Malaysia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia and a great place for expats who want to relocate somewhere that will feel familiar, but exotic at the same time. The housing market in Malaysia is also booming and offers tons of options for people trying to live in the country permanently. However, before you book the first apartment that you see, you have to be prepared for some of the realities of renting a home in the country. Let’s take a look at a few things you should know before you rent a property in Malaysia.
Choose the Right Location
One of the most important things for expats is understanding the importance of location when renting a property in Malaysia. You can’t look at the price only; you also have to think of the logistics of getting from point A to point B.
This wouldn’t be so much of a preoccupation if you lived in a major US city, but this is something that will be extremely important here. You have to be somewhere that will be close to where you’ll be working or studying. Learning how to commute in a foreign country from a remote part of town is not easy, and traffic in Malaysian cities can get brutal, so pick your spot wisely.
If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to finding a rumah untuk disewa (house for rent), we suggest you check out Property Guru. This is one of the largest directories for properties in the country and you should be able to find a wide selection of great lots to pick from in virtually any town. They make it easy to filter results based on the type of property you need, and they make contacting landlords very easy too, so this could be a great place to start searching for potential places to stay.
Book Temporary Accommodations First
We would suggest that you book temporary accommodations when you get to the country. This will allow you to visit a few properties before you decide where you’re going to live. This will also give you an idea of whether you actually like the area. When visiting, we would suggest that you choose the time of the day wisely. Someone who’s a light sleeper may want to visit the area in the evenings to see how noisy it gets, for instance. Or maybe you have trouble dealing with the heat. Not all units will have AC, so you should try to go in the afternoon. You’ll be able to see how the windows are oriented and how much of the afternoon sun you’ll be getting.
If the unit you have your sights on has additional amenities like a pool or a gym, we suggest you check them out too. Check their condition and see how clean they are. If you have a car, look at the parking situation. Does the place offer free parking or do you have to pay a monthly fee? Also, check the parking lot and see how safe it is. Make sure that it has lots of lighting and see whether it has security cameras.
Check the Neighborhood
Speaking of safety, it would be wise to do a sweep of the surrounding area to see how safe it is after dark. You should check if the roads are well lit. This is especially important if you will be getting home during the evenings using public transportation. There may also be some things that you can’t live without. If you like to take walks or go for a jog, for instance, you should check if there’s a park near where you live. We would also suggest that you check out other amenities like cafes, shops, restaurants, and markets. Visit at different times of the day too. This will give you an idea of how busy the area gets. You don’t want to get bothered by too much traffic, whether it’s foot or road traffic.
You also have to make sure that you’re getting a reasonable deal on the house before you move in. This can be difficult to assess if you don’t know the area very well, but there are things that you can do to figure out if you’re getting ripped off or not. The best way is to ask people with similar properties around the neighborhood what they’re paying. You can also look up multiple listings for similar properties and compare them.
Fees and Security Deposits
Know that there will be fees associated with renting a unit outside of the rent price. You will have to pay a stamping fee when signing your tenancy agreement, so you have to know what the percentage will be. Also, know that it’s customary for landlords to ask for a security deposit. This will usually be around 2.5 months of rent.
These are all things you’ll need to have down before renting a property in Malaysia. The process is pretty straightforward and there are tons of great deals to be had, so don’t be afraid to shop around.