Finding Housing as an Expat in Indonesia

1. What are the popular expat-friendly neighborhoods in Indonesia for renting a house or apartment?

There are several popular expat-friendly neighborhoods in Indonesia where expats often choose to rent a house or apartment. Some of these include:

1. Kebayoran Baru in South Jakarta: Known for its upscale residential areas, good schools, and proximity to shopping malls and restaurants.

2. Kemang in South Jakarta: Popular among expats for its vibrant nightlife, diverse dining options, and expat community.

3. Menteng in Central Jakarta: An affluent residential area known for its tree-lined streets, colonial architecture, and close proximity to international schools.

4. Canggu in Bali: A trendy area popular among digital nomads and expats for its laid-back atmosphere, surf beaches, and hip cafes.

5. Sanur in Bali: A peaceful coastal town with a relaxed vibe, ideal for expats seeking a quieter lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of touristy areas.

These neighborhoods offer a range of housing options, from luxury apartments to cozy houses, and cater to the needs and preferences of expats living in Indonesia. It’s important to consider factors such as proximity to amenities, safety, transportation options, and community atmosphere when choosing a neighborhood to rent in as an expat.

2. What are the average rental prices for housing in Indonesia, particularly in major cities like Jakarta and Bali?

When finding housing as an expat in Indonesia, particularly in major cities like Jakarta and Bali, it is important to consider the average rental prices. In Jakarta, the rental prices can vary widely depending on the location, type of property, and amenities provided. On average, you can expect to pay around $500 to $1,500 per month for a decent apartment in a central or expat-friendly neighborhood in Jakarta. On the other hand, in Bali, rental prices can range from $300 to $1,000 per month for a similar type of accommodation, with prices generally being lower compared to Jakarta. Additionally, it is important to note that rental prices may also fluctuate based on the time of year and current market conditions, so it is advisable to conduct thorough research and possibly seek assistance from local real estate agents to find the best housing options within your budget.

3. What factors should expats consider when searching for housing in Indonesia?

When searching for housing in Indonesia as an expat, there are several factors to consider to ensure a smooth transition and comfortable living situation.

1. Location plays a crucial role in your housing choice. Consider factors such as proximity to your workplace, international schools if you have children, access to public transportation, expat-friendly neighborhoods, and amenities like supermarkets, hospitals, and recreational facilities.

2. Budget is another key consideration. As an expat, you may have a different salary structure or housing allowance. Make sure to clarify your budget constraints and explore options that fit within your financial means while also meeting your housing needs.

3. Security and safety should not be overlooked. Seek housing in areas with low crime rates and consider additional security measures such as gated communities or apartment complexes with round-the-clock security guards.

4. Cultural and lifestyle preferences should also guide your housing search. Whether you prefer urban living in cities like Jakarta or Bali’s relaxed beach vibes, finding housing that aligns with your lifestyle can significantly enhance your overall expat experience.

By carefully evaluating these factors and conducting thorough research, expats can find suitable housing options in Indonesia that cater to their needs and preferences.

4. Are there any specific regulations or laws that expats need to be aware of when renting a property in Indonesia?

When renting a property in Indonesia as an expat, there are several important regulations and laws to be aware of:

1. Ownership Restrictions: Foreigners are generally not allowed to own land outright in Indonesia, except in certain cases such as through a nominee arrangement or a leasehold agreement.

2. Visa Requirement: Expats are typically required to have a valid visa and stay permit (KITAS) in order to rent a property in Indonesia.

3. Contractual Agreements: It is important for expats to carefully review and understand the terms of the rental agreement, as Indonesian tenancy laws may differ from those in their home country.

4. Deposit and Payment: Be aware of the customary practices regarding deposits, rental payments, and possible annual rent increases, as these terms can vary based on the location and type of property.

Overall, it is advisable for expats to seek legal advice or consult with a local real estate agent who is experienced in dealing with expat rentals in Indonesia to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws.

