- Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city with plenty of new development projects in progress, including additional public transport lines to serve the
Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city with plenty of new development projects in progress, including additional public transport lines to serve the suburbs. For prospective renters, all this development means that selecting the most convenient area to live in is doubly important not only to ensure convenience and quality of life, but because of construction noise, disruption, and the inevitable traffic issues.
Ease of transport is quite important for a comfortable stay in Kuala Lumpur. Living close to public transit routes or close to your workplace is ideal if you do not have a car, as peak time traffic is one of the major issues in Kuala Lumpur. Taxis are available, but as traffic increases, hailing or booking a taxi becomes more difficult and more expensive. Although taxi drivers are generally reliable and honest, finding such a taxi in the city centre in peak times (or when it’s raining) can be a real challenge.
If you are married with children but do not have a car, you probably need to live somewhere close to an international school. Many schools will provide you with options for reliable transportation that will pick up your children from your condominium or house and drop them off after school. A monthly transport fee will be charged for such service and costs will vary depending on the area and school.
There are a number of condominiums in the KL City Centre (KLCC) area that can be rented from around RM3,000 per month to more than RM20,000 per month. It all depends on the location, built-up area of the unit, and age of the condominium. The facilities provided at the condominiums can also influence the price and of course whether it is partly or fully furnished and the quality of furnishings. An average rental price for a condominium in the KLCC area is around RM4,500 per month for a partly furnished unit with a built-up area of between 1,600 to 1,900 sq. ft. with or without balcony. On average, a two-bedroom unit is around 1,400 sq. ft.
There are a number of gated and guarded landed properties in Kuala Lumpur, if you prefer to stay in a landed property, for example Bangsar, Mont Kiara, Sri Hartamas, or Desa Parkcity area that can be rented from around RM4,000 to RM20,000 per month. Again, it will all depend on the location, built-up area or land area of the unit, age of the building, facilities available, and partly or fully furnished unit.
On average, the rental of a double-storey home in the gated and guarded Desa Parkcity area should be about RM5,000 per month for a partly furnished unit with a swimming pool in the common area.
In Malaysia, “partly furnished” usually means that the unit comes with some fixtures and fittings, for example, built-in wardrobe and built-in kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances. Dishwashers and clothes dryer are not generally included as they are not commonly used by the local Malaysians. A partly furnished unit should include curtains or blinds, ceiling fans, and air-conditioners, but no loose furnishings, though some landlords may include very basic furniture, such as a sofa or bed.
Fully furnished units will usually come with fixtures and fittings, kitchen appliances, refrigerator, oven, microwave, washing machine, curtains or blinds, ceiling fan, air-conditioners, and loose furnishings such as beds, bedside tables, lamps, dining table with chairs, sofa set with coffee table and side tables, and TV with TV cabinet. It is worth noting that there does not exist a single definition for either “partly furnished” or “fully furnished,” but this can give you an idea of what to expect.
In Malaysia, renting carries with it a fairly standard set of fees and deposits. Generally, the owner will pay any agent fees that may be incurred, but the renter is expected to provide two months’ rental as a deposit, along with one-half month’s rental as a utilities deposit. A standard rental contract will generally disallow using the deposit for the final two months’ rental, but some owners are willing to consider this option.
Most owners are generally very accommodating, and if they do provide any additional items for example dishwasher, tumble dryer, kitchen utensils, cutlery, bed linen, internet access, and satellite TV on request the rental price will be adjusted accordingly after agreement.
Home internet access is available via ADSL, fibre optic cable, or even wireless broadband. You can request the owner to assist in providing the internet access services at home and you just need to pay the monthly usage fee and deposit, which can be substantial if you are an expatriate. Some owners will agree to keep phone and internet services in their name, thus relieving you of the need to pay a large deposit. The number and quality of internet options has increased dramatically in recent years, and discounted packages are available, so it pays to shop around.
Although Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas are densely populated, many expatriates will choose to live in the KLCC area, Damansara Heights, Bangsar, KL Sentral, Mont Kiara, Sri Hartamas, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bandar Utama, Damansara Perdana, or Desa Parkcity where there are existing expatriate communities and amenities.
Rental rates in suburban areas are usually less than the city centre area, and the built-up area may be bigger and will usually come with a balcony and more amenities.
If you choose to live in a suburb, you will need a car, keeping in mind that Malaysia has a very high import tax on non-locally manufactured cars, a condominium with at least one or more parking spaces and (relatively) easy access to the major roads or highways. Many expatriates, even short-term expats, will purchase or rent a family car for convenience. Having your own car will allow you greater flexibility to travel around Kuala Lumpur or to other parts of Malaysia.
Source: The Expat Property Guide 2013