Accommodation in Jordan
While some expats are lucky enough to have their employer arrange their accommodation in Jordan, for the many who have to go it alone this task can be daunting. However, with a little patience and perseverance expats are sure to find a home to suit both their budget and their lifestyle.
Types of accommodation in Jordan
In Jordan expats will find a variety of housing options – from villas to high-rise apartments and Western compounds, there’s plenty to choose from.
Western compounds are popular with those looking for a taste of home in the midst of the sometimes jarring unfamiliarity of Jordan. These compounds are essentially gated communities consisting of a number of houses, villas or apartments. They are often luxurious and may include amenities like swimming pools, laundry rooms and recreation areas. Some expats find that the atmosphere in compounds tends to be less conservative than is typical in Jordan and they can behave and dress as they would back home. However, living in such a community does hinder cultural assimilation and expats staying there will miss out on a great deal of life happening beyond the walls of the compound.
Once expats have decided what kind of accommodation they're looking for, they will also need to consider whether they want fully furnished, semi-furnished, or non-furnished accommodation.
In fully furnished accommodation, everything but linen and towels is provided, while a non-furnished place won't have much beyond kitchen cabinets. Semi-furnished accommodation varies but will typically include the standard kitchen cabinets along with other kitchen goods such as a stove, microwave and fridge.
It is quite common for expats to seek roommates to share the cost of accommodation, and this can be an excellent way to cut costs and to make a new friend in the country.
Finding accommodation in Jordan
Jordanians are happy to chat to just about anyone about anything at any time, and this can be very useful for expats looking for a place to live. Scouting out potential neighbourhoods and having a chat with locals in the area can yield useful information about places to rent nearby.
As with most international destinations, the search for a place to live in Jordan can also easily be conducted online. There are a number of websites that cater specifically to expats, although some may try to take advantage of foreigners by overcharging. While it can be tempting to sort out a place to live with just a few clicks of a button and an email or two, it’s important to view the property in person and meet the landlord before paying or committing to anything.
Property sections in local newspapers are likely to have plenty of options but only expats with a good understanding of Arabic, or who have access to a translator, will be able to make use of this resource.
It's worth considering hiring a real estate agent as they are knowledgeable about the local housing market and the paperwork involved in renting, and can do most of the required legwork. However, while convenient, this can be an expensive route to take.
Renting property in Jordan
Leases in Jordan are typically a year long with an option to renew, and landlords usually expect the entire year’s rent upfront. Therefore, before embarking on a search for a house, expats should ensure that they have access to this amount of money, whether in the form a loan, savings, or an advance from their employer. Some landlords may be receptive to negotiation, such as paying six months of rent up front and the rest at a later stage, but striking this kind of a deal will normally push the rental price up.
Once a lease is signed, it is unbreakable. Because of the lump-sum payment, landlords do not usually ask for a deposit (although legally they are entitled to). However, if the tenant breaks the terms of the lease by moving out early, they will not be refunded any remains of the rent. Shorter leases of six months are possible but again, this will result in an increased rental price, usually by up to 20 percent.