More to do than just lying on the beach

So What's to Rent? High-End, Mid-Range and Least-Expensive Property Rentals
by JL Farmer

High-End: Seaview or Mountain Panorama View Property

Down at the Marina. A small, 70
m2, apartment (in background) can cost around 10,000-12,000 dirhams a month
They often come with the use of a swimming pool and, sometimes, a gymnasium

If you have (upper middle class) thoughts of living in a nice apartment down at the Marina, watching big red sunsets every evening from a chic restaurant terrace, with seafood, salads and bottles of wine on the table and the ultimate "Ah" factor, then you can have that too - but be prepared to spend at least UK£2000 per month for rent, food and bills with this option. Let's say UK£3000 per month for a couple of people, sharing.

As another option, there are detached 3 or 4 bedroom houses with garden to rent in the Cité Suisse area of Agadir, just north of Talborjt, for around 8,000 to 10,000 dirhams a month. This is the preferred ensconcement of many French expatriate folks. Larger properties in this area are currently on the market for sale at around 8.5 million dirhams and up...

Mid-Range Property To Let
For around half of the previously mentioned monthly cost of living  - (around UK£700-£1000 per month, for one person, maybe £1400 for a couple of people), one can rent a nice 2 bed (furnished or unfurnished) apartment in town for between 4000 to 6000 dirhams a month (the streets of Hassan II and the two lower streets close to the seafront being in the upper price range), eat at perfectly decent local restaurants on a regular basis and live an enjoyable, (yet non-materially-luxurious), lifestyle in Agadir.

Typical bedroom in Talborjt. Note the concealed metal beam across the ceiling. Earthquake proofed.

This mid-range option is probably most suited for people who have developed their own internal strengths and interests over the years - typically - retired professionals who speak more than one language and are thus able to extend their circle of friends beyond their own nationality (highly recommended) and spend their free time in pursuit of their accomplished activities.

Growing pomegranates on the terrace

These folks are of our kind of people. People who live quietly and are not snobby, don't usually talk about money all the time or blatantly seek to impress other people and are usually photographers, artists, writers and creative folks in general - people who know how live in their own company in an involved manner by using their time to the maximum and are friendly and sharing.

Least-Expensive Property Rentals

The "lounge" here is a space in the hallway

There are quite a few retired people who move to live in Agadir with only their basic State pension to live on and that's OK too. In the UK, the amount is updated on the uk gov web site. So, what can people find and how can they live, on a basic amount of money? For sure, around two thirds of this money will be used on paying the rent - so maybe it's a better idea to rent a full-of-light, studio with one big room in a nice location than a small, one bedroom apartment on a high floor with no elevator, little natural light and maybe in a noisy traffic location and/or lots of noisy children playing football outside the window for many hours a day. In this respect, beware of property located in a cul-de-sac or a road-free area: a certainty to draw a lot of noise from children. Also check how many windows the property has, along with the size (few and small sized windows are commonplace in Agadir new builds.) The money that is left will be used to pay for electricity and water bills, bottled gas for cooking and hot water (and heating, in winter) and the grocery bill.

Morocco is no longer the inexpensive country that it used to be (neither is Egypt, where, since 2011, inflation has become rampant.) We have heard from several people that two bedroom rental prices in Casablanca and Rabat are in the 12,000 to 15,000 dirhams a month range due to high demand in the northern cities. Tangier is in at around 6,000 to 9,000 dirhams a month - and climbing. The days of renting a super-cheap flat in Moroccan cities are well and truly over.

