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Buying property as a non-Tunisian (man) with no relation to a love story, advise/experience needed

420weblazeit

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone,

I'm a British (and Ukrainian) dual national that lives in Tunisia. I do not have, and for the purposes of paying 1% instead of 6% income purchase tax and being able to export money out of Tunisia when I liquidate my real estate, do not want to get a residency permit in Tunisia. I have been living here on touristic visas for almost 2 years.

I'd like to purchase some cheap real estate (costs about 20,000 TND and rents out for 300 TND a month) to experiment with the procedure and perhaps venture into bigger investments/taking money from others as loans to invest in real estate (only to benefit myself and my own portfolio, but that's a story for another time) - I'm only mentioning this because I will be asking about the waiting period to get authorisation from the Governor of the biladeya and I am wondering if a "back door channel" can be established where I can get my second, third, etc property purchase approved much quicker than usual.

I read about the need to open a Tunisian bank account (as a non-resident, using my Provisional Driving License as a proof of address in the UK) and to get confirmation from my bank (which one? the one in the UK or the bank in Tunisia?) that the money is for purchasing a property (otherwise I cannot resell the property afterwards - or can I, it's just they won't let me convert the money back into GBP/EUR and send it out of Tunisia?)

All purchases of real estate by a non-resident foreigner, are necessarily subject to authorization by the Central Bank of Tunisia, according to the actual legislation of monetary exchange.

  • It is necessary to:
    • Open a bank account for non-residents, whether in foreign currency or in convertible dinars, in any bank that will be put into correspondence with the original foreign bank
    • Introduce the Currency destined to prior payment of the deposit and subsequently of the purchase price;
    • Ask your bank to provide a written statement justifying the reasons for the transfer of funds from abroad ( for investment) and stating that they are for the purchase of a property. It is essential to obtain this statement of investment from the bank ( essential for the resale of the property), 48 hours after the transfer of funds. In the event that the buyer is unable to obtain it, he must obtain a 'certificate from the bank stating the reasons therefor.
The foreigner that is resident or with a residence permit not expired, on the contrary must provide to the administration of land property (CPF) only: the documents proving his residence in the country and the "Declaration of investment" issued by the bank in which he has deposited the corresponding amount of the purchase price .

More precisely, the purchase is not subject to the prior approval of the Central Bank, but must be carried out as an import of currency. Consequently, the buyer will have to open a "special account for residents."

Here are my questions:

  • How long does it take to get this authorisation?
  • I heard that it can take between 6 and 12 months. Why does it take so long?
  • Is it merely the Governer or other government agencies/ministries (intelligence, ministry of education, agriculture, etc) that needs to approve my purchase?
  • Is there a chance that on the basis of me wanting to buy something so cheap, they'll refuse to allow me to purchase this property?
  • Is it possible to bribe the relevant officials to speed up the process or guarantee acceptance?
  • Is there any clever way to give me rights to the property for the 6-12 months that I wait for the property to be made mine, without me handing a wad of cash to a stranger and hoping that they won't pretend like they never got it? I would be losing a whole year's rental income (20%) if I have to wait 12 months to get approval
  • On consequent property purchases, will the procedure be any quicker?
  • Will my touristic visa being expired for almost 6 months have any affect on their decision to approve my request?
  • Does anyone here have any experience purchasing property in Tunisia as a non-Tunisian?
  • Can anyone introduce me to a banker who has experience with opening non-resident bank accounts for foreigners in Tunisia?
Any advice? Remarks?

Thanks guys
 

simple

Major Ratslayer
Hi i wasnt a resident at the time i bought my propety ,,but i made a decleration of investment to the administration of land property ,a document issued by Amen bank after my funds were transfered by my bank in England .It wasnt difficult for me to open a bank account 20tnd and my passport,,But that was back in 2006,i presume its all changed now .The approval from administration of land property took 3 months as i was buying in a turistic zone and had no intention of renting it out ,That may be why its harder for you .My house cost 80.000 dn {£34.000] and it was solely fo my personal use ,,I managed to sell it in 2013 to a German couple who transfered euros from germany direct to my english account ,I was lucky ,,Dont know if this helps ,but this is my experience ,It was quite easy in 2006 .Amen bank account ,real estate manager and a personal lawyer was all i needed .
 
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420weblazeit

Well-Known Member
I always thought that an investment will be taken to have ones money grow, not diminish. :)
I am offered a property for 20,000 TND, which I am negotiating down to 18k, which earns 300 a month on an annual basis. 5 years and my money is back (in TND). Government offices are supposed to be open on the 07/07/2020 - by then, hopefully the dinar value will go down and when I buy and start earning, I'll chose to cash out (in foreign currency) when the value of the dinar rises again.

i was buying in a turistic zone and had no intention of renting it out
Are you saying that if I buy this house now for 20MD and rent it out for 300 a month, I can get in trouble? I'd only be interested in buying this 25 square meter shed if I can earn money with it...

