Cape VerdeTips

Finding Housing as an Expat in Cape Verde

1. What are the most popular areas for expats to live in Cape Verde?

The most popular areas for expats to live in Cape Verde are primarily located in the island of Sal and Boa Vista. These islands attract expats for their stunning beaches, vibrant tourist areas, and overall relaxed lifestyle. In Sal, the town of Santa Maria is a favorite among expats due to its picturesque white sandy beaches, range of accommodation options, and diverse international community. Boa Vista, on the other hand, offers a more peaceful environment with its breathtaking natural landscapes and opportunities for outdoor activities like windsurfing and kiteboarding. Additionally, the capital city of Praia in Santiago island is also a popular choice for expats looking for a mix of urban conveniences and cultural experiences.

2. What is the rental market like in Cape Verde for expats?

The rental market in Cape Verde for expats can vary depending on the island and the specific location within each island. Generally, there is a range of options available in terms of rental properties, from budget-friendly apartments to luxury villas. Expats should expect to find a mix of furnished and unfurnished properties, with prices typically being more affordable compared to many Western countries. It’s essential for expats to consider factors such as proximity to amenities, safety, and accessibility when choosing a rental property in Cape Verde. Additionally, expats should be aware of the local rental laws and regulations to ensure a smooth renting process.

3. Are there any specific rules or regulations that expats need to be aware of when renting property in Cape Verde?

When renting property in Cape Verde as an expat, there are several important rules and regulations to be aware of:

1. Residency Permit: Expats should have a valid residency permit or visa that allows them to reside in Cape Verde for an extended period.

2. Lease Agreements: It is important to carefully review and understand the terms of the lease agreement before signing. Ensure that all relevant details are clearly outlined, such as rental price, duration of the lease, and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord.

3. Deposit: Typically, landlords in Cape Verde may require a security deposit before moving into the property. Make sure the terms of the deposit, such as the amount and conditions for its return, are specified in the lease agreement.

4. Property Registration: Landlords are required to register lease agreements with the tax authorities in Cape Verde. Expats should ensure that this process is completed to avoid any issues in the future.

5. Tenant Rights: Expats should be aware of their rights as tenants in Cape Verde, including protections against unfair rental practices and evictions.

6. Utilities and Maintenance: Clarify with the landlord who is responsible for paying utility bills and maintaining the property to avoid any misunderstandings.

By understanding and complying with these rules and regulations, expats can navigate the process of finding and renting property in Cape Verde smoothly and ensure a positive living experience in the country.

4. How can expats find reliable and trustworthy real estate agents in Cape Verde?

Expats looking to find reliable and trustworthy real estate agents in Cape Verde can follow several steps:

1. Referrals: One of the most reliable ways to find a real estate agent in Cape Verde is through referrals from fellow expats or locals who have had positive experiences with agents. Networking within expat communities, online forums, and social media groups can be valuable in obtaining recommendations.

2. Online Research: Expats can also conduct thorough online research to find reputable real estate agents in Cape Verde. Websites such as property portals, real estate agencies, and expat forums can provide listings and information about various agents operating in the country.

3. Credentials and Experience: It is important for expats to verify the credentials and experience of real estate agents they are considering. Look for agents who are licensed, have a good track record, and are knowledgeable about the local property market and regulations in Cape Verde.

4. Consultation and Interview: Before committing to working with a real estate agent, expats should schedule a consultation or interview to discuss their needs, preferences, and budget. This will also provide an opportunity to gauge the agent’s professionalism, communication skills, and willingness to assist in the housing search process.

By following these steps, expats can increase their chances of finding a reliable and trustworthy real estate agent in Cape Verde to facilitate their housing search.

5. What is the average cost of renting a property in Cape Verde as an expat?

The average cost of renting a property in Cape Verde as an expat can vary depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property. In general, the rental prices in Cape Verde are relatively affordable compared to other popular expat destinations. On average, expats can expect to pay between $500 to $1,500 per month for a one or two-bedroom apartment in a decent location. However, rental prices can be higher in popular tourist areas such as Sal or Boa Vista. It is advisable to work with a local real estate agent who understands the rental market in Cape Verde to help you find a property that meets your needs and budget. Additionally, it’s important to factor in additional costs such as utilities, maintenance fees, and security deposits when budgeting for rental expenses in Cape Verde.

