Iran is not the closed society some would believe. It is working through major changes, and is not inhospitable to foreigners. Foreigners may own or lease property if the property is for commercial or industrial use, or for a personal residence. In the latter case, the foreigner must normally be resident in Iran. Foreigners may not own agricultural lands.
For non-residents, the Council of Ministers may grant the right to own a dwelling to a foreigner who lacks a permanent residence permit, but travels regularly to Iran for tourism and/or seasonal recreation.
Iran’s legal system allows landlord and tenant to contract freely, and enforces landlord’s rights. The rent can be freely agreed. The rent is fixed only for the lease period, and in case of extension of the lease agreement, both parties must mutually agree on the rental for the extension period, otherwise the landlord has the right to request the tenant to vacate his property. The parties may also agree on any deposit. In general, a deposit of between five and ten (or more) months of rental is agreed, to secure the regular payment of rental and utilities, and to compensate for damage to the property during the lease period. Such deposits are both for security, and for rental.
Facilities such as swimming pools, sauna, jacuzzi and health clubs have become a usual feature in newly-built upmarket homes. An opulent residential tower in northern Tehran even comes with a heliport while another has an elevator to take cars up to the apartments.
The housing boom in Iran is not confined to the hot uptown market. Average neighbourhoods in the capital, as well as in Iran's other large cities, have been affected. Prices have doubled within a few months in satellite town of Parand and Hashtgerd, 50 kilometres from Tehran, while in Isfahan, Mashhad and Tabriz property values have doubled in a year.