Property Hunting in Kuwait: ExpatWoman advises reputable real estate agencies.
15 July 2013| Last updated on 4 July 2017
Under certain conditions, and with restrictions, expats can now buy property in Kuwait, however renting is still the usual option. Most employment contracts do provide a rental allowance. Monthly rentals can range from 300KD for a small apartment to 2000D for a large villa.
There are furnished and unfurnished residences available all over the country and it goes without saying that you will pay more for those properties in popular areas with sea views and great facilities such as pools and gyms.
Expats tend to live in areas by the Gulf : Bneid Al Gar, Shaab, Salmiya, Salwa, Fintas, Mahboula; or neighbouring areas Jabriya, Bayan, Rumaithiya and Mishref. Many people consider living close to a certain school or work, but do bear in mind that traffic can get very congested around these densely populated areas. Consider also that most schools offer a daily transport service to and from school.
If you use an agent to find a property you will typically have to pay half a month's rent to the agent and one month's rent as a deposit to the owner. When you are property hunting, you should also 'ask around' as if you are able to find a property you like which is vacant, you will be able to save yourself the agent's fee.
Kuwait does have reputable agents and you will see some advertising in the local press. It is also good to get a friend's recommendation or/and you may want to try the following companies:
AAA Housing - A good option when you first arrive; they only have furnished apartments, but they are of a good consistent standard. Kitchen appliances, cleaning services and security are normally included. There is no commission to pay. Telephone 222 68700 www.aaahousing.com
Frost Real Estate- Deals in furnished and unfurnished apartments only. No commission is charged, telephone 2564 3149 or view www.frostrealestate.net
Q8 Realtor- Deal with furnished and unfurnished apartments, villas and houses. Telephone 2571 1028 or check www.q8realtor.com
Be sure to check who has responsibility for maintenance; most apartment blocks have a 'haris' (like a caretaker) who is responsible for calling out engineers, plumbers etc. if there is a problem in the building. It is also worth asking exactly what the rent covers as quite often, the rent payment will cover water, electricity and even internet access.
You should also consider 'noise' when you are looking at areas. If you are close to a mosque, near a busy road or in a very densely populated area, it may become quite noisy and parking may also be difficult. Fortunately in Kuwait, much of the residential parking is covered, which is a necessity when the mercury hits 50 degrees.