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Cabinet for the Government in Kuwait approved the principle that foreigners could own property in Kuwait, subject to strict conditions. This overturned a longstanding law which restricted property ownership in Kuwait only to citizens of Kuwait. The move is not popular with many citizens, because prices for land and property are high, and in the country’s current political climate incomers are being blamed for all the country’s ills.

 The price of property in Kuwait depends on the strength of the oil industry. If you expect to return to your home country in the short or long term then it may be wise to hold other investments in case you sell your home in Kuwait at a point the oil price is a under pressure.

The combination of high, tax free salaries and many newcomers in a country whose customs and practices are different to those in their home country means criminal are attracted to Kuwait for easy pickings. This includes the property market. Regulations can be difficult to understand and check. To avoid corruption, try to find an estate agent with a solid reputation, and a lawyer to match.

Most expats, especially newcomers, will prefer search for the property via an estate agent who has a solid reputation amongst the expat community. It will prevent misunderstandings and ensure you get all the information you need. Two estate agencies in this market are Hilite Home and Property Plus. There are also many independent realtors who tend to work for a very localised market, so find one in the area in which you wish to live.

When viewing properties, try to avoid ground floor apartments which may be vulnerable to break ins and beggars at the door. If the apartment is near a swimming pool, bear in mind that children in Kuwait stay up far later than is normal in the UK or US, which means noise and thrown items may be a nuisance late into the evening. A nearby mosque will call prayers from the minaret five times a day, starting at 5am, so consider how loud it will inside the premises. Shaded parking for your car is important in high temperatures; many apartment blocks are built with only limited numbers of car parking spaces.

Double glazing, air conditioning and heating for the winter are all important but easily overlooked features which will impact your ability to enjoy your new home.

Any property is significantly affected by the neighbours. It is a good idea to visit a property at different times of the day and at different times, even if it is just to drive by and assess the area. Kuwait does not have a western style nightlife, but certain types of resident can become raucous at the weekend. Do not move near to a school if the noise and traffic congestion will bother you.

Check what the charges for communal areas and building maintenance will be, and ensure your notary receives this in writing. You need to be aware how often the costs can go up and if there is a possibility of surprise additional charges.

You will need to pay the building harissa about 5 Kuwaiti dinars a month for taking out your rubbish - which you leave on the stairwell for him to collect - and doing other small tasks such as wiping your car clean. However, this is a customary payment and is small so will not form part of the purchasing documentation.