If you have just landed in Cambodia or plan to spend some time there, you might need to find a place that you will call your own. The following guide is based on real-life experiences and how other people have managed to find and secure a Cambodia apartment for rent.
Where Do You Start?
You start like everyone else online. Most apartments for rent in Cambodia are listed online. Alternatively, you can hire an agent to help you find a suitable apartment. One can do this online as well.
The real estate in Cambodia is constantly growing with new apartment units and other types of buildings. Whether you are looking for a small one-bedroom apartment, or something more spacious, or even luxurious, there is a strong chance you will be able to find it. At least if you are looking for an apartment in Cambodia’s biggest cities like Phnom Penh, Ta Khmau, Battambang, Serie Saophoan, and Siem Reap.
After You Find An Apartment…
Once you find one that matches your preferences, as well as your budget, you can start negotiating the rental price. The most important thing at this point to be sure that you are dealing with a trustworthy landlord.
If something feels shady or suspicious, ask the landlord if he is the owner of the apartment, or he is managing it on behalf of someone else. Also, you might ask about the previous tenants, why they left, where there any disputes, and so on. The idea is to be sure that you are dealing with a reasonable landlord.
This is important because, in case of a dispute, there isn’t any real estate law that regulates rental disputes. Furthermore, Cambodian courts are not as refined as those in the western world.
The rental contract is what matters most, and that can provide you at least some protection. In Cambodia, rental contracts need to be both in Khmer and English. Also, there aren’t too many restrictions on what you can put in the contract.
The length of the contract is decided between the two parties, the landlord and the tenant. It can be for a fixed amount of time, month to month, year to year, or whatever works for both sides.
Whether it is an unfair rent increase, noisy neighbor, broken air conditioner, or something else, tenant landlords conflicts are sometimes unavoidable. As mentioned earlier, courts are not that reliable. Instead, most disputes are resolved through mediation.
In such cases, it is the contract that can cover you most and ensure that you are protected. Very often, such problems are resolved through the Sangkat (commune) office. There is one such office in every city. For a small fee, they can act as mediators.
To summarize everything, it all comes down to renting from a trustworthy landlord and signing a rental contract that protects your tenant rights. And by tenant rights, we mean the ones you include in your contract.