House and Flat for Rent in Libya

More than once I’ve been asked about the standards of living in Libya and people are usually surprised to find that standards are actually pretty high. Libya is a very rich country thanks to its production of oil and petrol and Libyans like to build very confortable houses and flats for themselves. What can you expect when looking for a house or flat for rent?

As an ESL university teacher (or any other well paid position) in Libya you’ll be able to afford some very decent housing, not only because of your handsome salary but also thanks to the monthly housing allowance included in your contract. Some employers even offer housing for single employees and in that case don’t worry you’ll be in a very nice house.

Prices vary obviously from one city to another, Tripoli the capital city being more expensive. Prices also very much depends on your face: there is nothing regulating the rental markets and landlords and agents will ask for any price they want. Since they usually have the upper hand (more demands than offers) you’ll need to haggle hard and be ready to go over your budget.

To give you an idea of what you can expect when looking for a house or flat for rent in Libya I want to share pictures and details of the properties we rented out in Zawia.

House for rent in Zawia, Libya

The first place we rented out when we moved to Zawia was a little house just outside the city, right by the sea, with very good commute links to the University. Here are some pictures (click to see them full size and get the full content of the captions)

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The back of the house, hidden from view to ensure privacy. The terrace was my favourite place.

As you can see from the pictures above the house was brand new, in fact it had never been lived in. The landlord had built it for himself but was working away from Zawia for a while.

When it comes to house for rent i’m not too fussy but i like my confort and i put my foot down for 2 things: modern and clean bathroom and kitchen. For the rest i can make it do if necessary. In that first house, we had 2 bathrooms, both brand new and spotless (apart from the sand that gets everywhere in Libya).

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Ensuite bathroom to the Master bedroom with shower (unseen on the left), a corner bath, sink and toilet (behind the wall where the sink is).

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The second bathroom with shower over bath, toilet and sink.

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The Master bedroom with the ensuite bathroom on the left. The bed is a king size so it gives you an idea of the overall size. French doors on the right led to the terrace at the back of the house.

The house came with outdoor space, all around the house, acres of space with olive trees and the occasional sheep, as well as roof space. In countries like Libya, houses are built with flat roofs which serve as an extension to the house and provide “cool” quarters in the evening during the summer.

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Part of the outdoor space that came with the house, enough for children to run wild and the neighboors’ sheep to stroll by.

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Sunset over the olive trees at the back of the house (by the terrace). Again plenty space on that side of the house too.

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The view that makes the house: sea view from the roof top. You could actually hear the sound of the waves from the terrace and the roof

 

  • House rent: 800 LYD (Libyan Dinnars) a month (Landlord initially asked for 1200 LYD, property is actually worth 600-700 LYD but English speaking expats tend to pay more)
  • Rent paid for 6 months in advance
  • Agency fee: 400 LYD
  • Bills: free electricity, refill gaz container = less than 5 LYD per month, free water
  • Reason for leaving: house wasn’t connected to the city water network, water came from the property well and there was too many problems with the pump. Also we became aware that isolated properties like this one were easy targets for gangs operating not far.

 

Flat for rent in Zawia, Libya

After we left the house by the sea (above) we looked for a property that was more secure, that meant going back into the city. We used an agency that found us a brand new flat just a minute away from the “Saahili” the express ring road going in, out and through Zawia. The flat was close to the city centre and not far from the university.

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The block of flat was built by our landlord for his children. 3 flats and a shop on the ground floor on the right. Our flat was on the first floor on the right.

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Our flat occupied the whole first floor on this picture (yellow, beige and brown parts). There was also some outdoor space on the ground to park cars and a large sand/grass area. We also had sole use of the roof space.

 

The flat contained: a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 2 lounges, 1 dinning room, 3 bedrooms and some large corridor/sun room space. The flat was about 300 meters square + the same in roof space, roughly 600 meters square of living quarters.

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This is a rough floor plan, measures are not exact but pretty close i reckon

Unlike in the previous house, the rooms in this flat were a normal size (not too big). Everything was modern and clean. The flat had never been lived in so everything was spotless. The pictures below will give you a good idea of the sort of things you can expect when you look for flats for rent in Zawia.

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The kitchen is fully tiled on the walls with marble floors. Quite typically there are no cupbards, instead large open spaces below the worktop. Plumbing is modern and worked fine, there was plenty plugs and storage space.

These are pictures of the main bathroom, the guest bathroom was of the same size if not slightly bigger and of the same standards.

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Bathrooms were fully tiled with white ceramic sink/toilet and shower over bath.

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Each bathroom had its own style and colour pattern over the sink

 

Since the flat had so many bedrooms we turned one into an office. With 2 teachers in the family this was probably the most used room in the flat.

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We used the 3rd bedroom, which gave onto the lounge (on the left outside the door) and the dinning area, as an office. As you can see, we managed to easily fit 2 very big desks in it.

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Ok i actually tidied up for the picture the office was rarely that tidy, especially as the boys liked to bring all their toys and play on the carpet.

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Like all the other rooms in the house the office had many plug points and we had more than enough to plug our computers, printers, wifi router, phone chargers… you name it.

 

The biggest downside of this property was obviously the lack of garden or outdoor space but we had a spacious roof. We manage to turn it into an outdoor play area for the boys where they would freshen up in a small paddling pool and where i could relax as well. Add to that some pretty special views and you won’t be surprised to hear we liked it there.

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If you think our house and flat were big check out the white house with red roof tiles right in the middle of the picture… Libyans love gigantic family houses.

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On the other side the neighbours had managed to create a green garden (water is free in Libya so irrigation is no problem) with date palm trees too.

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Sunset view from the roof of our flat. Is there anything more beautiful than a sunset over palm trees?

 

  • Flat rent: 700 LYD (Libyan Dinnars) a month (Landlord initially asked for 750 LYD)
  • Rent paid for 1 month in advance
  • Agency fee: 350 LYD
  • Bills: free electricity, refill gaz container = less than 5 LYD per month, free water
  • Reason for leaving: We only left the flat when we left Libya otherwise we would have stayed there. The flat was just perfect.

That’s all for the pictures i’m pretty sure i’ve surprised a few people. Libya doesn’t usually have the right image in the media. If you’re thinking of moving to Libya don’t worry, you’ll be able to afford a very nice place and enjoy a very confortable life with your salary. This blog’s main purpose is to provide real life info on expat life in Libya so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Leave a comment below or contact me anytime.

Did you know Libya had such high standards of living? Would you consider living in Libya?

 

4 thoughts on “House and Flat for Rent in Libya”

  1. signatureglobal says:

    Hi,

    Nice house . SPECIALLY sun room.

  2. Sakil Ahmed says:

    OOH this is nice house . SPECIALLY sun room . sea view from the roof .what a view

  3. worldjourneysdiscover says:

    reminds me of Iran a bit – really really interesting! Pity things aren't the best there right now 🙁
    My recent post Train Journeys in Myanmar – Looking forward

  4. Tim | UrbanDuniya says:

    They look like REALLY nice houses!! Especially the first one!! Libya, here I come! 🙂
    My recent post What would you do with 24 hours in Istanbul?

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