The Art of Renting in Cairo

September, 2016


Despite a hardwired tradition that requires every man to purchase their own home before they can even begin to dream of marriage the demand for rent in Cairo is surprisingly on the rise. With so many couples waiting for their new home in a gated community to be built, temporarily renting finds itself as the ideal solution.

When it comes to the most sought after neighborhoods, Maadi Serayat and Degla lead the pack due to their high foreigner occupancy. But for most Egyptians, New Cairo and the 6th of October are the ultimate destinations. The appeal of the latter two stems from the fact that they are both relatively new areas and thus house newer and better maintained properties. They also lie in close proximity to the largest two business districts on either side of the capital.

Apartment for rent in Egypt

Seasonal renting especially during the summertime has also witnessed a major boom now that many vacationers are more willing to pay the excessive rates that can exceed LE 30,000 for a week’s stay versus the idea of owning. This scenario is proving to be a successful model for both landlords and tenants as property brokers race around the clock for three hectic months matching supply and demand.

And while the approach to renting in the city or off the coast is quite different there are a few tips that can come in handy when deciding on where to rent.

Moreover, when renting in Cairo it is easy to go check out the property for yourself because it’s within the city but particularly when renting in Sahel or Sokhna, when you don’t have the luxury of travel just for inspection, you have to rely solely on the word of your broker.

“We have seen incidences where clients have shown up to their summer rental only to discover that they have been scammed. They were hand delivered a random key for a home that does not exist. Others have been surprised to find that there were no ACs which is essential during a summer vacation” says Mohamed Gamil, Broker Owner of RE/MAX The Address. “What we ensure our tenants and landlords is that both parties are properly taken care of. “We reduce the element of surprise and ensure that the property is also maintained in the best condition.”

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet

As discovered by a disgruntled soon-to-be bride, Hanan who spent countless days surfing the Internet for listed properties, renting in Cairo is no easy task. “Most of these wonderful apartments with great pictures aren’t even available. They promise you something and then you realize that their information is outdated and that these apartments are already rented out to other people.”

Hanan is among many who seek out the convenience of online shopping only to be disappointed by the lack of professionalism and transparency of the endless brokers who have taken her on a continuous loop of ill matching apartments. “It’s sad because after so many let downs, I finally found a broker who was quite decent and dedicated but probably misses out on so many opportunities simply because they are hard to find.”

Know your numbers

Market rates are known, not announced. That means that while there is no official price list available, knowing the average rates helps you better negotiate. For a two bedroom apartment in Heliopolis you can expect a minimum of LE 3000 that goes up to $1300. Maadi and Zamalek both start at LE 4000 and up to $1500. In New Cairo the rent starts at LE 6000 and up to $2400. Finally the 6th of October starts off with as low as LE 4,000 and leads the pack with up to $2,500 owing to the rise of super luxury properties.

In Sahel however, if you are looking for a rental in one of the newer and trendier destinations such as Marassi , Telal, Amwaj and the like then the average price for one night is about LE 2500 – 3000.

Villas in Egypt for rent

Standard Procedures

The good thing about renting is that standard procedures are pretty much, standard. When renting for a year, the contract will require the tenant to pay a deposit of 3 months in advance and one-month insurance. For 5 years it is usually a deposit of one year and 2 months insurance. As for Sahel, it is usually a 10% down payment with the remaining fees paid after the duration of stay. And while contracts are usually standard, hiring a professional company to handle these matters gives you a better deal simply because of their experience and history and so they will most probably add in extra stipulations that keep you protected.

Inspect the uninspected

This is a crucial aspect when looking for a property to rent and another reason why it helps to have a professional company on board. They know what to look for and because they are working on your behalf they will notice things that you probably might not and make inquiries about things that may not necessarily cross your mind. Does the house come with Internet? Natural gas? Fully functioning plumbing? Does the AC leak? They ensure that you won’t have to deal with utility or maintenance issues.

Then there is some personal investigation that you will have to do on your own. Those subtle disturbances that rarely anyone remembers to ask about when searching for a home. Those include inquiring about the neighbors. Are they loud? Do they leave their trashcans in stairwell? Is there a frequent electricity shortage? Are there fruit and vegetable sellers with microphones on an early Friday morning?

So if you are planning on searching for a new rental anytime soon, don’t despair. As any veteran renter will tell you, “It’s only hard at the beginning.” But with a sharp eye, plenty if patience and a reputable company by your side, it might prove to be easier than it seems.