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 from developed countries, especially, may struggle to find housing that meets their standards in terms of luxury and utilities. On the other hand, apartments tend to be more spacious and sunny than what one would find in many countries.
Rent is 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, such as Property Maputo and Airbnb. Other good options include browsing the classified sections of local newspapers such as 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 though. 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 been recommended to them from a previous tenant or business associate.
Rental agents aren’t regulated in Mozambique. They also tend to charge high commissions. For these reasons they aren’t frequently used. If expats do choose this route, they should be sure to clarify expectation from the start with both the agent and the renter.
Types of accommodation in Mozambique
The types of accommodation available in Mozambique vary widely. Most expats choose to live in large cities such as 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 highly 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 such as fridges and washing machines, though most accommodation comes with a stove. There are also furnished rentals available, but these tend to be much more expensive than unfurnished units. 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 that prospective tenants are 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. Expats should make sure of stipulations in the contract about the grounds for withholding a deposit.
►Learn more about living expenses in Cost of living in Mozambique
"There are plenty of living options in Inhambane, but the prices are becoming more expensive every year and the salaries are not really keeping up."
Read more about South African expat Eddie's experiences in Inhambane, 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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