Expats moving to Jakarta will likely find that organising accommodation in the city is relatively easy and prices are reasonable when compared to those in Western cities or other Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Indonesian capital boasts a number of family-friendly neighbourhoods. Central Jakarta is a great location for expats who want to get the most out of city living, while south Jakarta has more suburban neighbourhoods with large houses and villas.
Types of accommodation in Jakarta
Expats will find an extensive range of options for accommodation in Jakarta. Apartments, detached homes and villas are all widely available, depending on the neighbourhood in which expats prefer to settle.
Expats in Jakarta's Central Business District will find that apartments are the most practical solution, especially to avoid spending hours each day stuck in traffic while commuting to and from the office. Many apartment buildings have been constructed in recent years, so there is plenty of choice for new arrivals, from simple and small apartments with only basic facilities to large, luxurious, fully serviced apartments.
Most apartment buildings offer 24-hour security and other facilities including swimming pools, 24-hour shops, laundry services and sports facilities.
Expats willing to venture out into Jakarta's suburbs will have more options for larger houses and villas. Some of these areas also offer easy access to some of the city's many excellent international schools, making them an ideal choice for expat families.
Many rentals in Jakarta come fully furnished. However, expats who would prefer to bring in their own household goods should be able to negotiate for most properties to come unfurnished without too much difficulty.
Finding accommodation in Jakarta
Expats in Jakarta generally find their accommodation through their company or online through property portals. The language barrier can pose a problem for new arrivals, and as such, it is crucial that expats have a reliable local contact who can translate for them when necessary.
When looking for accommodation in Jakarta, expats should keep in mind that location is one of the most important factors. Expats will be able to save a lot of time by living close to their place of work and their children’s school. Jakarta suffers from major traffic congestion and this situation is continuously worsening.
Renting accommodation in Jakarta
Indonesian law makes it complicated for foreigners to buy property in the country, and this has led most expats in Jakarta to choose to renting over buying.
When looking to rent property in Jakarta, expats will find that it is generally cheaper and expected to rent for a longer period of time. Rent can occasionally be paid on a month-by-month basis, but landlords tend to offer more favourable prices to those willing to pay for a year or several months upfront.
Expats should be sure to have a reliable local contact available who will be able to help them negotiate the terms of any new rental contract.
Buying property in Jakarta
Expats who want to buy property in Indonesia should make sure that they are well informed about the law on land ownership in the country.
Foreigners are not allowed to own land with a freehold title (Hak Milik). It is, however, possible to have “rights to use the land" (Hak Pakai), which allows expats to lease the land for up to 70 years.
If expats want to buy property it is strongly recommended that they enlist the services of a local lawyer or notary with a good reputation and experience in assisting foreigners in buying property in Indonesia.
►For a more comprehensive overview of accommodation options, see Accommodation in Indonesia
Are you an expat living in Jakarta?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Jakarta. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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