5. How can expats find reliable real estate agents or property listings in Indonesia?

Finding reliable real estate agents or property listings as an expat in Indonesia can be crucial for securing suitable housing. Here are five key strategies to help expats in Indonesia find trustworthy real estate agents or property listings:

1. Online real estate platforms: Utilize online platforms such as Rumah123, UrbanIndo, or PropertyGuru to search for property listings managed by reputable agents.

2. Local referrals: Seek recommendations from other expats, colleagues, or friends who have experience with real estate agents in Indonesia. Local suggestions can often lead to reliable professionals.

3. Real estate agencies: Research and contact established real estate agencies with a good reputation in the area where you wish to find housing. Meet with agents in person to discuss your requirements and ensure transparency.

4. Expat community forums: Participate in expat forums and groups specific to Indonesia where members share insights and recommendations for real estate agents. Expats who have successfully navigated the housing market can provide valuable advice.

5. Attend property expos or events: Keep an eye out for property expos or events in major Indonesian cities where reputable real estate agents showcase their listings. This can be a great opportunity to meet agents face-to-face and explore a variety of housing options.

By combining these strategies, expats can increase their chances of finding reliable real estate agents or property listings in Indonesia that meet their needs and preferences.

6. What are the common types of housing options available to expats in Indonesia, such as apartments, houses, or serviced apartments?

Common types of housing options available to expats in Indonesia include:

1. Apartments: Apartments are a popular housing choice for expats in Indonesia, especially in major cities like Jakarta and Bali. They offer convenience, security, and often come with amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and parking facilities.

2. Houses: Expats can also opt for renting or buying houses in Indonesia, which provide more space and privacy compared to apartments. Houses can range from traditional Indonesian-style homes to modern villas with gardens and swimming pools.

3. Serviced Apartments: Serviced apartments are a convenient option for expats who prefer a more hotel-like living experience with amenities such as housekeeping, laundry services, and 24-hour security. These are commonly available in expat-friendly areas and cater to short-term stays.

4. Shared Accommodation: Expats can choose to share accommodation with roommates or other expats, which can be a more cost-effective option, especially for those on a budget or looking to meet new people.

5. Gated Communities: Gated communities offer expats a secure and often luxurious living environment with shared facilities like parks, playgrounds, and sports facilities. These communities are typically found in upscale neighborhoods and provide a sense of community for expats living in Indonesia.

6. Expatriate Housing Complexes: Some areas in Indonesia have housing complexes specifically designed for expatriates, offering Western-style accommodations and amenities to cater to the needs and preferences of expats living in the country.

When considering housing options in Indonesia, expats should carefully evaluate their preferences, budget, location preferences, and length of stay to choose the best accommodation that suits their needs. It is recommended to work with a reputable real estate agent or relocation service to navigate the housing market and find a suitable place to live in Indonesia as an expat.

7. Is it common for landlords in Indonesia to require a security deposit or advance payment when renting a property?

1. Yes, it is quite common for landlords in Indonesia to require a security deposit or advance payment when renting a property. The security deposit is usually equivalent to one to three months’ rent and is intended to cover any damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear. The advance payment, which is typically one month’s rent in advance, ensures that the tenant has paid for their first month of occupancy before moving in. These deposits and advance payments are standard practice to secure the rental agreement and protect the landlord’s interests. It is advisable for expats looking for housing in Indonesia to be prepared to provide these funds upon signing a lease agreement.

8. What are the typical lease terms for expats renting a property in Indonesia?

Typical lease terms for expats renting a property in Indonesia can vary depending on the landlord and the specific property. However, there are some common lease terms that expats should be aware of:

1. Lease Duration: In Indonesia, it is common for landlords to offer lease agreements for a minimum period of 1 year. Some landlords may be open to shorter leases, but longer-term agreements are generally preferred.

2. Deposit: Landlords typically require a security deposit from tenants, usually equal to one or two months’ rent. This deposit is refundable at the end of the lease term, minus any deductions for damages or outstanding bills.

