Expat rentals in Phnom Penh: What you should know

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:55 p.m.

Welcome to the first weekly real estate news report for December, 2015 - brought to you by Realestate.com.kh, Cambodia’s home of real estate, and the leading real estate news source in the Kingdom. 

This week we talk with Grant Fitzgerald, general manager for IPS Cambodia, about finding the best expat rentals in Phnom Penh. To introduce this week's guest: Grant Fitzgerald is an Australian citizen, who has spent the past six years working in Cambodia and China, and has developed a solid understanding of the complexities of real estate in Phnom Penh.

Before joining the IPS real estate company as General Manager, Grant worked for an investment and business consulting firm as a Project Manager specializing in project valuation, due diligence, business planning, financial modeling and fund raising. Grant has also worked in the microfinance industry, focusing on project development and implementation. Grant holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and Finance from Curtin University in Australia, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.

Grant, what are the top 3 areas that expats should consider when moving to Phnom Penh? What are the benefits of these areas for expat rentals in Phnom Penh?

BKK1 is the most popular area for expat rentals in Phnom Penh. Tonle Bassac and Russian Market offer more value for money and are upcoming areas with a lot of new bars and restaurants.

What sort of amenities can expats expect when moving to a home in Cambodia? Are there serviced apartment options? House cleaning? etc.

For a serviced apartment you can expect: cleaning, internet, cable TV, parking, security to all be included in the price. There are plenty of options in town now for those looking for a pool and gym too. For standalone apartments, these services are usually excluded and it’s up to the tenant to organise.

What are the most common concerns for expats when moving to Cambodia and looking for expat rentals in Phnom Penh?

Usually the first question that pops up from new expats when they move to Cambodia is security. Most people jump on information websites and forums and read up a bit about the city before they arrive and usually have heard some stories about security issues in various areas and bring up security as one of their requirements. Another common concern we get is being near construction, new expats often hear horror stories about certain apartments being surrounded by construction which is obviously not ideal.

What are the lower, middle and upper end prices an expat should expect to pay when moving to Cambodia and looking for expat rentals in Phnom Penh for serviced apartments:
    • Lower = $600 - $800
    • Middle = $800 - $1400
    • High = $1500 ++
For standalone apartments:
    • Lower = $300 - $500
    • Middle = $550 - $900
    • High = $1,000 ++
What are the secrets to securing a great expat rentals in Phnom Penh at a good price?

Look around – there are plenty of apartment options in PP. Know your requirements. Don’t rush – head out, take a look at some properties and then relax and sleep on it. Look for a long term lease – longer term lease gets you more bargaining power. Get help - agents don’t charge fees to the tenant and should be an expat in PP and negotiating with clients.

Could you please explain some the top things an expat should be aware of when signing a lease agreement in Cambodia?

Be clear about the services included. Maintenance is another area some people get caught on. A lot of landlords here will refuse to pay for repairs and some people get stuck with costs they didn’t expect. Conditions if you break the lease are important to know – and it is not unusual to lose your deposit. Price of electricity should be defined in the contract. And becareful your new home is not too close to ongoing construction.

What are the typical prices for utilities such as electricity, water, internet, cable etc monthly?

Electricity: $0.25/kW – 1 bed between $40 and $80/month depending on a/c. 2 bedroom you are probably looking at around $80 – 120/month for moderate use. Water: $2 - $10/month.

Wifi: $12 - $60/ month, depending on download limit and speed.

Cable TV: $5 - $10/month.

Cleaning: $30 for one time month, $60 for twice per month.

What’s the best place to start an expat rental search?

IPS Cambodia and Realestate.com.kh websites are great tools to get you started. Here you can find the largest selection of quality expat rentals in Phnom Penh.

What are some of the benefits of using IPS Cambodia to source an expat rentals?  

Firstly, we are a completely free service to all tenants. We are expats helping expats - We know all the ins and outs with negotiation, contracts and we have long standing relationships with landlords. This means we can often get discounts or conditions not available to the general market.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s real estate news report - brought to you by Realestate.com.kh, Cambodia’s home of real estate, and the leading real estate news source in the Kingdom.

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