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Malaysia – Lease Agreements

Typical Lease Term in Malaysia

The typical lease term for renting property in Malaysia is generally 1 to 2 years. However, the exact duration can vary depending on the landlord’s preference and negotiation between the landlord and tenant. It’s important to note that in some cases, shorter-term leases may be available, especially for furnished apartments or short-term rentals catering to expats and tourists.

Difference Between Furnished and Unfurnished Rental Properties

Understanding the difference between furnished and unfurnished rental properties in Malaysia is essential for tenants:

  • Unfurnished Rental Properties: Unfurnished properties in Malaysia typically do not include furniture, appliances, or other furnishings. Tenants are responsible for providing their own furniture and equipping the property. Unfurnished rentals are ideal for those who have their furniture and plan for a more extended stay.
  • Furnished Rental Properties: Furnished properties come fully equipped with furniture, appliances, and sometimes even kitchenware and linens. These rentals offer convenience, especially for expats or individuals on shorter-term assignments. However, furnished properties often come at a higher monthly rent due to the included furnishings.

When deciding between furnished and unfurnished properties, tenants should consider their needs, budget, and the duration of their stay in Malaysia. It’s also important to clarify with the landlord what furnishings are provided in a furnished property to avoid misunderstandings.

Standard Clauses in Lease Agreements

Lease agreements in Malaysia typically include standard clauses outlining the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. While specific terms may vary, common clauses found in Malaysian lease agreements include:

  • Lease Duration: Specifies the initial lease term, often 1 to 2 years, and any provisions for renewal or termination.
  • Rent Payment: Details the monthly rent amount, due date, and the method of payment (e.g., bank transfer).
  • Security Deposit: Specifies the amount of the security deposit, its handling, and the conditions under which deductions may be made (e.g., for damages or unpaid rent).
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Outlines the responsibilities of both parties regarding property maintenance, repairs, and who bears the costs.
  • Termination Notice: Specifies the notice period required by either party for lease termination or non-renewal.

These standard clauses aim to ensure transparency and protect the interests of both landlords and tenants. Tenants should carefully review the lease agreement before signing and seek legal advice if needed.

Additional Clauses in Lease Agreements

Additional clauses may be included in lease agreements in Malaysia to address specific concerns or preferences of both parties. These additional clauses can cover various aspects, including:


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  • Utilities: Clarify which utilities (e.g., water, electricity, gas) are included in the rent and which are the tenant’s responsibility.
  • Pets: Specify whether pets are allowed in the rental property and any associated rules or fees.
  • Renovation and Alterations: Outline whether tenants are allowed to make changes or improvements to the property and the approval process.

Additional clauses should comply with Malaysian rental laws and regulations and must be mutually agreed upon by both parties. It is essential to discuss and document any additional clauses during the negotiation process.

Considerations When Signing a Lease Contract

Expats and newcomers signing a lease contract in Malaysia should be aware of several key considerations:

  • Tenant Rights and Responsibilities: Familiarize yourself with Malaysian tenancy laws and regulations to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
  • Language: Ensure that the lease agreement is in a language you understand. English and Malay are commonly used languages in rental agreements.
  • Security Deposit: Verify that the handling of the security deposit complies with Malaysian law, and request a detailed receipt.

It is advisable to seek legal counsel or consult with a reputable letting agent to ensure that your lease contract is fair, legally sound, and that you fully comprehend its terms, especially if you are not familiar with Malaysian rental laws.

Condition Reports in Malaysia

Condition reports, often known as “check-in” and “check-out” reports, are a common practice in Malaysia before signing a lease agreement. These reports document the condition of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy, helping to avoid disputes regarding damages or wear and tear.

Both the landlord and tenant should participate in creating and signing a condition report that includes detailed descriptions and photographs of the property’s condition. Any existing damages should be clearly documented to prevent disagreements when the lease ends. Both parties should retain copies of the signed reports for reference.

Letting Agent Qualifications and Licensing

Letting agents in Malaysia are not strictly regulated, but they should possess certain qualifications and attributes to provide reliable services to tenants and landlords:

  • Industry Knowledge: Letting agents should have a good understanding of the Malaysian real estate market, rental laws, and local property conditions.
  • Professionalism: Look for letting agents who exhibit professionalism, integrity, and transparency in their dealings.
  • Reputation: Research and choose letting agents or agencies with a good reputation and positive client reviews.

While letting agents are not required to hold specific licenses, working with reputable agents can help tenants find suitable rental properties and navigate the rental process more smoothly.

Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents, and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS)

The Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents, and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS) is a prominent professional organization in the real estate industry in Malaysia. While letting agents are not mandatory members, PEPS offers resources and information related to the real estate sector in Malaysia.

Expats and individuals seeking rental properties can explore the PEPS website for insights into the Malaysian real estate market and access valuable resources.

When renting property in Malaysia, it’s essential for expats and newcomers to exercise due diligence, understand their rights and responsibilities, and ensure that their lease agreements align with their preferences and legal obligations.


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