As with any costs, as long as you are aware of them before hand, they are easier to manage. It is the surprise ones that catch people unaware. So duly remember that, beyond the rent and other expenses linked to your move to Ghana, you will have expenses when moving in and then, several regular charges to pay.
International standard properties generally come equipped with air conditioners and generators but more affordable properties may have neither. Air-conditioning is a must in Accra unless you are used to live in hot weather.
Good houses and gated communities come with generators. Power cuts are a reality in nearly all areas although it has much improved and being without light, fans and air-conditioning is not a situation most people wish to experience during any Ghana nights, except during the rainy season.
With regards to appliances, apartments generally come with well-equipped kitchens but others and houses often do not. Appliances are easily put in containers (Ghana’s power is 220V) or can alternatively be easily bought in Ghana at reasonable prices. Find recommended shops in the How To with home furnishings and more page of the How To Guide.
- Water: the Ghana Water Company Limited is responsible for the management of pipe-borne water in most urban areas and towns. The problem in Accra is not the cost of water (insignificant and often included in the rent or service charge), but its availability. Water shortages are a reality in many areas so all properties are equipped with tanks. At rare occasions where usage is higher than stored volumes, ordering a water truck is the solution and costs about US$ 80, normally shared among tenants.
- Electricity: the Electricity Company of Ghana is responsible for the distribution of electricity within all but northern Ghana. In 2013, Ghana’s power mix was 58% hydro and 42% thermal. Now, it is less than 30% hydro and over 70% thermal, the latter being more expensive to produce.
In opposition to water, that bill can be high, especialy after the successive rate hikes, and all depends on your air-conditioning usage. Also, the more power you use, the higher the tariff bracket you fall into. Behavior and patterns indeed play a role: habit for high A/C, leaving water heaters on, family members staying in the house/apartment in daytime, not turning lights and A/C off when living a room or the house/flat, outdoor lights. For a 3-bedroom property and even though air-conditioning is used almost exclusively at night, the bill easily reaches US$200 per month and can be substantially higher if you use the air-conditioning more. The bill for a 1-bedroom apartment with very reasonable usage can remain below US$50.
Most properties are with pre-paid meters so the balance must regularly be checked and you or someone you send (guard, driver, etc.) need to go buy credit at a nearby selling point.
ECG's Hotline is 0302 671 671.
- Gas: getting two cylinders cost less than US$ 100 and a refill cost around US$ 15.
- Landline telephone: there are two network operators of landline telephone services in Ghana, namely Vodafone who bought Ghana Telecom Ltd., by far the largest, and WESTEL. Landlines numbers in residences are rarely used and mostly useful for landline internet connection provided by Vodafone (which bought Ghana Telecom).
- Cable TV: channels in Ghana with free access include Ghana Public Television as well as the private Metro TV and Metro Sports, TV3, Viasat 1, TV Africa, Net2 and EG. Excellent cable TV is available via DSTV and advisable, with a variety of packages starting at around US$ 30. See the Cable TV chapter of the "How To with recommended service providers (for homes)" page of the How To Guide in the HELP section.
- Internet: it is possible to get it through a landline but we advise another solution (see “How to with Internet and Computers” in accraexpat.com's How To Guide).
- Generator fuel and maintenance: fuel consumption varies depending on the frequency of power cuts affecting the area of your residence. The fuel is rarely included in service charges and shared/billed among the tenants, but generator maintenance is, along with 24/7 security and the use and maintenance of common grounds and facilities.
You will certainly hire staff (maid, cook, nanny and/or driver), part or full-time depending on your family size. For smaller accommodation, it is possible to find part-time staff that will clean, do laundry and cook. Individual full-time salaries ranges from US$ 100/200 per month plus legal taxes (varies whether you provide servant’s quarters or not, commuting costs, the experience in general and with expatriates and if he/she provides recommendations). If you rent a house with garden and/or swimming pool, your extra cost will be security, gardening and/or pool maintenance. It is common to use a part-time gardener and have a service contract for the pool.
See the Home Staff page in the HELP section where departing expatriates recommend their staff.
You can see recommendations and post a request for staff on accraexpat.com Facebook group and in the Classifieds section.
Should you rent a house and as far as security, your home staff can act as such during day-time to reduce costs and you can take a contract with a provider for a night guard. You will need to take service contracts for regular servicing of the air-conditioning units, monthly pest control/fumigation in the garden and pool maintenance if you have a pool. Part-time gardeners are available at a minimal cost.
A list of recommended service providers (plumbers, carpenters, electricians) is available in the How To with recommended service providers (for homes) page of the How To Guide.
Serviced apartment are fully furnished and equipped and all-costs inclusive (except electricity in most cases).
Should you not wish to do a search yourself among all available rental properties in the Residential Rentals section, you may send in your requirements to accraexpat.com using the "Send your requirements" box and we will contact you with a shortlist of matching properties. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this and the other pages of our Residential Rental Guide have been helpful and welcome your feedback and/or questions at email@example.com.
All rights reserved. The “Residential Guide” is for the personal use of readers. No part of this publication may be otherwise reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of accraexpat.com.