Finding Housing as an Expat in Zimbabwe

1. What are the best neighborhoods for expats to live in Zimbabwe?

1. The best neighborhoods for expats to live in Zimbabwe vary depending on personal preferences and needs, but some popular choices include:

– Borrowdale: Known for its upscale properties, lush greenery, and proximity to amenities like shopping centers and international schools, Borrowdale is a top choice for expats looking for a comfortable lifestyle.
– Avondale: Located close to the city center of Harare, Avondale offers a mix of residential and commercial properties, making it a convenient option for expats who want easy access to services and entertainment.
– Highlands: Highlands is a leafy suburb with spacious homes and a tranquil atmosphere, making it popular among expats seeking a peaceful residential area.
– Greendale: With modern housing developments, good security, and close proximity to Harare’s CBD, Greendale is a sought-after neighborhood for expats looking for convenience and safety.

These neighborhoods generally offer good security, access to amenities, and a high standard of living, making them attractive options for expats looking to settle in Zimbabwe. It’s essential for expats to visit these neighborhoods in person, talk to locals and expats living there, and consider factors such as proximity to work, schools, and recreational facilities before making a decision on where to live.

2. How can expats find rental properties in Zimbabwe?

Expats looking for rental properties in Zimbabwe have several options to consider:

1. Real Estate Agencies: Engaging with reputable real estate agencies can be a reliable way to find rental properties in Zimbabwe. These agencies often have a wide range of listings and can help expats navigate the local rental market.

2. Online Platforms: Utilizing online real estate platforms specific to Zimbabwe can also be beneficial. Websites like Property 24,, and Private Property Zimbabwe showcase various rental listings across the country.

3. Networking: Expats can leverage their networks, both online and offline, to find rental properties in Zimbabwe. Connecting with other expats, local residents, and community groups can often lead to valuable leads on available rentals.

4. Newspapers and Notice Boards: In Zimbabwe, newspapers and community notice boards are still popular ways to advertise rental properties. Expats can check these sources for potential listings in their desired locations.

5. Local Knowledge: Lastly, tapping into local knowledge by speaking with residents, landlords, and property owners in the area where one wishes to rent can provide unique insights and opportunities that may not be readily available through other channels.

3. What is the average cost of renting a house or apartment in Zimbabwe as an expat?

Renting a house or apartment in Zimbabwe as an expat can vary greatly depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $2000 per month for a decent rental property.

1. In Harare, the capital city, rental prices tend to be higher, with a one-bedroom apartment in a central location costing around $600 to $1000 per month.

2. In other cities such as Bulawayo or Mutare, rental prices may be slightly lower, with similar properties ranging from $400 to $800 per month.

3. It’s important to note that rental prices can fluctuate due to factors such as the current economic situation, the condition of the property, and the terms of the lease agreement. It is advisable to work with a real estate agent or relocation specialist who can assist you in finding a rental property that fits your budget and preferences.

4. Are there specific rental requirements or restrictions for expats in Zimbabwe?

As an expat looking for housing in Zimbabwe, there are certain rental requirements and restrictions that you should be aware of:

1. Proof of income: Landlords in Zimbabwe typically require proof of stable income to ensure that you can afford the rent. This could include pay slips or employment contracts.

2. Lease agreements: It is common for landlords to require a signed lease agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement. Make sure to review this document carefully before signing.

3. Security deposit: Landlords often require a security deposit upfront, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent. This deposit is typically refundable at the end of the lease term, minus any deductions for damages or outstanding rent.

4. Visa requirements: Depending on your visa status in Zimbabwe, there may be restrictions on the length of time you can rent a property as an expat. Make sure to check your visa requirements before entering into a rental agreement.

Overall, while there are specific rental requirements and restrictions for expats in Zimbabwe, with careful planning and research, you can find suitable accommodation that meets your needs and budget. It is advisable to work with a reputable real estate agent or relocation service familiar with the local rental market to navigate any potential challenges effectively.