6. Are there any specific neighborhoods that are recommended for expats in terms of safety and convenience?

When looking for housing as an expat in Cape Verde, there are several neighborhoods that are recommended for their safety and convenience:

1. Praia: As the capital city, Praia offers a range of housing options and amenities that cater to the expat community. It is also a relatively safe area with good access to facilities such as supermarkets, schools, and healthcare services.

2. Mindelo: Located on the island of Sao Vicente, Mindelo is another popular choice for expats due to its vibrant cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and relatively low crime rates. The city has a mix of modern and traditional housing options to suit different preferences.

3. Santa Maria: Situated on the island of Sal, Santa Maria is known for its stunning beaches and resort-style living. This area is popular among expats looking for a more relaxed lifestyle with easy access to water sports and other recreational activities.

Overall, these neighborhoods provide a good balance of safety, convenience, and amenities that cater to the needs of expats living in Cape Verde. It is advisable to research each area further and visit them in person to determine which one aligns best with your preferences and requirements.

7. What are the typical amenities available in rental properties for expats in Cape Verde?

Rental properties for expats in Cape Verde typically offer a range of amenities to cater to the needs of international tenants. Some common features you can expect include:

1. Furnished apartments: Many rental properties in Cape Verde come fully furnished, making it convenient for expats who are looking for a quick and easy move-in experience.
2. Security: Gated communities, security guards, and surveillance systems are commonly found in rental properties to ensure the safety of residents.
3. Internet and Cable TV: Most rental properties include internet and cable TV services in the rental package, although the quality and coverage may vary.
4. Air conditioning: Given the tropical climate in Cape Verde, air conditioning is a common amenity in rental properties to ensure comfort during hot weather.
5. Swimming pool and/or gym: Some upscale rental properties offer access to swimming pools, gyms, or other recreational facilities for residents to enjoy.
6. Parking: Many rental properties provide designated parking spaces for residents, either in a secured parking lot or underground garage.
7. Cleaning and maintenance services: Some rental properties offer regular cleaning and maintenance services to ensure that the property is well-maintained.

These amenities can vary depending on the location, type of property, and rental price, so it’s essential to clarify your preferences and needs with a real estate agent or landlord when searching for housing in Cape Verde.

8. Are there any resources or websites that expats can use to search for housing in Cape Verde?

Yes, there are several resources and websites that expats can use to search for housing in Cape Verde. Some popular online platforms for finding accommodation in Cape Verde include:

1. This website is a useful resource for expats looking for housing options in Cape Verde. Users can browse classified ads, connect with other expats, and get advice on renting or buying property in the country.

2. Facebook groups: There are several expat and local Facebook groups dedicated to housing in Cape Verde. These groups can be a great place to find listings, connect with landlords or real estate agents, and get recommendations from other expats who have already gone through the process.

3. Real estate websites: Websites such as,, and are popular among both locals and expats looking for property to rent or buy in Cape Verde. These platforms typically have a wide range of listings, including apartments, houses, and vacation rentals.

4. Local real estate agents: Working with a local real estate agent can also be a helpful way to find housing in Cape Verde. They can help navigate the local market, negotiate with landlords, and ensure that the rental or purchase process goes smoothly.

Overall, utilizing a combination of these resources can help expats find the perfect housing option in Cape Verde.

9. How far in advance should expats start looking for housing before their move to Cape Verde?

Expats planning to move to Cape Verde should start looking for housing at least 1 to 3 months before their planned relocation date. Starting the search early allows expats to familiarize themselves with the housing market in Cape Verde, understand the different neighborhoods, and explore various options based on their preferences and budget. Additionally, by beginning the search in advance, expats can also secure suitable accommodation that meets their needs and ensure a smooth transition upon arrival in Cape Verde. It is important to note that the housing market in Cape Verde can be competitive, especially in popular expat destinations, so starting the search early gives expats a better chance of finding their desired housing.

10. Are there any cultural considerations that expats should be aware of when looking for housing in Cape Verde?

When looking for housing in Cape Verde as an expat, there are several cultural considerations to keep in mind:

1. Respect for Local Customs: It is important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions when searching for housing. Cape Verdeans value politeness and friendliness, so showing respect towards landlords and neighbors can go a long way in building positive relationships.

