Accommodation in the Philippines


Looking for accommodation in the Philippines? Here are some tips on the rental market and on lease conditions.

Relocating in a foreign country above all means finding accommodation. The Philippines hosts a range of accommodation options from which you can choose according to your needs and budget. But before proceeding, it is best to be aware of conditions related to renting a house or an apartment. You should also decide in which region you would prefer to settle, depending on different factors such as proximity to your workplace, availability of transport and other facilities and services, etc.

The following are the country's 10 most densely populated cities:

  • Quezon (the Philippines' former capital city) - with nearly 3 million inhabitants
  • Manila (the current capital city) - with nearly 2 million inhabitants
  • Caloocan (North of Manila) - with nearly 1.5 million inhabitants
  • Davao (Mindanao Island) - with nearly 1.5 million inhabitants
  • Cebu (in Visayas) - with nearly 1 million inhabitants
  • Zamboanga (in Mindanao) - with nearly 800,000 inhabitants
  • Antipolo (on Manila's hillside) - with nearly 700,000 inhabitants
  • Pasig (Manila) - with nearly 650,000 inhabitants
  • Taguig (on Laguna de Bay's west shore) - With nearly 650,000 inhabitants
  • Valenzuela (in Northern Manila) - with nearly 600,000 inhabitants.

Find accommodation

You will probably be seeking a long-term rental if you are planning to settle permanently in the Philippines. Internet will then be your main search tool. However, you are more likely to find expensive condominiums and apartments in the major cities. In the countryside, it is easier to find affordable housing in a lush green environment, especially if you are moving there with your family.

You can start by inquiring about vacant housing units with your friends or contacts on the spot, or even with taxi drivers who will be glad to help you out. You are advised to look for housing away from tourist areas where rent prices are higher. Registering with a real estate agency may also help.


Make sure to opt for secure housing, especially in major cities due to the particularly high crime rate in the country. Unfortunately, poverty is still part of the local reality.


Do not sign any lease document until it has been verified and approved by a real estate lawyer. In fact, local lease documents can be quite meandering for foreigners who are not yet acquainted with the country and its people's way of doing things. Feel free to ask your colleagues or contacts whether they can recommend you any real estate lawyer.

Once you have found accommodation, make sure to visit the premises and take pictures of any present damage as a proof. Thus, the owner cannot refuse to refund your deposit when you vacate the property.

As regards the lease duration, it usually has a one-year term which is renewable. Hence, the owner will assume that you wish to renew the lease for an additional year if you have not given him a 15 days notice prior to vacating the premises. In remote provinces, on the other hand, owners generally practice oral lease contracts. Therefore, there is no formal lease document and no guarantor is required.


In general, you are required to make a deposit which is equal to 2 to 3 months rent. Nevertheless, the amount can be negotiated before signing the lease document. But in case you have chosen a modern and luxurious housing unit, do not be surprised when the owner request for an advance payment of one year's rent. This can be settled through a post-dated check.

Finally, you are authorized to deduct any repair costs from your monthly rent if the owner has not fulfilled your request.

 Useful links: – Accommodation in the Philippines Forum – Housing in the Philippines – Philippines Real Estate Directory
Philippines Real Estate Directory
Island Properties

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See also

Cagayan de Oro, which is the capital city of the oriental Misamis province, provides a range of accommodation options for foreigners.
Cebu is one of the most popular Philippines cities as it provides not only various opportunities but also a range of accommodation for expats.
Located in the Mindanao region, Davao is a metropolitan region in the Philippines, providing many accommodations for expatriates.
Iloilo is one of the Philippines' provinces. Located on Panay Island, it hosts a range of housing units, especially in the city-center.
Manila, the Philippines capital city, consists of several districts where foreigners have settled due to the availability of accommodation.

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