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Housing in Albania

Buying a Property

In Albania, there are no restrictions on the foreign ownership of real estate, with the exception of agricultural land. The buying process typically involves signing several contracts – a reservation agreement, an undertaking contract, a preliminary contract and the actual sale-purchase contract.

After the reservation agreement has been signed, the property is reserved for about 4 weeks by the buyer. During this period, the buyer (through his lawyer) undertakes due diligence checks on the property. While the services of lawyers are not mandatory for a property purchase in Albania, a lawyer is highly recommended. Buyers should be especially careful if the property was confiscated during the Communist period. Since the end of communism in the early 1990s, around 85% of properties have been returned to their previous owners. The remaining 15%, located mainly in Tirana and coastal areas are still waiting for a resolution. The buyer’s lawyer must ensure that the property in question is free from liens and is under the name of the actual seller.

Another problem is the quality of construction. Some developers take shortcuts in obtaining building permits. Some apartments are smaller than stated in the contract.

After all the necessary documents have been obtained, the ‘main undertaking contract’ is signed by both parties. This signifies their promise to buy and to sell the property respectively. It contains details of timescales, payment terms, prices and the terms and conditions of the purchase. The undertaking contract is signed in front of a Notary Public, a public official appointed by the government.

A 10% down payment for second-hand properties is usually paid upon signing of the preliminary contract. For new properties or off-plan developments, the down payment is typically 30%.

The final sale-purchase contract is signed in front of a Notary once the property has been fully paid for. The final contract is registered at the Office of the Immovable Property Registration (ZRPP) for the transfer of the title deed to the new owner.

Buyers should also be careful when dealing with real estate agents in Albania. There are only a handful of established real estate agencies in Albania. However, there are about a hundred unscrupulous part-time agents. The industry is unregulated. Anyone can claim to be an agent. In certain cases, some agents sell properties even without the knowledge of the legal owners.

Renting a Property

Popular area for the expatriate community in Albania is the capital, Tirana.

The availability of apartments and houses in the country and particularly in this popular area vary. Most expatriates rent their apartment or house; some buy their homes. Both options are available but mainly depend on your company policy, income and the length of your stay.

Cost of housing varies from area to area and the size of the house or apartment. You will pay anything between $1,000-$1,500 for a 4 bedroom apartment or even higher. The local currency is Lek (Lk).





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