- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Malaysia Guide (PDF)
Expats can rest assured that they will have no problem in finding comfortable and affordable accommodation in Malaysia.
Types of accommodation in Malaysia
Many types of accommodation are present in Malaysia: large standalone houses, semi-detached and terraced houses, apartments, and condominiums. Generally, condominiums are most popular with expats, as they are secure and often boast highly sought-after amenities such as gyms and swimming pools.
Housing prices are reasonable throughout Malaysia, especially when included in a lucrative employment package or when financed by a large expat salary. Property in central Kuala Lumpur is generally more expensive than in any other area in Malaysia.
Completely furnished, semi-furnished or unfurnished accommodation is available. Expats are warned that 'unfurnished' is sometimes used more literally in Malaysia than in other countries. The term can refer to places that are completely empty, without kitchen units, stoves or even curtain rails.
Finding accommodation in Malaysia
The process of finding property in Malaysia is straightforward. Expats can engage the services of a real estate agent to help them find a suitable place to stay, or they can conduct internet searches and check local newspapers and other publications for rental listings. It's a very good idea to view a few properties to get a sense of how much to expect to pay for a certain type of space.
Renting accommodation in Malaysia
Rental agreements are usually signed on a two-year basis, with an option to renew written into the lease. For this reason, if unable to commit with 100 percent certainty to the full two years, be sure to have a termination clause written into the rental contract.
Usually, the tenant will have to pay two months' rent as a refundable security deposit to secure the rental. However, estate agent fees are normally paid by the landlord. The tenant will be responsible for their own water, electricity, sewerage, phone and internet bills, and might also be required to pay a deposit on these utilities before moving in.
Buying property in Malaysia
Buying property in Malaysia is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for expats, with the Malaysian government actively looking to increase foreign investment in the property market through the Malaysia My Second Home initiative. There are some areas of the country in which expats are still not allowed to buy property, and there are also restrictions on the value of a property price in order to protect low- to middle-income Malaysians from property inflation. Loans and mortgages are available from Malaysian banks and other financial institutions.
►For more on finding a home, see our guide to Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur
►Discover the neighbourhoods of Malaysia's capital in Areas and Suburbs in Kuala Lumpur
Are you an expat living in Malaysia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Malaysia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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