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Housing

Finding housing can be a difficult task, however a good place to begin is the Facebook Group called Apartments in Beirut. There are some listings that fall outside of Beirut in the Metn region, however most are in and around the city. If you’re looking to live outside of Beirut, the easiest thing to do is to ask around about the available rentals or visit www.olxliban.com. Important things to find out are what the rent includes (electricity, generator, water, internet, trash) and if there is a deposit that is required. If certain amenities are not included in the price, then finding out the cost and how to pay the bills will make budgeting monthly expenses more efficient. Generally, mailboxes are not used in Lebanon, and there is not yet a way to bills online for most amenities. It is common to have the electricity, generator and internet bills delivered by courier to an entire building for immediate payment, so having those payments set aside in cash for when they come to your door is a good idea. Some apartment buildings will have a groundskeeper (natour in Arabic) who can assist with making sure these things go smoothly as well. This system might seem complex, but It’s very uncommon to be met with big issues regarding monthly payments, and if a bill collector comes while you’re not at home then they will most likely call you to see when they can come by again.

Three things to be aware of when looking for housing are water shortages, water quality and electricity cuts. Lebanon faces regular electricity cuts. In Beirut, these cuts are timed and last for three hours at a time. You can download an app on your phone called Beirut Electricity to find out when the cuts will be. Outside of Beirut, the cuts can last longer than three hours, and be random. This is the reason why so many people and business invest in a generator. If your housing situation does not include a generator, you may want to see if you can participate in a building generator share. As for water, many residents who live in the Hamra area have salt water coming from the tap instead of fresh water (sweet water). Outside of Hamra this isn’t as much of an issue, but it’s always good to check with your landlord or building manager before entering into any contract agreement. Lastly, during the summer months it is not unheard of for a residence to run out of water. Lebanon, as a country, has an abundance of water; however, the water system and infrastructure are still awaiting large-scale updates in order to bring out optimal efficiency in terms of how and from where water is distributed around the country.
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