Thanks to its advanced urbanisation and development compared to the rest of the country, most expats live in the capital, Phnom Penh. Prices for accommodation in Phnom Penh range significantly, depending on the area.
Types of accommodation in Cambodia
The two main types of accommodation for expats in Cambodia are non-serviced and serviced apartments, though villas are also available.
With non-serviced apartments, expats typically have to pay for all the costs associated with the apartment. Owing to the demand for accommodation, some non-serviced apartments have begun to include perks such as internet, cable, water and cleaning in the monthly rental rate. Be that as it may, electricity is seldom part of the monthly rate.
The cost of rent in serviced apartments is all-inclusive, and they are also fully furnished. They're also often in better-maintained buildings with more luxurious amenities and modern fixtures.
Finding accommodation in Cambodia
Online property portals are a fantastic place to start when looking for accommodation in Cambodia, as they are accessible and can be used to research the property market, particularly when trying to gauge common price points.
We advise that expats use a Cambodian estate agent once in the country, preferably one who is bilingual and has experience working with expats. This can immensely ease the process of searching, negotiating and signing a lease.
Renting accommodation in Cambodia
Most expats in Cambodia rent accommodation and will have to negotiate agreements with landlords themselves or through a real estate agent. We recommend that expats use an agent to circumvent the possible language barrier and ensure the deal is watertight.
A tenancy agreement requires several documents, including a copy of one’s passport, visa and a letter from an employer. Leases tend to be a minimum of two months, but it is common to arrange one for 12 months. Expats moving into a serviced apartment should ensure the inclusion of a comprehensive inventory in the lease agreement.
Typically, a deposit of one to three months’ rent is required. The deposit should be returned in full at the end of the lease period, provided there is no damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear.
Expats moving into non-serviced apartments will typically have to take care of all the utilities, including electricity, water, cable and internet. Those in serviced apartments will have all the costs paid by the landlord.
►Education and Schools in Cambodia is a must-read for expat parents
"There is a huge choice of accommodation here, depending on your budget and your needs. You can find a room in a shared house, a studio flat, a modern one- or two-bedroom apartment in a complex with a shared pool, or rent the whole house. Houses are generally either traditional wooden Khmer villas or a modern house built to Western standards – of varying sizes."
Read more of Clare's expat interview about living in Cambodia.
Are you an expat living in Cambodia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Cambodia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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