2. Language: While Cape Verdeans are generally bilingual in Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole, it is helpful to learn some basic phrases in either language to communicate effectively with landlords and neighbors.

3. Community Living: Cape Verdean society values community and close-knit relationships, so be prepared to interact with neighbors and participate in community events. This can enhance your expat experience and help you integrate into local life.

4. Negotiation: Negotiating the terms of a rental agreement is common in Cape Verde. Take your time to discuss and clarify all details of the rental contract to avoid misunderstandings in the future.

5. Privacy: In some neighborhoods, people are quite social and may drop by to visit without prior notice. While this may be seen as a friendly gesture, it’s important to establish boundaries and communicate your need for privacy if necessary.

Overall, being culturally aware and respectful of the local customs and norms in Cape Verde can help expats find suitable housing and integrate successfully into their new community.

11. What are the common lease terms and contract regulations for expats renting in Cape Verde?

When renting as an expat in Cape Verde, common lease terms and contract regulations vary, but some aspects are generally consistent:

1. Lease Duration: Rental agreements typically range from 6 months to 1 year, but longer-term leases can also be negotiated.

2. Deposit: Landlords usually require a deposit equivalent to 1-3 months’ rent, which is refundable at the end of the tenancy if there are no damages.

3. Rent Payment: Rent is often paid monthly in advance, either in cash or via bank transfer.

4. Utilities: In some cases, utilities like water, electricity, and internet may be included in the rent, but it’s essential to clarify this in the contract.

5. Renewal and Termination: The lease renewal process should be outlined in the contract, including any rent increase conditions. Termination terms typically require giving one to three months’ notice.

6. Furnished vs. Unfurnished: Properties in Cape Verde are often rented unfurnished, so expats may need to budget for furnishing their accommodation.

7. Contract Language: Ensure that the lease agreement is written in a language you understand or have it translated to avoid misunderstandings.

8. Legal Compliance: Both landlords and tenants are expected to adhere to Cape Verde’s rental laws, which protect the rights of both parties.

9. Property Condition: Conduct a thorough inspection of the property before signing the lease to document any existing damages to avoid disputes later.

10. Residency Requirements: Some landlords may require proof of residency or a work permit before agreeing to a lease.

11. Real Estate Agents: Working with a reputable real estate agent can help navigate the rental process and ensure all legal requirements are met.

12. Are utilities typically included in rental properties for expats in Cape Verde?

Utilities are not typically included in rental properties for expats in Cape Verde. When renting a property in Cape Verde, expats will generally need to pay for utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and internet separately from their rent. It is important for expats to budget for these additional costs when searching for housing in Cape Verde. It is advisable to inquire about the average cost of utilities in the area where you are looking to rent to ensure that they fit within your budget. Additionally, it is recommended to clarify with the landlord or rental agency which utilities are the responsibility of the tenant and which are covered by the landlord.

13. What are the best ways for expats to negotiate rental prices in Cape Verde?

Negotiating rental prices as an expat in Cape Verde can be a bit challenging but here are some tips to help you secure a good deal:

1. Research Market Prices: Before starting negotiations, it’s important to have a good understanding of the average rental prices in the area where you are looking to rent. This will give you a solid baseline to work from during negotiations.

2. Use local contacts: Having local connections or working with a local real estate agent can give you an advantage in negotiating rental prices. They can provide valuable insights into the local market and help you navigate the negotiation process.

3. Timing is Key: Try to negotiate rental prices during the low season when there is less demand for rental properties. Landlords may be more open to negotiating lower prices during this time.

4. Highlight Your Qualifications: Show the landlord that you are a reliable tenant by providing references from previous landlords or proof of stable income. This can help build trust and potentially lower the rental price.

5. Consider Long-Term Leases: Landlords may be more willing to negotiate lower rental prices for longer lease terms. This can give them security and stability, making them more open to offering a reduced rate.

6. Be Respectful and Professional: Approach negotiations with a respectful and professional attitude. Building a good relationship with the landlord can go a long way in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

By following these tips and being prepared for negotiations, expats in Cape Verde can increase their chances of securing a favorable rental price.

14. Are there any additional fees or taxes that expats should be aware of when renting property in Cape Verde?

When renting property in Cape Verde as an expat, there are some additional fees and taxes that you should be aware of.

