For a several years, Morocco has introduced measures to facilitate and secure real estate investment for foreigners, without the need for them to be resident in Morocco.
In order to take advantage of these incentives and facilitating measures, it is however advisable to be well accompanied in the acquisition process.
Any investment (purchase of a house, creation of company, etc.) made by foreigners in Morocco must be made using foreign currency repatriated from abroad in order to benefit from the retransfer guarantee. This guarantee allows in case of liquidation/sale of the investment to immediately transfer the money abroad. Otherwise, the money will not leave Morocco, unless the foreigner becomes a non-resident (i.e a tax resident of a country other than Morocco).
In this case, he/she will only be able to receive the money at a rate of 25% per year for 4 years after the funds have been placed in a convertible term account. It is therefore essential that the original investment is made in foreign currency. The only exception is investments in Dirhams made by French people before August 1999, in which case they can repatriate up Dhs 5,000,000 immediately.
This type of rule therefore applies with regard to the currency used; thus in the case of bank financing in Morocco, i.e in Dirhams, one cannot benefit from the retransfer guarantee unless one resides abroad and the financing concerns a residential property (even if it’s intended for rental) financed to a maximum of 70% of its value by a bank, the balance having to be financed in foreign currency.
If not originally financed in foreign currency, in case of transfer, the funds will be placed in a convertible dirham account, which will eventually benefit the heirs living abroad. The duration of repatriation of the funds is 5 years in total; the funds are not available in the first year and are available at a rate 25% in the following 4 years. This obviously doesn’t apply to heirs residing in Morocco who can receive their full share immediately but cannot transfer it abroad.
Whether you are a Moroccan resident, a foreigner resident in Morocco, a non resident foreigner or a Moroccan resident abroad, it’s recommended that you use the services of an estate agent if you wish to purchase a property. Although the real estate market has evolved considerably in recent years and the acquisition process is very similar to that which applies in most European countries, real estate agents, in addition to selecting properties that might satisfy your search, will guarantee with the assistance of the notary, the legality of the transaction, thus preserving the rights of both the seller and the buyer. The acquisition of a property in Morocco requires first of all to take into account several particularities which are related to the Moroccan real estate legislation. These particularities if not taken into account, can transform the process of real estate acquisition from a simple and attractive one into a series of setbacks can have restrictive repercussions.
In Marrakech, the real estate agency’s fees will vary depending on the type of transaction concluded between the parties. These fees are paid at the time of signing the deed of purchase or on the day of signing the lease contract. In the case of the sale of a property, these fees are between 20% and 25% of the sale price of the property, and are divided equally between the seller and the buyer. When concluding a rental contract, whether short or long term, the agency’s fees will vary according to the duration of the lease:
– For a long-term rental: if the lease is greater than or equal to one year, the agency’s fees are one month’s rent excluding tax for the tenant and one month’s rent excluding tax for the lessor. That is to say two months excluding tax in total.
– For a seasonal or short-term rental: the agency’s fees represent 20% of the total amount of the rental.
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