3. Rent Payment: Rent is usually paid in advance on a monthly basis. Some landlords may require post-dated checks for the duration of the lease, while others may accept bank transfers or cash payments.

4. Utilities: In most cases, tenants are responsible for paying their own utility bills, such as electricity, water, and internet. It’s important to clarify with the landlord what utilities are included in the rent and which ones are the tenant’s responsibility.

5. Maintenance and Repairs: Landlords are typically responsible for major repairs and maintenance of the property, while tenants are expected to handle minor maintenance tasks. It’s important to clarify these responsibilities in the lease agreement.

6. Renewal Options: Some landlords may offer renewal options at the end of the lease term, with the possibility of extending the agreement for another term. It’s advisable for expats to discuss renewal options with the landlord before signing the lease.

7. Termination Clause: The lease agreement should include a termination clause outlining the conditions under which either party can end the lease before the agreed-upon term. This clause typically requires advance notice from the party terminating the lease.

8. Legal Considerations: It’s essential for expats to thoroughly review and understand the terms of the lease agreement before signing. If needed, seek professional advice or assistance to ensure that the lease complies with Indonesian rental laws and regulations.

9. Are utilities usually included in the rental price in Indonesia, or are they paid separately by the tenant?

Utilities in Indonesia are typically paid separately by the tenant rather than being included in the rental price. These utilities usually include electricity, water, gas (if applicable), internet, and sometimes building maintenance fees. It’s essential for expats looking for housing in Indonesia to inquire about the breakdown of utilities and clarify which ones are the responsibility of the tenant. Understanding the cost of utilities upfront can help expats budget accordingly and avoid any surprises when it comes to monthly expenses. It’s also common for tenants to set up their own accounts with utility providers and manage the payments directly to ensure transparency and control over their usage.

10. How important is it for expats to consider transportation options and proximity to amenities when choosing a location for housing in Indonesia?

It is extremely important for expats to consider transportation options and proximity to amenities when choosing a location for housing in Indonesia.

1. Transportation options play a crucial role in the daily life of expats. The traffic in major cities such as Jakarta can be notoriously congested, so living close to work or having easy access to public transportation like buses, trains, or ride-sharing services can significantly reduce commute times and enhance quality of life.

2. Proximity to amenities such as supermarkets, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and entertainment venues is also key for expats settling into a new country. Having these essentials within a reasonable distance from their residence allows expats to conveniently meet their daily needs and engage in social activities without enduring long journeys.

3. Additionally, considering safety and security factors in the neighborhood is vital. Expats should seek locations with a good reputation for safety and where they feel comfortable navigating both during the day and at night. This can contribute to their overall peace of mind and well-being while living in Indonesia.

11. What are some tips for negotiating rental prices or lease terms as an expat in Indonesia?

When negotiating rental prices or lease terms as an expat in Indonesia, there are several tips to keep in mind:

1. Research the market: Understand the average rental prices in the area and specific neighborhood you are interested in. This knowledge will give you leverage during negotiations and help you determine a fair price.

2. Utilize local contacts: Having local contacts or a trusted agent can be beneficial when negotiating terms. They can provide valuable insights into local customs and help you navigate the rental process more effectively.

3. Be prepared to negotiate: In Indonesia, negotiation is common in the rental market. Don’t be afraid to make a counteroffer or ask for concessions such as a longer lease term or included utilities.

4. Consider long-term leases: Landlords in Indonesia may be more inclined to offer discounts or favorable terms for longer lease agreements. If you plan to stay in the country for an extended period, explore the option of signing a longer lease to secure a better deal.

5. Highlight your strengths as a tenant: Emphasize your reliability as a tenant, such as stable income, good rental history, or willingness to maintain the property well. This can make you a more attractive candidate and give you an edge in negotiations.

By following these tips and approaching negotiations with a proactive mindset, you can increase your chances of securing a favorable rental price or lease terms as an expat in Indonesia.

