Finding and renting accommodation in Jakarta is a fairly easy process, with a wide variety of options to choose from. Expats are likely to find that prices are reasonable when compared to those in Western cities or other Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Indonesian law makes it complicated for foreigners to buy property in the country, and this has led most expats in Jakarta to choose renting over buying.
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, 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, but 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, so it's 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
When looking to rent property in Jakarta, expats will find that signing up for longer rental periods and paying upfront will often work out cheaper. 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.
Signing a lease
Leases are usually negotiated with the owner of the property. Expats should be sure to have a reliable local contact available who will be able to help them negotiate and understand the terms of any new rental contract.
Utilities are typically an extra expense on top of rent, so expats will most likely need to budget for electricity, gas, water and internet costs.
►For a more comprehensive overview of accommodation options, see Accommodation in Indonesia
"Being a city of contrasts, housing standards obviously vary a lot. However, as an expat, with an expat salary, you will have no problem in finding an apartment or a house that suits you." Read more about Lidia's experiences as a Spanish-Swedish expat 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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