Expats have a wide variety of options when it comes to finding accommodation in Indonesia. Those relocating due to international job opportunities should ask their employer for assistance in finding accommodation. Employers might be able to recommend a good estate agent or assist expats in exploring various popular expat neighbourhoods to find out which one would suit their lifestyle and budget best.

Most expats opt to lease property in Indonesia rather than buy, mainly due to property ownership laws for foreigners. It’s technically illegal for foreigners to own land in Indonesia, although there are workarounds for those who want to stay in Indonesia for the long term. Buying property as a foreigner in Indonesia, like a house or apartment, is possible without owning the land it’s built on, but this process often requires guidance and can be complex.

Types of accommodation in Indonesia

In the bustling capital city, Jakarta, many upmarket apartment blocks cater to expat housing needs, offering good locations, excellent amenities and stylish interiors. Apartments are ideal for those who prioritise proximity to business districts. Securing accommodation close to the workplace can drastically reduce Jakarta's notorious traffic commuting hours.

Additionally, apartment blocks' strategic locations mean they are close to expat-friendly restaurants, shopping districts and nightlife, ensuring an active urban life for those who desire it. Whether they're a single professional or a family, expats will find a variety of apartment sizes in Indonesia's major cities, from modern studio flats to spacious five-bedroom units.

For those who wish for green spaces and quieter surroundings, the suburbs south of Jakarta are perfect. These areas offer spacious villas and better air quality, and they are often near top international schools in Indonesia. The choice ranges from detached homes to those in gated communities with additional security.

Townhouses in Indonesia are another viable option. These are a balance between bustling city life and peaceful suburban living. These semi-detached properties in gated estates often come with shared amenities like gardens and swimming pools.

Furnished or unfurnished

Expats have the choice between renting furnished or unfurnished properties in Indonesia. A furnished property typically comes with all essential furniture and appliances, making it a convenient option for those who don’t want the hassle of buying or shipping furniture. Unfurnished properties, on the other hand, are often cheaper, allowing tenants to personalise their space to their taste.

Short-term lets

For those on a temporary stay or still exploring different residential areas in Indonesia, short-term rentals are a convenient choice. They offer flexibility but might come with a slightly higher price tag.

Finding accommodation in Indonesia

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Indonesia, using a trusted estate agent can be invaluable. They will be familiar with local real estate regulations and can guide you through the nuances of the Indonesian property market. Those who are receiving help from their employer to find accommodation might not need to go through an estate agent.

Leveraging online property portals, expat forums and local classifieds can further assist in the search. 

Networking with the expat community in Indonesia can also provide invaluable insights and recommendations about certain areas and properties. It’s also worth considering renting a short-term property or staying in a hotel initially, allowing for time to explore different areas in person.

Useful links

  • PropertyKita: One of the largest property portals in Indonesia, with over 240,000 listings​​.
  • Lamudi: An online portal connecting property seekers with suppliers, covering residential and commercial properties.
  • 99.co Indonesia: A leading property portal in Indonesia, also associated with RumahDijual and Rumah123 portals​.
  • PropertyGuru: A notable portal operating in Indonesia, known for its extensive property listings.
  • Rumah.com: A PropertyGuru-owned portal offering various property listings in Indonesia.

Renting accommodation in Indonesia

Before finalising a rental agreement, it’s essential for expats to conduct a thorough property inspection, ensuring the living space matches their expectations and checking for any damage or issues. 

Whether they're signing a short-term or long-term lease, it's essential that all terms of the lease are transparent and understood by both parties to avoid potential disputes. Deposits, lease termination policies and other essential clauses should be discussed openly with the landlord or through the estate agent to avoid misunderstandings later on.


Lease agreements are usually negotiated directly with the owner of the property. We recommend that expats have a trusted friend or colleague who is fluent in Indonesian look through the contract to ensure a clear understanding of the agreement.

While most leases are for one year, shorter or longer durations can be negotiated. A standard practice in Indonesia is to pay the entire rental amount upfront, especially for longer lease terms.

It’s also crucial to ensure the contract notes the responsibilities of both tenant and landlord, such as who covers maintenance or repair costs.


Expats will usually need to pay a year’s rent upfront, as well as a deposit of one month’s rent. It’s challenging but possible to find landlords willing to accept a smaller upfront payment, such as six months’ rent, along with the standard one-month deposit. Expats going this route should be prepared for the fact that they will have far fewer options to choose from and significantly less bargaining power when it comes to price.

Terminating the lease

If an expat wishes to terminate their lease early, it’s crucial to discuss the terms with the landlord in advance. Some contracts might have penalties for early termination, so it’s wise to clarify this point before signing.

Utilities in Indonesia

Generally, tenants bear the utility costs, and it's imperative to discuss and clarify these aspects during the rental negotiations. While security and safety are paramount, especially in urban areas, many properties come equipped with security measures. Ensuring a steady supply of essentials like electricity, water and gas, and understanding their billing processes can make the transition smoother.


Security can be an issue in Indonesia, but crime is usually limited to theft and is not often violent or serious. Most apartment buildings will employ security guards and have extra security measures such as surveillance cameras in place. Unlike the other items in this section, the cost of security measures are likely to be for the landlord if already in place.


Electricity in Indonesia is primarily provided by the state-owned company PLN. Expats should ensure their property's wiring can handle the electrical load of their appliances. Power outages can occasionally occur, so it might be worth investing in surge protectors.

Monthly bills can be paid directly at the PLN offices, through online banking, or even some convenience stores. It’s important to pay on time to avoid disconnection.


Households generally use bottled gas for cooking. It’s easy to find local distributors who can deliver new bottles and collect empty ones. Expats should check the gas connections for safety and ensure the property has proper ventilation.

Gas bills are not monthly but rather depend on usage. When the gas bottle is empty, it needs to be replaced, and the payment is made upon delivery of a new bottle.


While tap water is available in many parts of Indonesia, it’s often not safe to drink directly. Most households either boil tap water or rely on bottled water for drinking and cooking. 

Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum (PDAM) are local government-owned water service companies in various regions across Indonesia. Monthly water bills are typically low and can often be paid in similar ways as electricity bills, either online, in person or at specific convenience stores.

Bins and recycling

Waste disposal and recycling systems vary across Indonesia. In urban areas, local authorities collect rubbish regularly. Recycling is not as widespread, and expats might need to seek out specific drop-off points for recyclables.

It’s a good practice to separate organic and non-organic waste, as some neighbourhoods have separate collection days for each type of waste.

Useful links

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