It is highly unlikely that one can find a small apartment in Agadir of any description for less than 2500 dirhams a month, but good luck with trying. The cheapest area of Agadir for rentals is on the streets just south over the road from Gate 5 of the Souk Al-Ahad. Maybe stop by a local café, strike up a friendly conversation with the waiter and ask him if he knows of anywhere to rent. They usually get to hear about rentals. We know of some single French folks in Inezgane who pay around 1500 dirhams a month, but Inezgane is the main transport hub of south-west Morocco and is busy, noisy and the smell of petrol is everywhere. 3000 to 3500 dirhams a month is more the order of the day for a small one bedroom apartment or studio of around 60-70m2,
possibly larger, if the apartment block is an old build. For the overseas expatriate on a low income, this is rock bottom living which involves cooking at home most days. Not everyone can hack it and our experience finds that a lot of people return home after a couple of years of living on this type of basic budget. Sometimes, the enticement of the warm sunshine loses its glow and people start to hanker for the green, green grass of home. Some people do manage it on a permanent basis though and decide to take up a sport, such as jogging or swimming. Others do a lot of walking during the daytime and content themselves with the comforts of evenings at home, watching TV, or other home pursuits such as the internet, painting art etc.

Tip: When you feel sure about living in Morocco over the long term, get in while you can with an unfurnished property at current rental prices and also in order to have a 3 year contract that covers your occupancy for life.

Buying Furniture for an Unfurnished Dwelling

Bear in mind that buying all of your furniture, carpets and home electrical appliances for an unfurnished apartment in Agadir can be an expensive (and time-consuming, due to the bargaining process) project to take on. We spent quite a lot of money in one month to furnish a 120m2, 3 bed, 2 bathroom apartment when we started out renting "unfurnished" (with a house and 3 furnished apartments which preceded, since year 2000) - and the latter of those was in 2004, so the prices are sure to be much higher in this day and age and here in Agadir furniture costs more than in the more northerly regions of Morocco because of the haulage distance involved in getting it down here and the fact that, due to high demand, there is not a great lot of nice wooden, attractive furniture to be had at a low price - it's all quite expensive. As an example, a couple of years ago, I saw a large, double, solid wooden wardrobe for sale in the souk in Agadir. It was an ugly and unattractive thing, huge and built like a tank. The seller wanted 7000 dirhams for it. I used to watch my Mother chop-up stuff like that for firewood with an axe when I was a child. Today, in a charity furniture shop in England, you might pay £30 to £50 for such a piece - but 7000 dirhams? Wow, that's around UK£525 - amazing! There are a few Kitea stores around, but their stuff is like a version of Ikea - you put it together yourself and it's usually made of plywood or synthetic resin panels. Duh from me, but some people may like it - but there again, it's still not that cheap to buy. Main Kitea Agadir store is here.

Tip: In the Agadir souk - Souk Al Ahad - go through Gate 11 and walk down a couple of hundred yards. Down near the bottom of the street on the left hand side you will see a shop with a lot of used books outside on a table. This is our friend's shop - Abdelmajid - a wonderful friend, generous of spirit, reasonable prices and always happy to help. If you don't see what you are looking for, introduce yourself BY NAME to Abdelmajid, mention to him this Talborjt web site, or tell him our names if you know us, explain in detail what you are looking for, write down and give him your name and phone number and he will keep a lookout for you and call you if he finds it. Sorted.

What's With the Fixtures and Fittings? A Darn Good Question.

When renting an unfurnished apartment, aside from installed kitchen and bathroom plumbing and electrical fittings, you quite usually may not get as much as a light bulb. All that you often get are two small cables hanging out of the ceiling, with a plastic domino screw connector attached - and you add the rest. We had to buy twelve ceiling fitments, cables and shades for our first unfurnished apartment - and we still have them today (we bought them all at once: they were all made of real Italian Murano glass and were under-priced, for sure.) If you relocate to a new place, you take everything that you have installed, with you when you leave the premises. Moroccans call this type of rental "vide" (French: empty.) All ceiling lighting fixtures will usually need to be purchased for every room from the local hardware store (French: droguerie,) as well as a hot water heater to supply the kitchen and bathroom. I recommend buying a small electrical water heater. We had a gas-bottled shower and heater in a previous dwelling and the gas went out one lunchtime (during the Friday prayer time) and it took around two hours to get someone over with a gas replacement bottle. I was in the middle of shampooing my hair at the time when the gas ran out. Dang. As a result, I had the flu for over three weeks.