12. Are there any recommended websites or online platforms for expats to search for housing in Indonesia?

Yes, there are several recommended websites and online platforms for expats to search for housing in Indonesia:

1. This website offers a wide range of rental and property listings across Indonesia, making it a popular choice for expats looking for housing options.

2. Another popular platform, provides listings for both rental and sale properties in Indonesia, including houses, apartments, and villas.

3. Airbnb: Expats can also explore Airbnb for short-term rental options in various cities in Indonesia, providing flexibility for those looking for temporary accommodation.

4. Expat-specific websites: Websites such as or Living in Indonesia Forum often have housing sections where expats share tips, recommendations, and listings for housing options in Indonesia.

5. Real estate agencies: Engaging with local real estate agencies can also be beneficial, as they can provide personalized assistance and guidance in finding suitable housing options for expats.

By utilizing these online platforms and resources, expats can efficiently search for housing in Indonesia that meets their preferences and requirements.

13. What are the typical amenities or facilities that expats can expect to find in housing complexes or apartment buildings in Indonesia?

Expat housing complexes or apartment buildings in Indonesia typically offer a range of amenities and facilities to cater to the needs and preferences of foreign residents. Here are some of the typical features you can expect to find:

1. Security: Most housing complexes or apartment buildings in Indonesia provide 24/7 security services including gated entrances, security guards, and surveillance cameras to ensure the safety of residents.

2. Swimming Pool: Many expat housing complexes offer swimming pools for residents to relax and unwind, especially in the tropical climate of Indonesia.

3. Fitness Center: It is common to find fitness centers equipped with gym equipment for residents to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

4. Children’s Play Area: Housing complexes often provide playgrounds or play areas for children to enjoy and socialize with other kids in the community.

5. Common Areas: There are usually shared spaces like gardens, parks, or communal lounge areas where residents can socialize and interact with neighbors.

6. Parking: Adequate parking spaces are usually available within the housing complex or apartment building premises for residents and their guests.

7. Maintenance Services: Many complexes offer maintenance and housekeeping services to ensure that the property is well-maintained and in good condition.

8. Internet and Cable TV: Some housing complexes may include internet connection and cable TV services as part of the amenities provided.

9. Restaurant or Café: Some upscale housing complexes may have on-site restaurants or cafes for residents to dine conveniently.

10. Laundry Facilities: In some cases, there may be laundry facilities or services available within the complex to make it convenient for residents.

11. Business Center: Larger housing complexes may have business centers or meeting rooms for residents who work from home or require professional facilities.

12. Pet-Friendly Features: Some complexes are designed to accommodate pets with designated pet areas or facilities for the convenience of pet-owning residents.

13. Green Spaces: Many housing complexes in Indonesia incorporate green spaces such as gardens, parks, or walking paths to provide residents with a natural and serene environment within the urban setting.

These amenities and facilities contribute to the comfort, convenience, and quality of life for expats residing in housing complexes or apartment buildings in Indonesia.

14. Are there any cultural considerations or norms that expats should keep in mind when interacting with landlords or neighbors in Indonesia?

When interacting with landlords or neighbors in Indonesia as an expat, there are several important cultural considerations to keep in mind:

1. Respect for Elders: In Indonesian culture, respect for elders is highly valued. When dealing with landlords or neighbors who may be older than you, it’s essential to show deference and polite behavior.

2. Politeness and Courtesy: Indonesians appreciate polite and courteous interactions. Always greet your landlord or neighbors with a smile and use respectful language.

3. Non-confrontational Communication: Indonesians tend to avoid confrontation and appreciate indirect communication. Try to address any issues or concerns in a non-confrontational manner to maintain positive relationships.

4. Gift Giving: Giving small gifts or tokens of appreciation is common in Indonesian culture. Consider offering a small gift as a gesture of goodwill when interacting with your landlord or neighbors.

5. Community Involvement: Engaging with the local community can help expats build positive relationships with their neighbors. Participating in community events or activities can show respect for Indonesian culture and foster a sense of belonging.

