Moving to Morocco?
Morocco: Accommodation and Education
Renting in Morocco
Many expats choose to rent a house or apartment during their stay in Morocco. Rental prices start quite low, but these are usually for apartments in low-income areas, without bathrooms which live up to Western standards. Most expats therefore choose to rent in middle-class neighborhoods where bathrooms have a Western toilet and shower.
As outlined in the 2014 Finance Act, middle class housing was priced at 7,200 MAD (around 740 USD) per square meter for living spaces ranging from 80 to 150 square meters. If you are on a tight budget, you can also sometimes find a room to rent in an apartment or house.
When looking at rental prices, you should check if this price includes utilities such as water and electricity. Most homes in Morocco do not have heating, but space heaters are relatively inexpensive. Some furnished apartments are also available, but they are considerably more expensive.
The internet is a good place to start looking for a place to rent. The following sites may be useful:
Utilizing your expat network is a good way to find an apartment or house without having to pay a commission. Otherwise, you probably need to use a real estate agent (samsar), who will require a small commission from yourself and the landlord for their services.
Buying Property in Morocco
The Moroccan government has encouraged foreign investment, and has therefore taken steps to simplify the process of buying property in Morocco. You will require the services of a real estate agent, notary, and lawyer to assist in the different steps of purchasing the property.
Once you have found a suitable property, you can make a verbal offer. Be sure to obtain the title deeds of any property before agreeing to buy it. Even if you have paid money for the property, if you do not have the title deeds, you are not the official owner. Upon acceptance of this offer, a preliminary contract, which is legally binding, will be signed by each party. A notary should assist you with this step, and a lawyer is also advisable to make sure you understand all the intricacies of the contract. A deposit will also be due at this point.
You will need to open a convertible dirham account for this payment. See our Living in Morocco article for more information on opening a bank account. After the deposit has been received, a final contract will be executed, the title deed will be transferred to you, and the property will be registered with the government of Morocco as belonging to you.
Education in Morocco is mandatory for children from ages 7 to 13. Even after the so-called “decade for education”, during which a National Education and Training Charter was implemented in 1999, UNESCO continuously shines light on the subpar state of Moroccan public schools, in its 2011, 2013, and 2014 reports. In fact, in 2015, 53% of Moroccan women — most of whom live in the countryside — were still illiterate.
Though 5% of Morocco’s GDP is currently directed towards education and facilities of the Moroccan ministry, it still ranks among the least effective educational systems on a global scale. Today the education system continues to falter in literacy and drop-out rates, as well as a mismatch between job requirements and education topics.
Most expats in Morocco send their children to private international schools. Schooling is offered in several different languages, predominantly French and English, with Arabic lessons often a part of the curriculum.
If you plan to live in Tangier, a possible choice is the American School of Tangier. In Casablanca, there are more options, including the Lycée Lyautey, the Casablanca American School and the George Washington Academy. The tuition for these schools can be quite high, ranging from about 3,000 USD to 17,000 USD per year.
Preschools and Daycare
Expats looking for preschools and daycare in Morocco should consult their expat contacts to find a suitable nanny or establishment. Children under four years of age are often cared for at home, with many expats choosing to hire a housekeeper who watches the children in addition to taking care of the cooking and cleaning. For children aged four to six, you may be able to find an opening at a preschool or kindergarten at one of the international schools. A housekeeper or nanny would cost you around 300 USD per month.
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