5. What are the common amenities and facilities available in expat housing in Zimbabwe?

When looking for housing as an expat in Zimbabwe, you can expect to find a range of amenities and facilities available in expat-friendly accommodations. Some common features include:

1. Security: Expat housing in Zimbabwe often comes with robust security measures such as gated communities, 24-hour security personnel, CCTV surveillance, and alarm systems to ensure the safety of residents.

2. Furnished Units: Many expat housing options in Zimbabwe come fully furnished, making it convenient for expats who are seeking temporary accommodation without the hassle of purchasing furniture.

3. Utilities: Most expat housing in Zimbabwe includes basic utilities such as water, electricity, and internet in the rental package, making it easier for expats to manage their living expenses.

4. On-Site Amenities: Depending on the housing complex, expats may have access to on-site amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, and communal gardens for recreational purposes.

5. Maintenance Services: Property management teams often provide maintenance services for expat housing, ensuring that any issues with the property are promptly addressed.

Overall, expat housing in Zimbabwe is designed to provide a comfortable and convenient living environment for individuals relocating to the country.

6. How safe and secure are the residential areas for expats in Zimbabwe?

As an expert in finding housing for expats in Zimbabwe, I can provide insight into the safety and security of residential areas in the country.

1. Generally, residential areas in Zimbabwe vary in terms of safety and security. Gated communities and affluent suburbs tend to be safer and more secure, with measures such as security guards, electric fencing, and CCTV surveillance in place to protect residents. These areas are popular among expats for their peace of mind and sense of security.

2. However, it is important for expats to conduct thorough research and due diligence when choosing a residential area in Zimbabwe. Some areas, particularly in major cities like Harare and Bulawayo, may have higher crime rates and security concerns. It is advisable to seek advice from local residents, expat communities, and real estate agents to get a better understanding of the safety situation in specific neighborhoods.

3. Additionally, expats should consider factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation, and potential risks like political instability or social unrest when selecting a residential area. Being aware of the local context and staying informed about current events can help expats make informed decisions about where to live in Zimbabwe.

In conclusion, while there are safe and secure residential areas for expats in Zimbabwe, it is essential to research and assess the security situation of different neighborhoods before making a decision on housing. Taking precautions and seeking guidance from local resources can help expats find a suitable and secure place to live in the country.

7. What are the options for short-term rentals in Zimbabwe for expats?

As an expat looking for short-term rentals in Zimbabwe, you have several options to consider:

1. Short-term apartment rentals: Many expats opt for renting apartments for a few months while living in Zimbabwe. There are various websites and agencies that offer furnished apartments in popular expat areas like Harare and Bulawayo.

2. Guesthouses and lodges: Another option is to stay in guesthouses or lodges, especially if you are looking for a more temporary and flexible accommodation solution. These may offer services like cleaning, meals, and laundry, making them convenient for expats.

3. Airbnb: Airbnb has gained popularity in Zimbabwe, offering a wide range of short-term rental options from private rooms to entire homes. This can be a good choice for expats looking for a more personalized and homely experience.

4. Serviced apartments: Some expats prefer serviced apartments as they offer a combination of hotel-like amenities and the privacy of an apartment. These come fully furnished and typically include services like cleaning, security, and sometimes even a gym or pool.

5. Extended stay hotels: There are also extended stay hotels in Zimbabwe that cater to expats and offer discounted rates for longer stays. These hotels provide a comfortable and convenient living arrangement with the benefits of hotel services.

Overall, when looking for short-term rentals in Zimbabwe as an expat, it’s important to consider your budget, preferred location, and the level of amenities and services you require. Researching online, reaching out to local real estate agents, and asking for recommendations from other expats can help you find the best accommodation option that suits your needs.