1. Security Deposit: Landlords typically require a security deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent, to cover any damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear.

2. Agency Fees: If you use a real estate agency to find your rental property, there may be agency fees involved, usually equivalent to one month’s rent.

3. Rental Tax: In Cape Verde, there is a rental tax that is usually around 1% to 3% of the annual rental value of the property. This tax is the responsibility of the tenant to pay.

4. Utilities: While not a direct fee or tax imposed by the government, as a tenant, you are typically responsible for paying for utilities such as water, electricity, and gas. These costs can vary depending on your usage.

5. Maintenance Fees: In some cases, especially in apartment buildings or gated communities, there may be maintenance fees that cover the upkeep of communal areas and amenities. This is an additional cost that tenants should be aware of.

6. Legal Fees: Depending on the complexity of the rental agreement or lease contract, there may be legal fees involved in finalizing the paperwork. It’s recommended to have a lawyer review the contract to ensure your rights are protected.

It’s essential for expats to factor in these additional fees and taxes when budgeting for their rental property in Cape Verde to avoid any surprises or financial difficulties during their stay.

15. How can expats protect themselves from potential scams or fraudulent listings when searching for housing in Cape Verde?

When searching for housing in Cape Verde as an expat, it is crucial to be vigilant and take precautions to protect yourself from potential scams or fraudulent listings. Here are some key steps expats can take to safeguard themselves:

1. Research: Conduct thorough research on the local rental market in Cape Verde, including typical rental prices and common rental practices.
2. Use reputable sources: Rely on reputable real estate websites, agencies, and local contacts when searching for housing.
3. Verify ownership: Before entering into any agreements, verify the ownership of the property through official channels.
4. Visit the property in person: Whenever possible, visit the property in person to ensure its existence and condition.
5. Beware of upfront payments: Be cautious of landlords or agents who request large upfront payments before showing you the property.
6. Check rental agreements: Carefully review rental agreements to ensure all terms are fair and clearly stated.
7. Seek legal advice: Consider seeking legal advice to understand your rights as a tenant and protect yourself from potential scams.

By following these precautions and staying vigilant throughout the housing search process, expats can reduce the risk of falling victim to scams or fraudulent listings in Cape Verde.

16. What are the options for short-term rentals in Cape Verde for expats who may not be looking for a long-term commitment?

Short-term rentals in Cape Verde are a popular choice for expats who do not want to commit to long-term housing options. Some of the options available include:

1. Vacation rentals: Many property owners in Cape Verde offer their homes or apartments for short-term stays, especially in tourist areas like Sal or Boa Vista. Websites like Airbnb and are useful for finding these types of accommodations.

2. Serviced apartments: These are fully furnished apartments that come with amenities like housekeeping, concierge services, and sometimes even meals. They are a convenient option for expats looking for a comfortable short-term housing solution.

3. Guesthouses and hostels: In Cape Verde, there are a number of guesthouses and hostels that cater to short-term stays. These are budget-friendly options that are great for expats looking for a simple and social living arrangement.

4. Short-term rental agencies: Some real estate agencies in Cape Verde specialize in short-term rentals for expats. They can help you find the perfect accommodation based on your preferences and budget.

Overall, expats in Cape Verde have a variety of options when it comes to short-term rentals, allowing them to experience the country without a long-term commitment.

17. Are there any specific types of housing that are more popular among expats in Cape Verde, such as apartments, villas, or houses?

In Cape Verde, expats tend to gravitate towards different types of housing based on their needs and preferences. Generally, apartments are popular among expats for several reasons:

1. Convenience: Apartments are often located in central areas with easy access to amenities, transportation, and entertainment options, making them a convenient choice for expats who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and lifestyle.

2. Affordability: Apartments in Cape Verde are generally more affordable than villas or houses, making them a budget-friendly option for expats looking to save on accommodation costs.

3. Security: Many apartment buildings in Cape Verde come with security features such as gated entrances, surveillance cameras, and on-site security guards, providing expats with a sense of safety and peace of mind.

However, some expats may also opt for villas or houses for a more spacious and private living environment, especially if they are relocating with their families or have specific lifestyle preferences. Ultimately, the choice of housing type among expats in Cape Verde varies based on individual needs, budget constraints, and personal preferences.

