Accommodation in Tunisia

Accommodation in Tunisia
Updated 2022-08-06 19:58

For several years, foreign nationals seem to be keener about buying property in Tunisia. Thanks to rather simple formalities and conditions, many expats have become owners in the country.

According to recent reports, the local real estate market accounted for some 3 million real estate properties, including:

  • 59% of villas
  • 34% of houses with a balcony
  • 6.5% of flats.

Why move to Tunisia?

There are several reasons why you may be considering a move to Tunisia.

The country has a pleasant Mediterranean climate and beautiful scenery and is rich in historical sights.

The cost of living in Tunisia is also relatively low compared to most European countries. This makes it an attractive destination for digital nomads and anyone else marking their income from abroad.

There are work opportunities in Tunisia too. However, these are limited to specific industries (for instance, tourism). With that, finding a job in Tunisia's major cities (Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, etc.) is not impossible and can be a great way to obtain international work experience.

Tunisia is also a popular destination for retirement. Foreign pensioners living here enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, quality and relatively inexpensive healthcare and easy access to a variety of health procedures such as thalassotherapy.

Whichever reason you may have for moving to Tunisia, one of the first things you will need to sort out upon your arrival is where you will live. There are lots of accommodation options in Tunisia. But finding the perfect home will take time, effort and substantial research.

How to rent accommodation in Tunisia?

Whether you intend to buy housing in Tunisia or not, you will probably start by renting.

Feel free to start your housing search online. Several housing websites are available, but make sure to distinguish between holiday and long-term rentals, depending on the length of your stay. Find more information in the useful links provided below.

You can also try your luck with housing ads in local newspapers and well as with local real estate agencies. Note that when seeking the help of a real estate agency, you will have to pay agency fees amounting to 5% of the yearly rent.

If you are already in the country, it's a good idea to do a scan of the neighborhoods in your chosen city first. That will allow you to “get a feel” of the area you are considering for long-term rent and ensure all the amenities you require are within easy reach. It's also important that you feel comfortable in the neighborhood you plan to live in and can keep to your preferred lifestyle.

Once you have found the ideal housing unit, you will have to conclude a lease with the owner. There is no generic lease contract in Tunisia. Hence, the document will depend on what has been negotiated between you and the owner. Note that:

  • lease is concluded on a yearly basis
  • rental taxes are the owner's responsibility
  • it is not recommended to give a departure notice to the owner before the end of the first year; otherwise, you will have to continue to pay rent unless you find another lessee at the end of the notice
  • in general, the departure notice has a three-month duration but can be negotiated with the owner before the signature of lease documents
  • the owner may end the lease contract by giving a three months notice to the lessee before the expiry of the lease contract
  • when the rent price is not mentioned in the lease contract, it is assumed that both parties have agreed to the area's current rent prices
  • where taxes or rates apply, both parties are expected to comply with these.

Regarding rent, the owner or real estate agency may request the lessee to pay rent on a yearly basis, every semester, or monthly. The guarantee, for its part, equals two months' rent and cannot exceed this amount in any case.


Make sure to conduct an inventory on the spot before signing the lease documents, whether accompanied by the owner or a real estate agent. Feel free to take pictures of the premises and ask any questions.

It's also advisable that you always have a third party present when signing the lease. This can be a real estate agent, a real estate lawyer, or even your colleague or friend from Tunisia. They will act as witnesses to the lease you are signing and may also be able to help you out in case you have any questions to ask the landlord.

Good to know:

Never sign a contract in a language that you don't understand. If your contract is drafted in French or Arabic, you can ask for a legalized English translation. Alternatively, have someone who can speak French or Arabic translate the contract for you and explain all the clauses in detail. Never sign anything you don't understand, and double-check with the agent or lawyer if any clauses in the contract are confusing or don't seem right to you.

How to secure a lease in Tunisia?

To rent accommodation in Tunisia, you will need the following:

  • three original copies of the lease contract
  • 5 certified photocopies of the lease
  • the legalization of your signature and that of the owner at the nearest municipality.

Note that 2 originals and the 5 certified copies have to be remitted to the Recette des Finances for authentication.

Fees vary according to the rent price. You will then have to go back to the Recette des Finances to fetch the same documents.