The best local droguerie in Talborjt for DIY is called "Droguerie Salam" just off Avenue 29 Février (they moved from the Talborjt square in 2016 before the corner building was demolished.) The best droguerie to buy an electrical water heater is the Droguerie Marrakech, just outside of Talborjt, near to the RAMSA official water office - they sell all the top European brands for bathrooms and have some really impressive kit. We have bought two really great Chaffoteaux water heaters there on separate occasions for around 1300 dirhams - fast as anything - a tank of hot water, ready in 10 minutes - no gas bottle to replace. (We keep ours set on a timer that we brought from France, timed to come on morning and evenings.. timers and adapters from Spain will not work in Morocco.) Our first electric water heater lasted for six years. Aswak Assalam also now stock a range of top-brand water heaters at their main store in Dakhla (but not in their smaller Talborjt store.) Droguerie list for Agadir here.

Plumbers and Electricians: Folks in Big Demand

Many rental properties generally do not have hot running water in any sinks in the kitchen or bathroom, so one might like to get a plumber to install such. You may also find only one power point in each room (or none in some rooms, as the case may be, usually a bedroom) so you may need to hire an electrician to install extra power points for you. We had an extra 16 power points installed in our home when we first moved in. Fortunately, local labour charges are usually inexpensive, and a plumber of electrician will likely charge you around 200 to 250 dirhams a day for labour, plus the cost of the items needed to get the job done. If you think all this is bad then don't ever consider going to Cairo to live. Over there, the previous tenant usually completely removes all of the plumbing pipework, bath, shower, sinks and fixtures in the property - both kitchen and bathroom - and it is a big expense to replace them all. Cairo is done. We know Cairo quite well, but we don't know of anyone who actually goes there to live any more. It's more of a short to medium term destination for journalists, teachers and students.

Tip: The best plumber in Talborjt is called Mohammed who has his plumbing workshop in the street behind the Hotel Sindibad on the Talborjt square. Mohamed speaks fluent French, has three assistants working with him and always personally oversees the job at hand. Highly recommended.

And let's not forget about the window grilles...

Home security is an issue that we need to address, wherever it is that we live, in this case; Agadir. When visiting a property that you are viewing as a prospective tenant - whether the property is furnished or unfurnished - it is important to check that all external windows have window grilles - on all floors, if applicable. As the grilles would be placed outside of the windows, they theoretically fall outside of the property and could therefore be defined as the landlord's responsibility. If you would like to rent the property and there are no window grilles, you could gently mention this point to the person showing you around and ask them if the owner would be prepared to pay for and install the window grilles before you sign the rental contract - maybe mentioning that you would be prepared to pay 1000 dirhams against the rental deposit (not to be understood as part payment for the window grilles) to show as your being in good faith as the new tenant. Good luck with this - and if agreed, do get a receipt for your part payment against the deposit. You may or may not get the owner to pay for the window grilles but you will definitely need to install them, all the same. You will need to have windows open to have air and closing the windows when you go out is only a part protection but not adequate enough for security as a window can easily be broken by a determined thief, who will then have access to your home contents. Not worth the risk then. Window.Grilles.

Zoom photo taken from across the street

In April 2017, three fixed window grilles, two of which were around 2 metres wide and one full length fixed door grille cost 2600 dirhams for the four grilles to be made, painted and installed. Our neighbour had the same type and colour of grilles so we replicated theirs in order for the windows to look uniformly discreet. If you need to have window grilles, maybe call Abdelah on 0651-832695 to come over and measure the job at hand and give you a quote. If you agree the price, write down the quoted cost on the paper he uses to write his window measurements. He will ask you for around 1500 dirhams down payment to pay for the materials with the balance to be paid upon completion of the work (usually one week later, the window grilles taking around two hours to install, all in.) Write down the deposit you pay, deduct it from the quoted amount and write the balance amount outstanding. He will take the paper with him, so you will need to remember the details and write out a full, dated, receipt to be ready for him to sign the next week after he has completed the work and you pay the balance. Normal procedure here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to send an email if you like this article or have any questions.

JL Farmer
Talborjt, Agadir
November 22, 2009
This page is updated from time to time

External Links

"A Note on Moroccan Plumbing" by Manolo Miller

Kingdom of Morocco: Administrative Procedures Guide
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