18. How important is it for expats to work with a local lawyer or real estate advisor when renting property in Cape Verde?

It is highly important for expats to work with a local lawyer or real estate advisor when renting property in Cape Verde for several key reasons:

Professional Guidance: A local lawyer or real estate advisor can provide essential guidance on the legalities of renting property in Cape Verde, ensuring that expats understand their rights and obligations under local laws.

Property Verification: These professionals can help expats verify the authenticity and legality of the property they are interested in renting, including checking for any outstanding issues or disputes that may impact the rental agreement.

Negotiation Assistance: Local lawyers or real estate advisors can also assist expats in negotiating the terms of the rental agreement, ensuring that the contract is fair and in the expat’s best interest.

Language and Cultural Barriers: Working with a local professional can also help expats navigate any language or cultural barriers that may arise during the rental process, minimizing misunderstandings and ensuring a smooth transaction.

Overall, partnering with a local lawyer or real estate advisor when renting property in Cape Verde can provide expats with invaluable support and peace of mind throughout the rental process.

19. What are the transportation options like in the areas where expats typically live in Cape Verde?

Transportation options in areas where expats typically live in Cape Verde vary depending on the island, but overall, the transportation infrastructure is relatively limited compared to major cities in other countries. Here are some common transportation options available in popular expat areas in Cape Verde:

1. Taxis: Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Cape Verde, especially in tourist areas and larger cities like Praia and Mindelo. Taxis can be hailed on the street or pre-booked for longer journeys.

2. Public Buses: Public buses are another option for getting around in Cape Verde, but services can be limited and not always reliable. In some areas, buses may not operate frequently, so it’s important to plan ahead when using this mode of transportation.

3. Rental Cars: Renting a car is a popular choice among expats who want more flexibility and independence in their transportation. There are car rental agencies available in major cities and tourist areas.

4. Collective Taxis: Collective taxis, known as “aluguer” in Cape Verde, are shared taxis that follow specific routes. This can be a cost-effective way to travel short distances.

5. Walking: Some expat areas in Cape Verde are pedestrian-friendly, making walking a viable option for getting around locally. This is especially true in smaller towns or beachfront areas.

6. Motorbikes and Scooters: Motorbikes and scooters are also common forms of transportation in Cape Verde, offering a convenient way to navigate through traffic and explore the islands.

Overall, while transportation options in Cape Verde may not be as extensive or efficient as in some developed countries, expats can still find suitable means of getting around depending on their location and preferences. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the available options and plan your transportation accordingly to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience during your stay in Cape Verde.

20. Are there any specific tips or recommendations that you would give to expats looking for housing in Cape Verde based on your expertise and experience?

When searching for housing in Cape Verde as an expat, there are several tips and recommendations that can help make the process smoother and more successful:

1. Research the Different Areas: Cape Verde is composed of multiple islands, each with its own characteristics and lifestyle. It’s essential to research and understand the different areas within the islands to find one that aligns with your preferences and needs.

2. Consider Renting vs. Buying: Depending on your duration of stay and personal circumstances, you may want to consider whether renting or buying property in Cape Verde is more suitable for you. Renting can offer greater flexibility, while buying might be a better investment in the long term.

3. Engage a Local Real Estate Agent: Partnering with a reputable local real estate agent can be beneficial in navigating the housing market, understanding local regulations, and finding the right property that meets your requirements.

4. Visit Properties in Person: If possible, try to visit properties in person before making a decision. This allows you to get a feel for the neighborhood, assess the condition of the property, and ensure it meets your expectations.

5. Understand Rental Agreements: When renting a property, carefully review the rental agreement to understand the terms and conditions, including rent, deposit, maintenance responsibilities, and any additional costs.

6. Consider Safety and Security: Prioritize safety and security when selecting a housing option. Ensure that the property is located in a safe neighborhood and features necessary security measures.

7. Budget Wisely: Create a budget that encompasses not only rent or property purchase cost but also additional expenses such as utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. Stick to your budget to avoid financial strain.

8. Seek Recommendations: Utilize expat forums, social media groups, and networking opportunities to seek recommendations from other expats who have experience with finding housing in Cape Verde. Their insights can be invaluable in your search process.

By following these tips and recommendations, expats can navigate the housing market in Cape Verde effectively and find a suitable accommodation that meets their needs and preferences.