How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man's guide

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vladimir
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How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man's guide

Post by vladimir » Wed May 14, 2014 11:38 am

OK, here we go, I think I've covered most aspects, please feel free to ask/make suggestions. This method has helped me find some very nice places.

How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man's guide by Vladimir the Agent-Impaler.

1. Get a map of the town/city you live in.
2. Draw a perimeter around the area you want to live in.
3. Be able to recognize the Khmer script for ˜for rent/sale. The sign is normally posted on the outside of the property in question. If you
see the sign on the first floor balcony, it is that level that is for rent. ( I'd appreciate someone checking the sign, I seem to have lost
my own photo)
Image
4. Get on a motorcycle and drive around the area.
5. Take DISCREET photos of the property and save with the St. suffix, ie #1, St. 240, together with the phone number. The number will
be on the sale/rent sign. II use the photos to weigh up options later. f you have a really good memory, just write down the address.
6. During this process, avoid talking to owners/Khmer onlookers at all costs if possible. Its easy to understand that the best time to do
this would be at night, when you would also get a good idea of the noise levels in the area.
7. Once you have surveyed your area, go home.
8. Make a list of things you need regarding the apartment. Here is my list:

• Quiet: this takes independent research, as an owner will tell you what you want to hear, and many Khmers are immune to noise that annoys westerners. If you see dogs, chickens, metal shops, karaoke bars, RUN! If you hear freshie boy kids doing karaoke at the home next door, RUN!
• Separate entrance.
• Aircon (this can be installed by negotiating if they don’t have it, I paid an extra month’s deposit as the owner spent $400 on a
Panasonic inverter)
• Western toilet
• Glass and steel windows for quiet and security
• Partly furnished, I have my own bed, desk, fridge, gas cooker etc.
• 2 bedrooms
• Secure parking for two motos
• Reliable electricity (it goes without saying that the owner will seldom be honest about this, so you may need to visit EDC)
• Water that does not rely on an electrical pump if the above is dodgy.
• Cable TV/internet. Most houses renting will have cable TV, but few will have internet.
Normal fee for shared TV is $5/month, internet I sup to you.
• Decent water pressure (check at peak times, 6am-830 am)
• I have my own electrical water heater, which goes when I do. About $100.
• Does not face west (too hot in the afternoon)

Now that you have your list, find a Khmer friend to make phone calls for you to ask the rental price and check what each property has in terms of your requirements. In addition, they should ask what deposit is required. One month is standard. If they say 2 or more, and you want to negotiate it, do so if you like the place when you see it..
Write down the rentals next to your list of properties.
Take your Khmer friend and visit the places. If rental prices are adjusted when you visit, RUN!
OK, so let's assume you have found a place. Next step, sign the lease, right?

NO! FAIL!

You should check the lease for the following, which should be clearly stated IN WRITING (your Khmer friend should check the Khmer, and you should get an English copy signed and thumb-printed by the lessor):
I write these things down before and my wife explains them to any potential lessor.
1. Electricity rate should be at EDC rate, no levy by the owner. Apartment should be sub-metered. The tenant should pay at least half the
cost of this, you can buy meters for less than $20. Keep a record of your readings and payments. You can organize payment via Wing,
Google that.
2. Water should be at municipal rate.
3. Garbage removal at municipal rate.
4. Right of fair access to the owner should be provided for by mutual agreement, appointment only.
5. Certain items under maintenance should be the owner's responsibility: wiring, plumbing, aircon, leaking roofs, painting etc.
6. Minor items such as light bulbs and things you damage/break are your responsibility.
7. A provision should be that you give one month's notice, and that the lessor then uses your deposit instead of you paying rental for the
last month.
8. Change all the internal locks, and do not give the owner a copy of keys.
9. Make sure you have bike insurance; the owner is generally not responsible for loss/theft, so get disk locks/chains.

