Selling Property in Tunisia To Foreign Buyers ?

Protocols and etiquette


  1. A) The Governor’s approval is needed to buy the land.

The governor of the region where the property is located must provide prior approval for a foreigner to purchase property there. Despite this, in recent years more beneficial legislative conditions have been acknowledged as respects some land and real estate enterprises carried out by foreigners

Before asking the authorization of the governor, it is important to set out a preliminary deed of sale. It needs to give the buyer a fair amount of time (say, three to six months) to get the necessary authorization. However, the preliminary deed must include fallback language in the event that approval is ultimately denied. As in Italy, the buyer’s agreement to purchase may be accompanied with a deposit as a proportion of the entire sales price. If the sale doesn’t go through, you can get some or all of your money back.

In order to guarantee that the procedure associated to the acquisition is appropriately carried out it is important to seek the aid of an expert in this field, a real estate agent or better still a lawyer hired by one of the parties. In reality, the latter might lend a hand in getting the governor’s approval and finishing up administrative processes by ensuring the finest possible file preparation.

Several formal papers, including the buyer’s identity, must accompany the purchase deposit request.

In the event that approval is given, the final contract of sale may include language requiring the transaction to be registered and entered in the competent “revenue agency and land registry” within sixty days.

Note that the aforementioned authorisation request may be approved or declined (although in practise the latter rarely occurs).

After the registration and transcribing processes are complete, only then can the final purchase contract be signed and validated.

If the authorisation request is denied, the deal can’t go through. For this reason, the only way to get your money back is if it was stipulated in writing in the preliminary act.

Especially in high-traffic locations, promoters (builders) may get approval in advance to sell their wares without subjecting customers to the tedious bureaucratic process outlined above.


When the bought property is resold, the authorization is also not required.

Specifically, Tunisia has lately seen major revisions in its legislation on the issue, with the goal of attracting more international investment. To acquire or lease a property in an industrial or tourist region, or for projects specified in ministerial government communications, does not currently require permission. Law no. 40 of 11 May 2005 and subsequent circulars related thereto specify the circumstances under which foreign investors do not need the approval of the governor.

It is agreed upon and understood that the aforementioned exemptions apply solely to Real Estate property used in the development of economic initiatives in regions designated for industrial or tourism use, in accordance with existing laws protecting agricultural land from urban sprawl.


  1. B) The approval of the Tunisian Central Bank

In accordance with the actual rules of monetary exchange, the Central Bank of Tunisia must approve any real estate transaction made by a non-resident foreigner.

It’s crucial that you:

Any bank that agrees to correspond with a foreign bank will accept non-residents and allow them to open bank accounts in foreign currency or convertible dinars.

Submit the Form of Payment to be used for the Deposit and the Balance of the Purchase Price;

If you’re transferring money from overseas (as an investment), you’ll need a letter from your bank saying that the money will be used to buy a home. Within 48 hours following the wire transfer, a statement of investment must be obtained from the bank. This statement is required in order to resell the property. If the buyer is unable to get it, the bank must issue a “certificate of reasons” explaining why.

If a foreigner is a permanent resident or has a valid residence permit in the nation, he or she has simply to present the “Declaration of investment” provided by the bank where the whole purchase price was placed to the CPF to complete the purchase process.

In particular, the purchase does not require prior authorisation from the Central Bank, but it must be handled as an import of money. A “special account for residents” will so need to be established by the buyer.

Payment in favour of the seller should ideally be made by bank transfer for reasons of both transparency and security.


Parameters and Exceptions

Any foreigner is welcome to own a house or apartment in Tunisia. However, he will not be able to acquire any farmland.

In reality, foreigners are not allowed to buy agricultural property for any purpose.

Consequently, non-citizens are prohibited from using agricultural property for any purpose other than leasing. The land must be classified as “residential” if it is part of the national development plan; otherwise, it should be classified as “agricultural” and off-limits to foreign buyers.


Contact us today to buy or sell property in Tunisia fast online to foreign buyers.


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