My house cost 80.000 dn {£34.000]
Can I ask where this house was? Are there any more left over there for a similar price? hehe

transfered euros from germany direct to my english account
As part of transfering property from one person to another, aren't you supposed to transfer dinars from one dinar-denominated bank account in Tunisia to another dinar-denominated account and show proof of this?

Also, did your "license"/"authorisation" make it permissable for your house to be sold/resold to foreigners freely or did you need a license for every transaction (e.g to build, to buy, to resell, to rent - you need permission each time you wish to do either one of these things)?

Amen bank account ,real estate manager and a personal lawyer was all i needed .
Could you please find and share with me the details of any of the three? I see that you wrote "real estate manager" - are there trustworthy realtors who can let your Tunisian house/apartment for you and collect rent on time? Are there any that would sign a lease with you and pay you on time, every month?
 

simple

Major Ratslayer
The house was in Hammamet and i dont know about house prices anymore ,my rat boyfriend at that time was the bank manager at Amen bank ,so that helped ,also i did need permisson to exchange names on the "Acte de vendte" [deeds] at a cost of 500 dinar..Also included in the sale was the 10% tax ..Again i dont know about collecting rent ,as the house was for my personal use ,and yes the real estate manager was trustworthy .The German couple sent Euros from Germany to England and the permission money and tax was paid in dinars ,,I cant answer anything else as i believe its all changed now..I did a bit of work on the house ,,ie needed a new roof ,but didnt need to get permission ,but there was an old well outside that belonged to that property and because it was not in the property i needed permission to mend the brick wall ..
 

Etoyoc

Major Ratslayer
Yes, the rules are not very clear on any of it. The government exemption (on land that can be used for agriculture) will probably have to taken every time when a proerty changes hands. They also have imposed a VAT on immobiliers of, I think, as of this year, 19%.
The dinar will most probably devalue heavily in the months to come, since Tunisia is on the brink of insolvency, even more now with the virus (no foreign currency inflow and rising loans and debt), which means that any investment has to make up for that as well, not speak about a very uncertain level of inflation (and impact on citizens finances) and the outlook of the housing market.

In Tunisia, it is generally adviseable to get the help of lawyers when it comes to property and houses (note: especially when both have different owners, as eg. in apartments!). There is no serious advice that can be given without knowing all the documented facts.
 

Etoyoc

Major Ratslayer
300/month for a small apartment must be a 1A location - usually, you can get 200-300/month for a 2-3 room apartment in average locations. :)
 

420weblazeit

Well-Known Member
The dinar will most probably devalue heavily in the months to come
Cool, I guess I should sign a contract ASAP with my landlord (I've been living in my apartment en noir since October) to fix in the 950dt that I owe him per month for the next year - I earn entirely in foreign currency, hopefully this reduces my cost of rent in half. If I can find the moment when the TND is at it's record low, I might pay several months of rent upfront, hehe.

They also have imposed a VAT on immobiliers of, I think, as of this year, 19%.
I thought the transfer fee of 6% was reduced to 1% for foreigners not resident in Tunisia, what is this 19% TVA that you speak of? :eek:
 

Etoyoc

Major Ratslayer
19% VAT (for new houses only?), but the increase has been postponed until 2024, currently (since 2018) it is still at 13%. Currently, there are 8000 unsold houses in Tunisia, of which 6000 have been built recently.
 

420weblazeit

Well-Known Member
19% VAT (for new houses only?), but the increase has been postponed until 2024, currently (since 2018) it is still at 13%. Currently, there are 8000 unsold houses in Tunisia, of which 6000 have been built recently.
I'd be getting an already-tenanted property. I guess the VAT would have already been paid.

How can I find a list of the new constructions that developers are desperate to sell? I'd love to benefit from the incoming crysis, hehe
 

MH007

Administrator
Staff member
Cool, I guess I should sign a contract ASAP with my landlord (I've been living in my apartment en noir since October) to fix in the 950dt that I owe him per month for the next year - I earn entirely in foreign currency, hopefully this reduces my cost of rent in half. If I can find the moment when the TND is at it's record low, I might pay several months of rent upfront, hehe.



I thought the transfer fee of 6% was reduced to 1% for foreigners not resident in Tunisia, what is this 19% TVA that you speak of? :eek:
950 tnd per month :eek: :eek::eek:

Welcome to the Forum.

MH x
 

420weblazeit

Well-Known Member
950 tnd per month
In Gammarth... 950 is very much... 3adi - neighbours pay 1200. Guy across the balcony (Ukrainian embassy staff) pays 1500 a month (I think his deal is actually that he pays his rent in USD - lucky landlord).

My apartment costs 170,000 when new - how much would you reckon would be an acceptable sum to pay? I enjoy being situated where I am.

Welcome to the Forum.
 
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