8. Are there reputable real estate agents or websites that cater to expats in Zimbabwe?

Yes, there are reputable real estate agents and websites that cater to expats looking for housing in Zimbabwe. Here are some options to consider:

1. Property 24 Zimbabwe: Property 24 is a popular real estate website in Zimbabwe that lists a wide range of properties including houses, apartments, and commercial spaces. Expats can use this platform to search for properties that meet their specific requirements.

2. Knight Frank Zimbabwe: Knight Frank is a well-known global real estate agency with a presence in Zimbabwe. They have a dedicated team that specializes in helping expats find suitable accommodation in the country.

3. Private Property Zimbabwe: Private Property is another online real estate platform that expats can use to search for housing options in Zimbabwe. They offer a variety of properties for sale and rent across the country.

4. Chestnut Park Real Estate: This real estate agency caters to the luxury market in Zimbabwe and can assist expats who are looking for high-end properties in desirable locations.

5. Engel & Völkers Zimbabwe: Engel & Völkers is a prestigious international real estate agency with offices in Zimbabwe. They offer a range of premium properties and personalized services for expats seeking luxury accommodation.

When looking for housing as an expat in Zimbabwe, it is advisable to work with reputable real estate agents or websites to ensure a smooth and secure transaction process. These platforms can provide valuable insights into the local property market and help expats find suitable accommodation that meets their needs and preferences.

9. What is the process for signing a lease agreement for expat housing in Zimbabwe?

Signing a lease agreement for expat housing in Zimbabwe typically follows a structured process. Here is a general overview:

1. Property Search: As an expat, the first step is to identify potential rental properties that suit your needs and budget. This can be done through real estate agencies, online listings, or through word of mouth.

2. Negotiation: Once you have chosen a property, it’s common to negotiate the lease terms with the landlord or the property management company. This may include the rental amount, duration of the lease, and any other conditions.

3. Verification: Before signing the lease agreement, it’s important to verify the legitimacy of the landlord and the property. This may involve checking property ownership documents and ensuring that the property is in good condition.

4. Lease Agreement: The next step is to review the lease agreement thoroughly. This document outlines the terms and conditions of the rental, including rent amount, payment schedule, maintenance responsibilities, and any other rules or regulations.

5. Signing: Once you are satisfied with the terms of the lease agreement, both you and the landlord will sign the document. It is advisable to keep a copy of the signed lease agreement for your records.

6. Payment: In some cases, you may be required to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent upfront before moving into the property. Ensure that you receive a receipt for any payments made.

7. Occupancy: After signing the lease agreement and making the necessary payments, you can move into the rented property as per the agreed-upon date.

8. Compliance: Throughout the tenancy, it’s important to comply with the terms of the lease agreement, including paying rent on time, maintaining the property in good condition, and adhering to any rules set out by the landlord.

9. Renewal or Termination: As the lease term approaches its end, you may have the option to renew the agreement or move out. If you decide to terminate the lease, give adequate notice to the landlord as per the terms of the agreement.

It’s crucial to understand the legal implications of signing a lease agreement in Zimbabwe as an expat, and seeking advice from a legal expert or a real estate professional can provide further clarity on the process.

10. Are utilities typically included in rental properties for expats in Zimbabwe?

1. Utilities are not typically included in rental properties for expats in Zimbabwe. In most cases, expats will need to pay for their own utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and internet separately from their rent. It is important for expats to budget for these additional costs when considering a rental property in Zimbabwe.

2. It is common practice for landlords to require tenants to set up their own utility accounts with the respective service providers. This may involve paying deposits and monthly bills directly to the service providers.

3. It is advisable for expats to inquire about the average monthly costs of utilities in the area where they are considering renting a property. This information can help expats budget effectively and avoid any surprises once they move in.

4. Additionally, expats should familiarize themselves with the payment methods and billing cycles for utilities in Zimbabwe to ensure timely payments and avoid any disruptions in service.

5. Overall, expats should factor in the cost of utilities when evaluating the affordability of rental properties in Zimbabwe and be prepared to manage these expenses independently.