Most Khmers are decent, honest people. Try and respect the owners, and usually you will have no troubles. Avoid bringing bargirls home and doing drugs/noisy drinking and generally they will leave you alone.

I hope that this info empowers people and helps some of you find reasonably-priced accommodation. If we cannot help others on this planet, what is the point?
Last edited by vladimir on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mekong Mickey
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by Mekong Mickey » Wed May 14, 2014 12:51 pm

Good shit! Especially the part about checking the noise.
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by Satiated Parrot » Wed May 14, 2014 2:14 pm

10. If the offered price is more than you can afford, curse the gods of capitalism.

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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by bendix » Wed May 14, 2014 2:41 pm

The premise of all this seems to be that we should all collectively make all this effort in order to save money for ourselves, and other foreigners: that if we don't then we somehow contribute to rising rents for everyone else.

I applaud vlad's efforts on this, but frankly I have neither the time nor the patience to do all this sort of thing and am more than happy to let someone else take care of it for me.
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by OrangeDragon » Wed May 14, 2014 2:57 pm

bendix wrote:that if we don't then we somehow contribute to rising rents for everyone else.
It's not a somehow... it's a clear and present effect because of khmer mentality and face.
If Landlord A gets a sucker to pay $500 a month for his 1 bedroom craphouse, then Landlord B will find out about it and start demanding that much as well so as not to lose face. This spreads around, and pretty soon you can't get a 1 bedroom anywhere but the ghetto for under $500 even though half of them are sitting empty.
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by bendix » Wed May 14, 2014 3:13 pm

OrangeDragon wrote:
bendix wrote:that if we don't then we somehow contribute to rising rents for everyone else.
It's not a somehow... it's a clear and present effect because of khmer mentality and face.
If Landlord A gets a sucker to pay $500 a month for his 1 bedroom craphouse, then Landlord B will find out about it and start demanding that much as well so as not to lose face. This spreads around, and pretty soon you can't get a 1 bedroom anywhere but the ghetto for under $500 even though half of them are sitting empty.

Such is life. If they want to behave irrationally, it's their prerogative. I'm not sure I should be worrying about that, though, when I'm deciding how I want to find my next place nor worry about how much I should be paying for it, out of some misplaced loyalty to other foreigners trying to find places.
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vladimir
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by vladimir » Wed May 14, 2014 4:55 pm

bendix wrote:Such is life. If they want to behave irrationally, it's their prerogative.
I hear this a lot...until their irrational behaviour impacts people's lifestyles or finances more than they think is 'acceptable'.

When the abundance of barang cash alerts cops to the possibility of pulling you over for nothing and scamming you, I hope you express the same sentiment, after all it's their prerogative. :Yahoo!:
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by OrangeDragon » Wed May 14, 2014 5:01 pm

It's also the cause for the massive property value bubbles in PP... where people think their shitty 1 floor shophouse is worth $400,000. After all, you can then rent it out for $1,000 a month!

And, unless you plan on never moving, its going to impact you later... because it will progressively increase thus making your next place even more expensive. Think of it as economic self preservation if nothing else.
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by Flynn » Wed May 14, 2014 6:01 pm

Some great ideas there. Thanks, vlad!
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Re: How to rent a property in Cambodia: a wise man’s guide

Post by bendix » Wed May 14, 2014 6:31 pm

vladimir wrote:
bendix wrote:Such is life. If they want to behave irrationally, it's their prerogative.
I hear this a lot...until their irrational behaviour impacts people's lifestyles or finances more than they think is 'acceptable'.

When the abundance of barang cash alerts cops to the possibility of pulling you over for nothing and scamming you, I hope you express the same sentiment, after all it's their prerogative. :Yahoo!:

Completely different scenario. One is illegal corruption. The other is a property owner choosing to withhold their properties from the market until they get the rents they want. It is their property. They are totally free to generate no income from it if they so choose. The impact on the likes of you and I is moot.
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