Types of Rental Property
Find out about the different types of property available to rent in Indonesia...
Renting a room
It is possible to rent a bedroom in an Indonesian family's home. Meals and laundry prices can be negotiated with the family. This type of rental is usually informal, and is made by meeting and becoming friends with an Indonesian family.
Hotel rooms and penginapan
Renting a room in a hotel or a penginapan (simple lodging) is a long-term option, which can be negotiated. Meals and laundry are sometimes available for an extra fee.
Kos or Kost - places to rent
Typical western-style flats are not found outside Bali, Jakarta and other developed areas. Most rental units, or kos, are rooms similar to those in a boarding house or residential hotel. They are typically small and may be either furnished or unfurnished. Private bathrooms are sometimes provided, or they may be shared. Contracts are monthly, six monthly or a year. Payment is usually made in advance.
There are plenty of houses to rent in Jakarta and Bali because most foreign residents are transient. In other parts of Indonesia, houses are available, but not as readily, because generally families who own these houses have lived there for generations. Rental contracts for these houses are usually between one to three years.
Furnished houses are often rented for twice the price of unfurnished properties.
Many homes have air conditioning, but only new houses in upscale, gated communities in Jakarta or Bali have hot water geysers.
An unfurnished home means that there is no refrigerator, stove, or cupboards, and sometimes no kitchen sink either. Running water is not always a feature, as many homes are serviced by wells; but in an urban setting, there is usually some kind of indoor plumbing. There is usually air conditioning of some kind.
Start-up costs for renting an unfurnished house can be very expensive: a gas stove, refrigerator, beds, bedding, cooling fans, cupboards, and other required furniture either have to be bought or rented. Few traditional Indonesian homes are designed with built-in cupboards or enclosed garages.
Modern and upscale housing estates, flats, and townhouses or condominiums are found in Jakarta, and are designed for Indonesians who are larger earners than the general public, foreign embassy staff, exchange students, or other temporary foreign residents. Hence rental terms are tailored to such clientele. This accommodation often has security, community playgrounds, swimming pools, gyms, saunas, recreation rooms, playing fields, and quarters for a live-in servant. Some even have private golf courses.
Villas in Bali
Bali specialises in palatial housing compounds with spectacular views of the ocean. Rental contracts vary from one week to three years, and service staff are usually part of the package. Costs for rented villas are extremely high. Villas are promoted more than other housing options because of the commission that can be made by real estate brokers.
It is generally best to go in person to the offices of property management companies.
Gated communities and western-style housing complexes do not suit everyone's taste or budget. Less expensive housing is available, but those who are looking for Indonesian-style housing have to house hunt themselves and ask other expatriates for their recommendations.
The best way to find suitable housing is to network: word of mouth is one way and research on the internet is another. For foreigners working in Jakarta or Bali, the workplace is an important source of information. Newspapers provide little clear information in the way of housing rentals, and a person has to understand Indonesian to benefit from what is advertised on the streets.
For those who have time, a good option is to find a reasonable hotel and stay there for a couple of weeks while looking for something permanent. A successful rental property search can take a fair amount of time and certain hotel rates provide an affordable option for most people.
Foreign residents who come to Indonesia to work are sometimes given company housing. A company arranges a contract, which ends at the same time as an employee's work contract. Foreign workers should ensure that these two dates coincide.