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Renting Property

Indonesia - Renting Property

Until 2016, expats could only rent property in Indonesia. The only housing units that were up for purchase were luxury apartments, but even these came at a high cost. Nevertheless, today there are plenty of accommodation options, for rent or mortgaging, for an expat moving to Indonesia on a temporary or permanent visa.

House hunting

It is advisable to first find a temporary place to stay before beginning your house hunt. Couples or expats without family obligations often check into hotels for a while before moving to a house. Those with families often opt for serviced apartments close to the big cities.

As you search for a house to rent, it is important that you personally check each neighborhood. This gets you familiarized with the area faster and helps you find housing zones where expat families often stay. The best housing options are located close to the cities, though you can still find decent accommodation options on the outskirts.

You can also find housing estates in Indonesia designed to offer the same lifestyle standards expats enjoy in their home countries. These estates are often gated and are a bit on the high end in terms of rental pricing. Nevertheless, housing prices in Indonesia are relatively cheap compared to other countries in Asia.

As a foreigner, you can choose to live in an apartment or find a house in one of the gated estates. Apartments are mostly located close to the city and can be furnished or unfurnished, serviced or non-serviced.

Serviced apartments often come with various amenities including swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, and restaurants. The housing estates located on the outskirts of the cities might also come with amenities, including private security, private parking, recreational areas and so on. Apartments and houses may provide Wi-Fi to tenants, though not all of them do. Ensure you confirm with your property owner that your apartment has internet, especially if you need it for work.

Finding a property

Expats can find decent rental options through online listings, newspaper classifieds, agencies, or property shows. Some privately owned rental property agents choose tenants on referral basis. You can ask your fellow expats to point you to a suitable vacant rental unit whose property owner is looking to let.


Searching for a house online is one of the easiest and cheapest options for a foreigner. Not only do you avoid the hefty agency fees, but you can do a little research and find out what housing options are available and at what prices. Online rental websites allow you to narrow down the search to your current neighborhood or locate a suitable expat community for you to join.

One useful website to search rental property in is Sublet. Their quick search feature allows you to locate apartments or houses within your current region. The website gets frequently updated with new listings of family houses, furnished, unfurnished, or serviced apartments as well as units for subletting.

To boost your online search, check out Apartments Jakarta. This website gives you a list of rental units available in Jakarta. The rental complexes on this site are often from individual owners or property agencies managing the houses. You can also request your expat friends to suggest more websites with a listing of affordable and convenient housing plans.

Newspaper classified ads

Most Indonesian newspapers have a classified section for real estate advertising. Such classifieds often provide information about available properties for rent in various parts of the country. Property owners are also allowed to advertise on newspapers, thus there is a great chance of landing a house or apartment directly from the owner.

Newspapers often have their own list of real estate clients they advertise for. So if you cannot find the rental unit you want online, your next best bet is a classified ad in the papers. Combining both online and newspaper listings greatly increases your chances of finding a suitable property for rent in Indonesia.

There are international real estate companies in Indonesia. These companies also post their information and contacts in the real estate sections of newspapers.

Real estate agencies

If your Indonesian employer does not offer accommodation as part of their employment package, they may refer you to a trusted real estate agent. Most employers partner with agents to help find accommodation for expats.

In case you decide to house hunt on your own, then it is always advisable to visit the agent in person. Choose an Indonesian real estate agency that understands the local real estate market as well as your housing needs. Indonesian real estate agents are known to be quite friendly and helpful to clients seeking accommodation.

A real estate agent might be willing to do all the groundwork on your behalf. They may also be a helpful link between you and a potential property owner and may even negotiate a better rental price for you. it advisable to let your agent negotiate with the property owner, especially where language barrier is an issue.

Property Shows

Property shows are a favorite of foreign investors looking for rental property in Indonesia. These are usually exhibitions where property managers and potential investors meet to discuss business. The listings you find here are from top respected property developers, thus providing great property owning opportunities for investors.

Contact property managers looking to rent or lease their property. In addition, visit property shows to see what is on offer and also get leads to potential rental units.

Signing contracts

Always read through the terms and conditions of a contract before signing it. Never sign anything until a property lawyer has read through the contract as well and ascertains that the terms are fair for both parties.

Property owners often request security deposits before signing contracts. The amount is usually an equivalent or percentage of the rental price and this amount will vary with different contracts. Only sign a subletting contract after inspecting the house and ensuring everything is in order. Take picture of anything that is damaged or not in order before moving into a rental property.

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