It is important to be very clear with the landlord when negotiating the lease and avoid signing anything they aren’t comfortable with. Renting a short-term vacation rental online may be safer than immediately committing to a long-term lease.
The applicant may need to prove that their monthly income is sufficient to afford the monthly rent. Leases are typically signed on a one-year basis, although it may be possible to rent for a shorter time. It is standard in Mozambique to pay a three-month deposit. This usually includes the first month’s rent. Be clear in the contract about what would allow the landlord to withhold the deposit.
►Learn more about living expenses in Cost of living in Mozambique
Are you an expat living in Mozambique?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mozambique. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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