You are required to preserve your rent receipts as these may be requested by the administration upon your final departure from Tunisia.

Rent prices in Tunisia

In general, rent prices in Tunisia are substantially lower than in most European countries. However, the final price strongly depends on where you are renting, what type of accommodation you are renting and how long you are renting it for.

Renting a three-bedroom apartment in the city center (we are looking at big cities like Tunis or Sfax) may start at around $300 and go up to over $1,000, depending on the area and apartment type.

Now, if you want to rent a luxury villa or a townhouse with a garden or pool, you will most likely be asked to pay upwards of $3,000 per month (in Tunis).

How to buy a property in Tunisia?

According to the latest figures, the average price of a real estate property in Tunis ranges between 1,200 and 3,000 Tunisian dinars per square meter. But you can find lower prices in the southern suburbs of Tunis.

If you prefer posh neighborhoods such as El Menzah, Ennasr or Jardins de Carthage, prices range between 1,500 and 1,900 dinars per square meter. Outside the capital city, particularly in the Northern outskirts and in the Sousse coastal area and Sfax, real estate prices have been rising for a few years.

In all cases, foreign nationals are allowed to buy property in Tunisia under the following conditions:

  • The chosen property must be in an urban or tourist zone (make sure to confirm that the property does not have agricultural purposes).
  • The land has been registered with the competent Land Conservation to be linked to a land title. Note that all properties have to be registered in accordance with Tunisian laws. Therefore, seek the assistance of an approved real estate professional to ensure the transaction is legal. Beware of frauds!
  • The seller has to be officially identified as the owner of the property for sale.
  • The property must be exempt from retention of title in favor of the Tunisian State (due to eminent domain or nationalization under the law of 12 May 1964).

The foreign buyer has to obtain the following documents:

  • The authorization of the city or town governorship where the property is located. Note that this authorization may take some time. The request is to be made in the form of a file containing an original or certified copy and four photocopies of the following:
  • a duly filled printed application form in 5 copies
  • an observation made by a judicial officer specifying the property's conditions
  • an ownership certificate
  • the offer to purchase drafted in accordance with current regulations regarding the legalization of signatures of contractors
  • the seller's tax clearance certificate (if he is a foreign national)
  • a municipal discharge justifying the municipal tax settlement
  • the buyer's and seller's identity documents
  • the buyer's criminal records (required by some governorships)
  • the building's location plan
  • a certificate from the municipality to justify the land designation of the land. In the case of bare land, a certificate proving that construction can be made on the said land may be requested. Some governorships may also request certification from the Regional Agricultural Development Office indicating the intended purpose of the land and title documents proving the origin of the seller (in the case of a foreign, prior purchase authorization must be provided)
  • the minutes of reattachment and building permits.

You will also need to obtain the approval of the Central Bank of Tunisia. To receive this approval, you will need to do the following:

  • open a non-resident account in foreign currency or convertible dinars at the bank of his choice and in correspondence with his bank in his home country
  • import currency intended to pay the deposit and the purchase price
  • ask your bank to provide an investment record stating that the funds are intended for the acquisition of real estate property. You are required to request this investment form (which will be essential in case of resale) from your bank within 48 hours following the transfer of funds. In case you are unable to obtain it within the prescribed delay, you will have to obtain a certificate from the bank showing these details.

Good to know:

It is recommended to make payments by bank transfer to ensure the transaction's transparency and security.

The deed of sale must be written by a lawyer and not by a notary, which is generally the case in other countries.

Buying a property in Tunisia starts with signing a sales agreement and paying part of the total property value (10 to 15%). The balance is payable after receipt of the authorization of the governorship and the signing of the final act.

Note that you won't be able to purchase land that is intended for agricultural use — unless you become a Tunisian citizen. You will, however, be able to rent this land or property for a maximum of three years.

In most cases, when buying property in Tunisia, you will also need to pay property tax in the amount of 1% to 10% of the total value of the property. You can learn more about taxation in Tunisia on the official E-jibaya website (but note that it's currently available only in French and Arabic).

If you decide to sell the purchased property later, you will also need to pay a capital gains tax if the property has increased in value. Learn more about taxes in Tunisia.

Useful links:

Logement Tunisie

Central Bank of Tunisia

Yellow Pages - Real estate agencies 

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.