How-to's, Malaysia

How to rent an apartment in KL

April 21, 2014

We have been living in KL for 1,5 years now and moved places three times already. I’ve been getting this question quite often and thought it might come handy to those of you who are looking for a long-term rental in KL.

It really depends on where you work, how big your family is, what’s your budget etc etc. We are a young couple working in Bangsar and we had some very important must-haves in mind for our dream apartment.

1. It has to be close to work. So I defined ‘close’ first – max 20 mins drive // close to the LRT line (we have a station right in our office building).

We were considering a house in Puchong. That would be cheaper, yes, and a house, BUT the daily commute would take around 2 hours. Every day. That was a deal breaker.

2. I needed an oven. That’s not very common in KL to have ovens. Note that they will always be electrical too.

3. I didn’t care about the bathtub, but I wanted a very distinct separation of the bathroom/toilet from the living areas. In the previous apartment we had sliding glass doors to the bathroom. Trust me, you don’t want to go through this relationship trial :-)

4. Any additional amenities such as the pool, gym etc would be great to have.

5. Shops/cafes/any life around. I’ll explain this one too: in our previous place there was close to nothing around. And you wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere. It’s hard to explain, but to get to the condo, you need to drive to it. No sidewalks.

So this in mind, I browsed two local websites: this one and this one. iProperty also has an app. From start of search until you get the key, it usually takes 1,5-2 months. That’s a good safe estimate. Of course, it’s also possible to find something in less than a month.

A couple of tips on how to rent an apartment in KL:

1. Narrow down your search area

2. Browse online and make a list of condos/housing areas you like in the area

3. Contact a couple of agents (I prefer texting them as it’s sometimes hard for me to understand the accent, plus you’ll be able to keep track of who’s responsible for which unit/condo)

4. Schedule a couple of viewings so you get a good idea of the condo/area.

5. Once you decide on the short list of condos, hunt for the best apartment there. Usually it’s only a few agents per condo so you don’t need to chase 10 different agents.

6. Here the agents are on the landlord’s side, not yours. Negotiate hard.

7. If you sign a 2-year contract (while 1 year is usually the minimum), you can negotiate a better price.

8. Always check who pays for Indah water, management fees, aircon servicing, Internet installation (this one’s rarely your landlord’s responsibility, be ready to sign your own contract and file a deposit), what furniture is included and take pictures of EVERYTHING before you move in and discuss EVRY SINGLE detail (so by the time you move out and need your deposit back you don’t end up with questions like “did you replace the shower hose? What’s that little stain on the wall? What do you mean you forgot you need to service both aircons every quarter?”)

9. Deposit and other costs. It’s usually 2 rents (1 is an advance payment for the first month) + 1 full rent cost goes for utilities deposit (rarely it’s 1/2) + stamping fee for the rental agreement (around 300rm) + any other deposit for access cards, parking, Internet installation etc.

So be prepared to part with $1,5-2k at once and only get them back in a year (or 2, whichever contract you signed).

10. Be nice with your landlord. And neighbors. And the management office of your building (every condo has its own).

If you’re curious, we now live in Camellia, Bangsar South and were also considering Centrio, but it was above our budget.

Hope it was helpful. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any further questions, I’d be happy to share more information with you.

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