11. How can expats ensure that the property they are renting is in good condition in Zimbabwe?

In Zimbabwe, expats can take several steps to ensure that the property they are renting is in good condition:

1. Research: Expats should conduct thorough research on the area where they are planning to rent a property. This includes looking into the safety of the neighborhood, proximity to amenities such as schools, supermarkets, and hospitals, as well as the general condition of the area.

2. Inspection: Before signing a lease agreement, expats should physically inspect the property to check for any visible signs of damage or neglect. This includes looking for issues such as leaking roofs, damp walls, broken appliances, and malfunctioning utilities.

3. Landlord reputation: It is essential for expats to verify the reputation of the landlord or property management company. They can do this by asking for references from previous tenants or conducting online research to check for any negative reviews or complaints.

4. Legal protections: Expats should familiarize themselves with the rental laws and regulations in Zimbabwe to understand their rights as tenants. This can help them in case of any disputes with the landlord regarding the condition of the property.

5. Documentation: It is important for expats to document the condition of the property before moving in by taking photographs or videos. This can serve as evidence in case they need to negotiate repairs or claim their security deposit back when moving out.

By following these steps, expats can ensure that the property they are renting in Zimbabwe is in good condition and meets their expectations.

12. What are the best resources for expats looking to buy property in Zimbabwe?

For expats looking to buy property in Zimbabwe, there are several valuable resources to consider:

1. Real Estate Agents: Engaging with reputable real estate agents can provide expats with access to a wide range of properties that meet their specific requirements. These agents are well-versed in the local property market and can offer guidance throughout the purchasing process.

2. Online Property Portals: Websites such as and Property24 have extensive listings of properties available for sale in Zimbabwe. Expats can use these portals to search for properties based on location, price, and other preferences.

3. Local Newspapers and Magazines: Keeping an eye on local newspapers and magazines can also be helpful in finding property listings in Zimbabwe. Publications such as The Herald and The Zimbabwean often feature advertisements for properties for sale.

4. Networking: Expats can leverage their networks and connections in Zimbabwe to get referrals for properties that are not publicly listed. Building relationships with locals and other expats can provide valuable insights into the property market.

5. Legal Advisors: It is essential for expats to seek legal advice when buying property in Zimbabwe to ensure that all legal requirements are met. Legal advisors can help expats navigate the complexities of property transactions in the country.

By utilizing these resources, expats can streamline their property search process and make informed decisions when buying property in Zimbabwe.

13. Are there specific cultural norms or etiquette to be aware of when renting housing as an expat in Zimbabwe?

When renting housing as an expat in Zimbabwe, it is essential to be mindful of specific cultural norms and etiquette to ensure a smooth and respectful experience. Here are some important considerations:

1. Respect for Elders: In Zimbabwean culture, respect for elders is highly valued. When interacting with landlords or property owners, it is important to show deference and courtesy, especially if they are older than you.

2. Greetings: Greetings are significant in Zimbabwean culture. It is customary to greet people with a friendly “good morning” or “good afternoon” before engaging in any conversation related to housing.

3. Negotiation Style: When negotiating rent or terms of the lease, it is advisable to be polite and patient. Aggressive bargaining or pressuring the landlord may be seen as disrespectful.

4. Punctuality: Punctuality is appreciated in Zimbabwean culture. Make sure to arrive on time for property viewings or meetings with landlords to demonstrate respect for their time.

5. Communication Style: Zimbabweans generally value clear and direct communication. It is important to express your needs, concerns, and expectations openly but politely when discussing rental arrangements.

6. Gift Giving: Offering a small gift as a token of appreciation when finalizing the rental agreement or moving into a new property is a thoughtful gesture in Zimbabwean culture.

By being mindful of these cultural norms and etiquette when renting housing as an expat in Zimbabwe, you can build positive relationships with landlords and create a harmonious living environment during your stay in the country.

