Guidance

Buying property in Morocco

Advice for British people buying property in Morocco, including information on legal advice, fraud, residence requirements, complaints and more.

Introduction

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals wanting to buy property in Morocco, including advice on legal advice, fraud, residence requirements, complaints and more. It should be read together with the How to buy property abroad’ guide.

We are unable to provide any guidance on individual property purchases apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do.

Once you have decided to go ahead with the purchase of a Moroccan property, for your own peace of mind you should always engage the services of a notary. For a list of notaries in Morocco you can contact the CNNM, National Chamber of Notaries of Morocco

In addition, you should appoint a local Lawyer to provide independent advice and guidance. A list of English speaking lawyers

You should ensure that your notary checks the following:

  1. Who is the legal owner of the property, do they have the right to sell.
  2. Check the identity of the seller to prove they are who they say they are.
  3. Check that the details of the property are correct, e.g. size and construction details etc.

If any of these preliminary checks cannot be met your legal advisor should advise you not to proceed with the purchase, if you do so you do so at your own risk.

Translators

Most business in Morocco is conducted in Arabic or French, to ensure you understand what documents you are signing it may be wise to engage the services of a local translator. A list of local translators can be found on this link page down to the bottom of the document. Do not sign any documents that you do not fully understand.

Mortgages

Mortgages are available to foreign nationals in Morocco, up to a maximum of 50% of the total purchase price. There are many banks that could assist such as BMCI, BMCE , Arab bank You should always take independent financial advice before making any decisions to take out any loans or credit.

Taxation

Allow for up to 12% of the purchase price to cover local taxes. In addition, if you are buying through an Agency or Local Finder, the agent will normally charge a finder’s fee of approx 3% of the purchase price. It is also wise to have a contingency budget for unexpected costs. Taxes are subject to change and for up to date information you should contact either the Office de Change or the Direction General des Impots or the Administration des Douanes et Impots Indirect for the latest information.

Fraud

BEWARE OF THE TRAPS

The list of pitfalls is large, and is almost impossible to number. The most common areas are:

  1. Identity theft, check they are who they say they are
  2. Establish the seller does have the right to sell
  3. Size of the property, check the total square meterage is correct
  4. Credit still outstanding on the property you wish to purchase
  5. Declare the full purchase amount on the contract of sale. Under declaring the purchase amount, has in recent years, become a common practice but doing this will affect you when and if you come to sell

Should you need to make a complaint, in the first instance you can contact the Ordre des avocats

Visa/residence requirements

There are no current requirements to obtain Moroccan Residency in order to be able to purchase a property. As a non resident you are able to stay for 90 days at a time on a tourist visa. If you intend to stay longer, you should apply for residency, details of which can be found here You can also check residence requirements Douane.gov.ma

Buying property in certain areas

You may often find that there are several family members who jointly own the same property, especially in the case of older property, and you will need to ensure that they have all agreed to the sale It is impossible for foreigners to acquire agricultural land except in certain cases, when a change in the title deed and purpose is obtained declaring the land to be a non-farm property. You will need permission from the local authority before you start on any renovation work to your property.

Renting out your property

If you generate any rental income from your Moroccan property you will be subject to local taxation laws and required to pay income tax. Houses with more than 4 rental bedrooms are required to obtain permission to act as a local guesthouse

Property deeds

There are many ways and many types of property available to purchase in Morocco. From traditional houses in the Kasbah to new” off plan” apartments. Property tends to come with either a “Titre Foncier” which are full title deeds registered at the Cadestre Office which detail exact information about the size and ownership of the property, or for most old Medina and Kasbah properties “Adoul” papers (Religious Notary) where details of the properties pervious ownership are recorded and can go back for several hundred years. For full details of how to register or check your title deeds you can contact Conservation Fonciere Land Registry

Problems with timeshare property

Time share is not very common in Morocco but should you experience any issues , in the first instance you can contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, as well as guidance from FCO property fraud guidance

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 11 February 2014