Buying or renting in a foreign country almost by default puts you at a disadvantage. Most times, it doesn’t have to do with nationality or just because you are a foreigner. Most of the time, it is because you don’t know your way around and how things are done.
Most landlords and owners will try to leverage that and will try to charge you a higher price. However, if you armed with local knowledge, you can rest assured that you will be able to find the best apartments for rent in Phnom Penh and get a good deal.
Phnom Penh Neighborhoods
Before you start looking at ads, you need to know the neighborhoods. BKK1 is an international neighborhood for upscale expatriates. There are lots of family-friendly shops, great infrastructure, cafes, etc. The only downside is the high rental fees. BKK2, BKK3, Toul Tom Poung, are also quiet and great neighborhoods, a bit more affordable.
Boeng Trabek and Tonle Bassac are the chilled out neighborhoods where most young people like to live. On average, apartment rents are lower than in the areas mentioned earlier.
Riverside is reserved for those with really deep pockets that want to enjoy a great view.
Scouting For Apartments in Phnom Penh
Don’t bother riding or walking around searching “For Rent” signs. You might find few, but most rentals can be found in ads, on Facebook groups, or via real estate agencies. Finding an apartment in Phnom Penh is never an issue as there is a dynamic real estate market that can offer from affordable one-bedroom studios to luxurious condos with all the amenities one can think of.
Your Lease Agreement Is Everything
Thing is Cambodia’s laws don’t offer too much protection in case of a dispute. The Cambodia courts are also not that efficient and interested in rental disputes. So, your only protection is your lease agreement.
The lease agreement is a legally binding document in which both parties, the landlord and the tenant, have their share of responsibilities. You need to figure out those responsibilities, your ability to perform them, and need to negotiate with your landlord.
Everything can be negotiated, starting the monthly rental fee, the length of the lease, what happens in case of eviction, what can cause an eviction, what happens if you want to terminate your lease, and everything in between.
The lease agreement can save you from a lot of trouble in case of a dispute. In Cambodia, most disputes of this kind are settled in court, by the Sangkat (commune) office.
Renting an apartment in Phnom Penh is quite simple. Find one you like, negotiate a good price, make sure that your lease agreement contains clauses that protect your interests. Apart from that, it is also important that you get a good landlord.
That’s how locals approach this matter, and that’s how you should do.
Last but not least, don’t waste your time with a difficult landlord. If it is getting difficult during the negotiations with the landlord, he will be even harder to work with once you settle in. So, pick an apartment that has an honest and reliable landlord.