Overall, being respectful, courteous, and willing to adapt to Indonesian cultural norms can go a long way in building positive relationships with landlords and neighbors as an expat in Indonesia.

15. How can expats ensure the safety and security of their housing in Indonesia, especially in terms of building security and emergency preparedness?

Ensuring the safety and security of your housing in Indonesia as an expat involves taking several important steps:

1. Choose a secure neighborhood: Research neighborhoods that are known for their safety and security ratings. Consult with locals or expat communities for recommendations on areas with low crime rates.

2. Select a reputable housing complex: Opt for a well-established housing complex or gated community that provides security measures such as CCTV surveillance, security guards, and access control systems.

3. Check the building’s security features: Inspect the building for secure entrances, proper lighting in common areas, functioning fire alarms, and emergency exits. Ensure that the building meets safety standards and regulations.

4. Install additional security measures: Consider installing extra security measures in your unit, such as door and window locks, security cameras, and a monitored alarm system for added protection.

5. Stay informed about emergency procedures: Familiarize yourself with the building’s emergency procedures, including evacuation routes, assembly points, and contact information for emergency services. Conduct regular drills with your household to practice these procedures.

6. Keep important documents and contacts handy: Maintain copies of important documents like your passport, visa, and emergency contacts in a secure place within your housing unit. Stay connected with local authorities, embassies, and expat support groups for assistance in case of emergencies.

By being proactive and vigilant about the safety and security of your housing in Indonesia, expats can create a secure living environment that provides peace of mind and readiness in any situation.

16. Are there any specific areas or neighborhoods in Indonesia that are known for being more suitable for families with children?

1. For expat families with children looking for suitable areas in Indonesia, South Jakarta is highly recommended for its family-friendly environment and amenities. Areas such as Kemang, Pondok Indah, and Cilandak are popular choices due to their proximity to international schools, parks, and recreational facilities. These neighborhoods offer a range of housing options, including spacious houses and apartments with family-focused amenities.

2. Another excellent choice for expat families is BSD City in the Tangerang area, just outside Jakarta. This planned community boasts modern infrastructure, green spaces, international schools, and family-oriented facilities like shopping malls and sports clubs. The area is known for its well-maintained housing estates and a safe environment conducive to raising children.

3. In Bali, Canggu and Sanur are two neighborhoods that cater well to expat families. Canggu offers a laid-back lifestyle with a growing expat community, while Sanur presents a more tranquil and family-oriented setting with easy access to schools, beaches, and recreational activities. Both areas provide a range of housing options, from villas to modern apartments, suitable for families with children.

Ultimately, the choice of neighborhood will depend on individual preferences, budget, proximity to work, and access to essential amenities such as schools, healthcare facilities, and recreational activities. Conducting thorough research, visiting different neighborhoods, and seeking recommendations from other expat families can help in finding the most suitable housing location for families with children in Indonesia.

17. What are the options for expats who prefer shared housing or co-living arrangements in Indonesia?

For expats in Indonesia who prefer shared housing or co-living arrangements, there are several options available:

1. Shared Apartments: Many expats opt to share apartments with roommates to split the cost of rent and utilities. This can be a more budget-friendly option while still providing a sense of privacy and independence.

2. Co-living Spaces: There are growing numbers of co-living spaces in major cities like Jakarta and Bali that cater specifically to expats. These spaces offer shared common areas, social events, and sometimes even services like cleaning and maintenance included in the rent.

3. Rental Websites: Websites such as, OLX, or Jendela360 have listings for shared housing options where expats can find rooms or apartments to share with others.

4. Expatriate Communities: Joining expatriate communities or groups on social media platforms like Facebook can be a good way to connect with other expats who are looking for shared housing arrangements.

5. Real Estate Agents: Working with a reputable real estate agent who specializes in expat housing can also help you find shared accommodation options that meet your preferences and budget.