14. How accessible are public transportation and amenities from expat housing in Zimbabwe?

Public transportation and amenities accessibility from expat housing in Zimbabwe can vary depending on the location. In major cities such as Harare, Bulawayo, and Mutare, expats may find relatively easy access to public transportation options like buses, minibusses, and taxis. These transportation modes can provide convenient and affordable ways to navigate the city and reach amenities such as supermarkets, shopping centers, restaurants, and medical facilities.

However, it is essential to note that public transportation infrastructure in Zimbabwe may not be as extensive or reliable as in some other countries. Therefore, expats should be prepared for potential challenges such as overcrowded vehicles, irregular schedules, and limited routes, especially in more rural areas.

Additionally, the availability and quality of amenities near expat housing can also vary. In urban centers, expats are likely to find a range of amenities within a reasonable distance, while those living in more remote areas may need to travel further to access essential services and facilities.

Overall, expats relocating to Zimbabwe should consider the proximity of public transportation options and amenities when choosing housing to ensure convenience and accessibility in their daily lives.

15. What are the options for furnished housing for expats in Zimbabwe?

1. One of the primary options for expats in Zimbabwe looking for furnished housing is to consider serviced apartments. These apartments typically come fully furnished and equipped with essential amenities such as housekeeping, security, and sometimes even additional services like internet and cable TV.

2. Another popular choice for expats is to look for fully furnished private homes or villas for rent. These properties are often more spacious and offer a higher level of privacy compared to serviced apartments. Expats can find these listings through real estate agencies or online property platforms.

3. Many expats also opt for temporary accommodation in guesthouses or bed and breakfast establishments while they search for more permanent furnished housing options. These can provide a comfortable and convenient short-term solution.

4. Some international companies operating in Zimbabwe may provide accommodation options for their expat employees, which could include furnished housing or assistance in finding suitable accommodation.

5. Additionally, expats can explore online expat forums, social media groups, and local classified ads to connect with other expats or individuals offering furnished housing options in Zimbabwe.

Overall, the key is to conduct thorough research, utilize local resources, and seek assistance from real estate professionals to find the best-furnished housing option that meets the specific needs and preferences of expats in Zimbabwe.

16. Are there any specific visa requirements or documentation needed to rent housing as an expat in Zimbabwe?

As an expat looking to rent housing in Zimbabwe, there are specific visa requirements and documentation that you will need to provide. This typically includes:

1. Valid Passport: You will need a valid passport with at least six months’ validity remaining.
2. Residential Permit: Expats in Zimbabwe are typically required to have a valid residential permit allowing them to stay in the country for an extended period. This permit will likely need to be provided when renting a property.
3. Proof of Employment: Landlords may ask for proof of employment or a letter from your employer confirming your job status and income level.
4. Reference Letter: Some landlords may request a reference letter from a previous landlord to vouch for your reliability as a tenant.
5. Rental Agreement: You will need to sign a rental agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the lease, including rent amount, duration, and any other relevant clauses.

It is advisable to check with local authorities or a real estate agent in Zimbabwe to ensure you have all the necessary documentation and meet the visa requirements before searching for rental accommodation as an expat in the country.

17. How can expats navigate language barriers when communicating with landlords or property managers in Zimbabwe?

When navigating language barriers while communicating with landlords or property managers in Zimbabwe as an expat, there are several strategies you can employ to ensure effective communication:

1. Utilize Translation Tools: Consider using translation apps or devices to facilitate conversations. Apps like Google Translate can help you communicate in real-time.

2. Find a Local Liaison: If possible, enlist the help of a local friend, colleague, or even a real estate agent who can assist in translating for you and ensuring smooth communication.

3. Learn Basic Phrases: Acquiring some basic phrases in the local language, such as greetings and common questions related to housing, can go a long way in building rapport with landlords or property managers.

4. Use Simple and Clear Language: When communicating in English, which is commonly spoken in Zimbabwe, try to use simple and clear language to avoid misunderstandings.

5. Ask for Clarifications: Don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications if you are unsure about something. Clear communication is essential in the process of finding housing in a new country.

