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Renting, my experience


I  have been  renting an apartment for the past 9 months and the contract is due for renewal in March. I have rented it from a private resident rather from an agent for many reasons. The main reason was the amount of money that had to change hands to get a place. I will explain all.

I wanted to rent an apartment and so I approached an agent on site and we visited several empty units. The base price was 18 million and then depending on floor and if had already had Air con installed the price went up and up. The apartments were unfurnished as it was the cheapest option for me and I had already a fair amount of furniture etc that I had recently purchased.

On settling for an apartment we verbally agreed a price and a moving date. The price was 19 million without ac and I would need to leave 2 million security deposit, then 4 million management fees (maintenance for the building, pool, rubbish collection, clean the windows on the outside etc) and the price seemed to be steep as this was all required at once. 

On further discussion with the agent, I was then told I could not add units to the walls, curtain poles or anything else as the owner did not want that to happen. This was something that I felt I could argue over and so I did. I should also point out that I went to visit these apartments with my boss who spoke both English and Indonesian and another property agent friend. 
We did eventually sort it all out and then the day I was going to sign the contract and hand over the money, the agent pulled out for reasons unknown. However I did find out later that the owner of the property did not want a westerner in his place. So that all went sour. 

I then looked at Kosts, close to work and the prices and terms and conditions varied greatly. Some would not allow my girlfriend to visit and some stated I had to be home by 10pm. Some had a shared bathroom and the cleaning was the joint responsibility of the users and that was not good. Some were nowhere from shops and more importantly laundries and the other concern was the construction of the locks and the doors which were far from suitable for me so I went back to apartments.

Through another friend I managed to secure a great apartment. The contract was written by me and translated into Indonesian and the owner just signed it without even reading it. I don't think that was the best thing but it was done.

Since being here, there are earthquake cracks etc in places but the landlady has not responded to my information about this. However everything else really is great. The bills are paid on time and my advice is make sure you get a reciept if you pay via ATM so you can prove payment. All bills are mainly paid through transfer via ATM and that is simple once you know what is happening. 
The other thing is that the parking is fairly cheap.  I have a motorbike and I pay 150k every 3 months for secure parking and that is great. 

My advice is if you are going to rent an apartment or kost alone then take someone who is sensible and can cut a deal in both English and Indonesian to help you understand everything. Also do not sign anything before fully understanding the meaning and terms. Ask for the contract in English and if they cannot provide you with one then think very carefully about if it is right thing to do.

lukereg Indonesia Expert
Member since 24 November 2009
Jakarta, Indonesia
4 years ago

Hello My wife, young son and I rent a house in the Kota Bahru area of Yogyakarta - north. My rent three years ago started at 17,5 million a year going up to now 22 million a year. The reason for this fast progression was because I was very ambivalent about renting a house in a \'kampung\' with a fair preponderance of slum dwellings in the immediate vicinity. Now with baby here, I have found myself much more integrated in the immediate community and think it is better to be around people that can watch him from the corner of the eye and act as \"eyes and ears\' in case undesirable types decide to target the house. This you do NOT get in some antiseptic perumahan. It is my contention that except for mosques, buildings are generally constructed as cheaply as possible. This means deficient plastering, painting, wiring, interior plumbing, design and what-have-you issues. If you rent and improve the place you live in and the homeowner eventually finds about it then they will invariably move the price up against you. Selamat Datang to Indonesia! Keep this in mind when renting. At some point we hope to find a well built, managed and maintained property in Yogya but I won\'t be holding my breath. If anybody can recommend architects, builders etc then please place the details on this website. Regards to all!

5 years ago

I found renting a serviced apartment for USD1200/month was worthwhile and easy. Only paid for water, bottled gas and telephone.

6 years ago

Good advice. No amount of experience as a hotel guest prepares you to rent a property in Jakarta. No one will hold your hand. You do need a signed lease and it needs to be in Indonesian (you can translate it if you want). Plenty of (young) Indonesian bankers and lawyers live in kosts. So don't take any nonsense about curfew or cleaning. Just find a better kost.

Pheni Chalid, Ph.D
Pheni Chalid, Ph.D
6 years ago

As complementary to my income as a Univ Lecturer, I invested in some apartments in the center of Jakarta. Learning from my stay in America and Europe, then my priority is to be rented by foreigner, for clean and fairness while the price is negotiable (USD 4,500.00-6,500.00 year) depending on facilities and location. BUT, I have bad experience. Since I could not catch them whenever they leave my apart before the date in messy, dirty, filthy, I had to pay almost USD 8,00.00 to re-paint and to clean bad cover, curtain, etc.

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