Advice for British people buying property in Tunisia, including information on legal advice, fraud, residence requirements, complaints and more.
This guide sets out essential information for British nationals wanting to buy property in Tunisia, 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 for British nationals.
Tunisia encourages foreign investment. Free investment may be made without authorisation, in particular for those investing in a tourist or industrial zone.
Non Tunisians wanting to buy a property in a residential zone need to obtain an authorisation from the Governor of the area where the property is located.
In practice people are still asked to submit a file to obtain authorisation to buy even if the property is located in a tourist or industrial zone. Please note that if you decide to sell the property, you are required to obtain authorisation from the Governor.
Be aware of some non-Tunisians who present themselves as foreign estate agencies but who cannot work in Tunisia. Legal advice should be sought from a local lawyer.
Translators and interpreters
Please check this list of local translators and interpreters.
All information about the Local Tax could be found on e-jibaya.
When you buy a property from a registered developer, you initially need to pay 1٪ of the total purchase price. However if you buy from a private owner, the minimum is 6%.
Complaints against the legal system
You can lodge a complaint in a police station or before the Court. Be prepared to give a statement in person otherwise your complaint will not be heard.
In Court you can seek legal advice from the Deputy of the Prosecutor. Court hearings will be in Arabic only. An interpreter can be present during the hearing. There is no free advice bureau in Tunisia.
Buying property in certain areas
Agricultural land cannot be bought by non-Tunisians but may be rented for a maximum term of three years.
Renting out your property
There is no local legislation affecting foreign landlords and tenants, only agricultural leases for more than 3 years are subject to authorisation.
Selling a property
If the property has increased in price you will be subject to capital gains tax on the profit. It is always advisable to go through this with a lawyer.
You will need to open a bank account in Tunisia and declare to the bank that the funds you deposit are intended for the purchase of a property in Tunisia. A “fiche d’investement” should be asked for after each transfer. Authorisation from the Governor should also be obtained. Please ensure you get the contract checked by your lawyer before signing it.
Other sources of advice
Information about registered properties and their deeds can be sought from the Tunisian land registry.
This is not intended to be the only guidance to follow when considering purchasing, selling or letting a property. The FCO makes no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can the FCO accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. The FCO’s strong recommendation is that prospective purchasers, sellers or landlords of Tunisian property seek independent legal and financial advice at all stages in Tunisia.
Published: 10 April 2014
Part of: Africa