Overall, shared housing and co-living arrangements can be great options for expats in Indonesia looking to save on housing costs, network with like-minded individuals, and enjoy a sense of community while living abroad.

18. How can expats navigate language barriers or communication challenges when renting a property in Indonesia?

Navigating language barriers or communication challenges when renting a property in Indonesia as an expat can be challenging but manageable with the following tips:

1. Engage a Local Interpreter or Agent: Hiring a local interpreter or real estate agent who is fluent in both English and Bahasa Indonesia can greatly help in bridging the language gap. This intermediary can effectively communicate with landlords or property managers on your behalf, ensuring clear understanding of terms and conditions.

2. Learn Basic Bahasa Indonesia: While not essential, learning some basic Bahasa Indonesia phrases can go a long way in establishing rapport with locals and showing respect for their language and culture. It can also aid in basic communication during property viewings or negotiations.

3. Utilize Translation Apps: There are various translation apps available that can help you in real-time communication with landlords or agents. Apps like Google Translate can assist in translating text or speech, making it easier to convey your requirements or understand the terms of the rental agreement.

4. Seek Expat-Friendly Housing Services: Some housing agencies or online platforms cater specifically to expats and offer services in multiple languages. These platforms can simplify the rental process by providing listings in English and offering assistance with negotiations and paperwork.

5. Confirm Details in Writing: To avoid miscommunication, always ensure that important details such as rental rates, lease terms, and maintenance responsibilities are documented in writing. This can serve as a reference point and reduce misunderstandings in the future.

By employing these strategies, expats can navigate language barriers effectively when renting a property in Indonesia, ensuring a smoother and more transparent rental experience.

19. Are there any specific requirements or documents that expats need to provide when renting a property in Indonesia, such as proof of income or residency status?

When renting a property in Indonesia as an expat, there are certain requirements and documents that you would typically need to provide to the landlord or the property management company. These may include:

1. Proof of Income: Landlords often require expats to provide proof of a stable source of income to ensure they can afford the rent. This could be in the form of employment contracts, payslips, or bank statements.

2. Copy of Passport and Visa: Expats are usually required to provide a copy of their passport and valid visa to confirm their identity and residency status in Indonesia.

3. Work Permit (KITAS): Some landlords may request a copy of your Indonesian work permit (KITAS) as further proof of your legal status in the country.

4. Letter of Employment: A letter from your employer stating your position, salary, and the duration of your contract could also be requested by landlords.

5. Letter of Bank Guarantee: In some cases, landlords may ask for a letter of bank guarantee as a security measure.

These requirements may vary depending on the specific landlord or property management company, so it’s advisable to clarify the necessary documents before starting the rental process.

20. What are the steps involved in the process of renting a property in Indonesia as an expat, from property viewing to signing the lease agreement?

Renting a property in Indonesia as an expat involves several key steps:

1. Property Search: Begin by searching for properties that meet your criteria through online listings, real estate agents, or personal referrals.

2. Property Viewing: Schedule property viewings to inspect the premises and determine if it aligns with your requirements in terms of location, size, amenities, and budget.

3. Negotiation: If you find a suitable property, negotiate the terms with the landlord or agent, discussing rent price, payment schedule, and any necessary furnishings or repairs.

4. Lease Agreement: Once you reach an agreement, review the lease contract carefully, ensuring all terms and conditions are clearly outlined, including rental duration, deposit requirements, maintenance responsibilities, and any additional charges.

5. Deposit Payment: Pay the security deposit, typically equivalent to one to three months’ rent, to secure the property.

6. Sign the Lease: Sign the lease agreement in the presence of the landlord or agent, ensuring both parties understand and agree to the terms outlined.

7. Payment of Rent: Pay the initial rent as per the agreed schedule, keeping records of all payments made.

8. Move-in Inspection: Conduct a thorough inspection of the property before moving in to document its condition and any existing damages.

By following these steps diligently, expats can navigate the process of renting a property in Indonesia smoothly and secure accommodation that meets their needs during their stay in the country.