Accommodation in Cambodia: scams you should look out for


Committing to renting or buying accommodation when you’re new to or have not moved to Cambodia just yet is always a stressful endeavour. Would you like to help us in putting together a handbook of what to look out for when house hunting in Cambodia?

What are the most common scams in Cambodia?

What are the red flags to look out for when scanning through adverts?

Is there a list of registered or accredited landlords or real estate agencies in Cambodia?

What authorities should be sought should one come across an accommodation scam?

Please share your experience,


Hello Bhavna.

I think there are not so many ways to be scammed, other than in other countries.

But here just a few things to keep in mind to get the best deal for yourself without any bad surprises.

1. Difference in rent depending on floor.
A nasty one. Advertised is $350, you have a look and it looks great there on the 6th floor. You agree and suddenly when ready for signing the contract it says rent $450.
Without blinking an eye the landlord says higher floors are more expensive. Asking for a lower floor is useless as they don't have any apartments on lower floors available.

Remedy: ask the agent which floor the apartment is situated and at what price.

2. Empty plot of land next to your building.
Not a scam but you can be sure of construction noise from 6 am on. Empty plot means there will be construction.

3. Your apartment is still occupied, they show another one.
Although in many cases totally ok it's possible that there are small differences between what you see and agree and the real apartment. Take photos of things like AC, furniture, kitchen.

4. Deposit
Some landlords try to let you pay two months worth of deposit. Refuse, one month is surely sufficient and the normal thing.
Deposit you get back when the contract has expired and you don't extend. Any damages caused by you will be paid from the deposit. Be present when they check the apartment.

5. Contract
Be aware that certain items have to be mentioned in the rental contract.
ID of apartment, presence of a working generator in case of power outage, operational costs included, cleaning included, parking, security, phone number of manager or owner.

That's about it Bhavna.

Best regards


Even better just let the last month you rent be paid by the deposit money then you don’t need to ask your deposit money back . And invite the owner around on the beginning of the last month to check that they are ok with the condition of the apartment then you either fix and leave or leave.

Thanks a lot it's very helpful for a newbie!  :top:

In Cambodia, electricity is supplied by Electricite du Cambodge (EDC).

I believe, in Phnom Penh the current rate is 750 Riel/kwh if you pay directly to EDC. There are even lower rates for people who use very little electricity.

Many landlords have sub meters installed for each of their units, and you pay to the landlord.

Common is to charge 1000 Riel/kwh, which I think is OK. I currently pay that.

Some landlords will charge rates that are far higher, like 1500-1600.

Cambodians with limited means living in simple rooms often get charged these excessive prices, but foreigners as well.

So: Ask about the rate before moving in.

Also: Some of my friends had electricity bills that were excessive and later found out that someone was stealing their electricity.
(Never happened to me though.)

Check your meter regularly.  If something seems fishy, ask friends with a comparable number of appliances how many kwh they use.

A good idea is to take a photo of meter reading when you move in and again every month then you can calculate your bill yourself same with water if you're charged by usage.

New topic