Renting a property in Cambodia or in the capital Phnom Penh is just as big a decision as to buying one. There are many factors that you should consider since and before you make up your mind, it is important to make sure the place you are looking at is really the best place for you. Do your homework to gather all the important information by asking the right questions.
What are the lease terms?
As a renter, you need to be aware of the lease terms. The contract in Cambodia can be different from what you would expect in your country. You should know when the lease begins and ends. Ask when you will be able to move in and how many months the contract is for. You must also ask how much is the exact cost, even when it is already written in the advertisement. There are places that do not include utilities in the cost of the rent.
Find out when the rent is due. Will it be on the first day of the month or at the end of the month? Ask what the landlord’s late policy is and how long the grace period is. Cambodian law requires few restrictions on the terms of the contract, there is no rent control for future rent increases. The lease term can be for a fixed period, month-to-month or year-to-year. So another thing you should ask is if the rent is for a fixed period or if it will increase month to month. It is good to know how much you will be paying next year if you continue to rent the property. Rental prices can rise by 10 to 15 percent annually. Finally, make sure that the contract is written both in English and Khmer.
What is included in the rent?
There are many properties in Cambodia that have started to include amenities and services as part of monthly rent, mostly mid-range to high-end apartments. You should ask the landlord if the internet, water, electricity, and cleaning are covered in the monthly rent. However, electricity is rarely included in the rent. The lower end of the market does not usually include any service or amenities.
What is your guest policy?
Guest policy varies from accommodation type to gender. Some landlords don’t bother much about guests. In townhouses or villas, guests and visitors are not a big issue. Take note that Cambodians are generally conservative, so the gender of your guests can sometimes be a problem. Just be sure to know what is allowed.
How are repairs taken care of?
It’s important to check how repairs are handled and if maintenance is available every day. You should also ask who would pay for the repairs. Some landlords will ask tenants to take care of the problems themselves and then deduct the cost from the next month’s rent. You should know ahead of time about the process and details. Do research to understand your rights and always try to be upfront and negotiate for an agreement.
How secure is the property?
Ask what safety measures the property has, including a buzzer system, a CCTV, or security. You can also ask about the neighborhood, is it a relatively safe area or not? Research the crime statistic to get an idea of how safe the neighborhood is. Walk around the area to make sure you will feel safe if you decide to live there.
Who is the landlord?
You need to know whom you’re renting from. Meet them and discuss the property and the lease terms. Ask how long they’ve owned the property, who the prior tenants were and why they moved out. It’s always better to avoid difficult landlords. If you think something is not right, you should investigate further. You also have to confirm that the person is actually the landlord. Many properties in Cambodia is managed by extended family.