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Buying Melkia Property Safely with Bosworth Property Marrakech

Buying Melkia Property Safely with Bosworth Property Marrakech

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Buying “Melkia” Property with Bosworth Property Marrakech

With so many available properties in Marrakech having Melkia status it makes sense to clearly understand the nuances of purchasing this type of real estate. In this short paper we provide you with transparent information concerning a safe and well-trodden process for acquiring property that is currently Melkia. In a nutshell, you have your offer on the property accepted and then make a deposit with the notary of your choice. The Notary will oversee the process of transforming the Melkia into a Requisition. Once the property has a Requisition number from the Land Registry you are able to purchase.

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Melkia” or “Melk” refers to a form of property ownership based on the old Islamic system of land registry in Morocco. A hand written document is established by an “Adoul” (Islamic notary) which details the size and location of the property as well as the owner’s identities. Well over 50% of all property in Marrakech Medina has this form of ownership.

“Title Deed” (Titre Foncier in French) refers to a form of property ownership based on a centralised government Land Registry database and supported by the Cadastral Office.

Requisition” refers to the process whereby a Melkia property acquires Title Deed status.

The Melkia Document

This document is often hand written in Arabic and annotated by the Adoul when the property status changes. Changes noted on the document can include new owners following a sale and new inheritors following a death. Some of these documents are over a hundred years old and can be complex. More recent Melkia documents can be typed and are considerably easier to interpret.

One of the main challenges with Melkia can be the number of owners of any given property. If the property has been in the same family for a long time, it is likely that there will be a large number of inheritors. Given that everyone named in the document must give their formal consent to the sale this can be time consuming. When speaking with families who wish to sell a Melkia property, we advise them to establish powers of attorney enabling the head of family or a designated individual to negotiate and to sell the property in the name of all the inheritors. It is the Adoul’s responsibility to present the file to the Land Registry for the obtention of the Requisition number.

The Role of the Notary

We strongly recommend that you mandate a Notary to oversee the process of obtaining the Requisition. A Notary is a sworn officer of the Court and will provide diligence. The purchase of the property should be done through the escrow account of your chosen Notary.

The Purchasing Process

Once you have identified the property you wish to purchase you will make a written offer, through your estate agent. It is important at this stage to decide who will be paying for the process of obtaining the Requisition – this is usually about 5% and can be as much as 7% of the agreed price and is on top of your normal closing costs of around 10%.

You will then make a 10% refundable deposit in escrow with your Notary and proceed to the signature of a preliminary contract (Promise of Sale) which reserves the property for you. In this contract will be a suspensive clause stipulating that the sale will only be completed upon obtention by the sellers of the Requisition number from the Land Registry.

The Adoul will then work with the Notary to prepare a watertight file for the Land Registry. This will include a topographic and situational plan of the property, the full identities of all the sellers in the Melkia document and, in some cases, a declaration from the neighbours confirming that the plan is correct and that the owners are positively identified. This declaration is known as Stimrar. This part of the process usually takes between 8 and 12 weeks.

The Adoul then presents the file to the Land Registry for diligence. Usually the Requisition number is obtained within a further 4 weeks.

Once the Notary receives notification of the Requisition number, and upon receiving the remaining 90% of the price into escrow, it is possible to complete the sale.

After Your Purchase

You are now the owner of the property. Your Title Deed will take about a year to be issued. The Land Registry will twice visit the property within this period to officially mark the boundaries in a process called “Bornage”.  There will also be two publications in the official journal announcing that the property is in the process of obtaining a Title Deed. You should ask your Notary to check regularly with the Land Registry and once obtained to put the new Certificate of Ownership on your file.

We have successfully accompanied many purchasers through this process. If you have any questions just let us know.

Colin Bosworth


Bosworth Property Marrakech

+212 6 5802 5028


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Packed full of useful information for the first time investor and contains tips that even seasoned buyers will find useful