By employing these strategies, expats can effectively navigate language barriers when communicating with landlords or property managers in Zimbabwe, ultimately facilitating a smoother and more successful housing search process.

18. What are the common challenges expats face when finding housing in Zimbabwe?

When expats are looking for housing in Zimbabwe, they often encounter several challenges. Some of the common ones include:

1. Limited Availability: There may be a shortage of suitable housing options in popular expat areas, leading to fierce competition for available properties.

2. High Rental Costs: Rental prices in Zimbabwe, particularly in urban areas, can be quite high compared to expats’ home countries, making it difficult to find affordable accommodation.

3. Complex Rental Procedures: The process of renting a property in Zimbabwe can be more cumbersome and bureaucratic than expats are accustomed to, involving multiple layers of paperwork and inspections.

4. Lack of Transparency: Some landlords or property agents may not always provide clear and accurate information about the condition of the property or the terms of the lease, leading to misunderstandings or disputes later on.

5. Housing Discrimination: Expats may face discrimination or bias from landlords or neighbors based on their nationality or race, which can complicate the housing search process.

6. Security Concerns: Safety and security are important considerations for expats when choosing a place to live in Zimbabwe, and finding a secure neighborhood or building can be a challenge.

7. Utilities and Amenities: Ensuring that basic utilities such as electricity, water, and internet are available and reliable in the chosen accommodation can also be a challenge for expats.

Navigating these challenges requires thorough research, networking with other expats or local residents, and possibly enlisting the help of a reputable real estate agent or relocation service familiar with the Zimbabwean housing market.

19. Are there specific considerations for families with children when choosing housing as expats in Zimbabwe?

When it comes to expat families with children looking for housing in Zimbabwe, there are several specific considerations to keep in mind:

1. Safety and Security: It is crucial to prioritize a safe and secure neighborhood or gated community that offers peace of mind for families, especially with young children.

2. Proximity to Schools: Consider the proximity of the housing to good quality schools, as commuting long distances can be tiring for children and impact their overall well-being.

3. Amenities and Facilities: Look for housing options that are close to parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, and other facilities that cater to children’s needs.

4. Healthcare Access: Ensure that the housing is located near reputable medical facilities and hospitals to address any healthcare needs that may arise for your family.

5. Community Environment: Consider the community environment and whether it is family-friendly, with opportunities for children to socialize and participate in activities.

6. Quality of Housing: Assess the quality of the housing itself, ensuring that it meets the needs of your family in terms of space, amenities, and overall comfort.

7. Rental Agreements: Pay attention to the terms of the rental agreement, including lease duration, deposit requirements, and any clauses related to accommodating families with children.

By taking these considerations into account, expat families can make informed decisions when choosing housing in Zimbabwe that best suits the needs of their children and ensures a smooth transition to their new environment.

20. How can expats protect themselves from rental scams or fraudulent listings in Zimbabwe?

To protect themselves from rental scams or fraudulent listings in Zimbabwe, expats can take several precautions:

1. Research: Conduct thorough research on the property and the landlord or property management company. Check if the property exists and verify the ownership through official records.

2. Visit the Property: Insist on visiting the property in person before making any payments. This will help you verify its existence and condition.

3. Legal Documentation: Request for a written rental agreement detailing all terms and conditions. Ensure that the agreement is legally binding and clearly states the responsibilities of both parties.

4. Be Wary of Unrealistic Offers: If a rental listing seems too good to be true in terms of pricing or amenities, it could be a red flag for a potential scam.

5. Use Reputable Platforms: Utilize trusted real estate websites or work with reputable real estate agents who have a good track record in the industry.

6. Avoid Wire Transfers: Be cautious of landlords who insist on wire transfers or cash payments without providing proper receipts or documentation. Opt for safer payment methods such as bank transfers or checks.

7. Seek Recommendations: Ask for recommendations from other expats or locals who have experience renting properties in Zimbabwe. They can provide valuable insights and warn you of potential scams.

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