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Accommodation in Cambodia

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Finding accommodation in Cambodia can be quite challenging. Here are some tips to guide you during your search.

When moving abroad, one of your major concerns will be to find accommodation. Unless you are moving to Cambodia through a job transfer, whereby accommodation is generally provided by the employer, you will have to find housing by your own means. This can be quite difficult, but not impossible if you know where to start from.

Take the time to inquire on the types of accommodation that are available in the country, on the regions where most expatriates have settled and on rent prices as well.

 Good to know:

Most expatriates in Cambodia tend to settle in a particular area where they are more likely to find other foreigners. The most popular regions are therefore Phnom Penh and Daun Penh. Apart from their landscape and urban environment, these regions are preferred for their their modern infrastructure and the concentration of economic activities.

Features

The most appropriate neighborhoods for expatriates are found around the Cambodian capital city. In fact, you are more likely to be exposed to a lively cultural and social life along residential areas. Wat Phnom, for instance, hosts many colonial houses. Boeung Keng Kang 1, for its part, is an upscale neighborhood with modern housing units, as well as many NGOs' head offices and foreign embassies. Sisowat, which is closer to the city-center, is a dynamic and lively tourist neighborhood which also attracts many expatriate families. You will find beautiful townhouses around Tonle Sap and Mekong.

If you prefer to live outside the capital city in a more provincial but modern and dynamic environment, Siem Reap can be the ideal place for you. It also hosts an international school where you can register your children if you are moving there with your family. Battambang, on the other hand, is a relatively poor city in terms of infrastructure, with ancient buildings and houses.

Finally, Sihanoukville is one of Cambodia's biggest resorts. It is ideal for nightlife lovers in particular. In fact, many expatriate families have already settled there to enjoy its lively and vibrant environment.

Types of accommodation

Two types of apartments are available in Cambodia: standard apartments and serviced apartments. Some of these are comparable with international standards, thus ideal for expatriates. Others are not very neat and maintained. Hence, you can rent a two-bedroom apartment for some US$ 300 per month. You will, however, need additional US$ 70 for electricity and air-conditioning. Note that rent prices generally vary according to the size of the housing unit and facilities attached, etc.

Foreigners generally prefer to rent serviced apartments as these are furnished and equipped and provide services such as babysitting and a backup generator. These are mostly found in modern and well-maintained buildings, but prices will be twice higher than those of standard apartments.

You can as well find houses both in major cities and in the beach resorts. For instance, you will need an average of US$ 900 for a comfortable and modern four-bedroom house. However, you are advised to take into account additional fees such as maintenance and electricity bills.

Finally, flat-sharing has become quite widespread in Cambodia since a few years. These are particularly ideal for students and trainees who are making a short-term stay in the country.

Lease

Once you have found the housing unit which best suits your needs, you will be made to sign a lease document by producing your passport and visa. a witness will also be required. If you are working, you will also need a letter issued by your employer.

 Important:

As it is the case in most countries, a deposit equal to one or three months rent has to be made. However, the amount can be negotiated with the owner.

The lease contract can also be translated into English if you do not understand the Khmer language. This document generally contains the following:

  • the property's address
  • the landlord and tenant's full names
  • a list of all future payment dates
  • the deposit amount
  • a full inventory of assets in the case of a furnished accommodation
  • the owner and the tenant's right hand thumbprint (which will be considered as their signature).

In general, lease contracts have a two months term, but you can as well request for a 12 months term if you are planning to stay longer.

In most cases, it is best to look for accommodation through a real estate agency which can help you better understand the lease terms and conditions.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Housing in Cambodia 
Expat.com – Accommodation in Cambodia Forum 
Expat.com – Real Estate Agencies in Cambodia
Bong Thom www.bongthom.com
Real Estate www.realestate.com.kh
CBRE www.cbre.com.kh
Khmer24 www.khmer24.com

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See also

If you are moving to Cambodia for a long term, you might want to purchase a property. Procedures are quite complicated, but not unconquerable.
Sihanoukville, which is one of Cambodia's major expatriate destinations, provides a range of accommodation options at affordable prices.
Located near the famous Angkor archaeological complex, Siem Reap is very welcoming towards expatriates, providing different types of accommodation.
Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital city, provides a range of accommodation for foreigners along with a beautiful landscape and a lively environment.

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