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2022 Ultimate Guide: Foreigners Rent A Property In Malaysia

Posted by Joanna Tee on June 10, 2022
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It won’t be hard for a Malaysian to rent a property in Johor Bahru, but if you are a foreigner who intends to expand your business in Malaysia or move to Malaysia, start a new life with a business plan. It won’t be easy for a foreigner to rent a property in Johor Bahru. You may find it hard as you won’t know where to start and haven’t known much about the local property market.

With many questions about renting a factory in your mind and not knowing what to do, this article will provide you with a guide for renting a property in Malaysia as a foreigner. Hopefully, it will help you to rent a property hassle-free.

Rent A Property #1 – Your Residency Status In Malaysia

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First, you will need to understand your residency status in Malaysia if you plan to rent a property in Malaysia. If you are a Permanent Resident of Malaysia, the rules are more or less the same as the locals.

But if you are a non-resident in Malaysia, there will be a slight difference in the rules. You will need to provide additional documents, such as how long you have been staying in Malaysia and the reason you are staying in Malaysia. Landlords will want some assurance to ensure that you follow the tenancy agreement. It may be an employment letter or a photocopy of your passport.

Rent A Property #2 – Are You Qualified As A Residence?

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Property owners often hesitate to rent their property to you if you are a foreigner. This is because they are concerned that foreign tenants will pack up and leave the country without notice without settling their rent.

If you are a tax-paying resident in Malaysia, it can help to assure your landlord. You will have a big advantage from that. If you are wondering how you can find out if you are a tax-paying resident, here is a short explanation.

You will be considered a tax-paying resident in Malaysia if you have been staying in Malaysia for more than 182 days for 12 months continuously or in a calendar year. Another way is you will need to spend 90 days or more in the current tax year and additional 90 days in the past 3-4 years.

Your consistent stay in Malaysia can assure landlords that you are reliable and able to meet the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement.

Rent A Property #3 – Difference Between Short Term And Long Term Stay

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There are two types of tenancy agreements which is short-term and long-term. If you hold a tourist visa or term visa and you won’t be staying in Malaysia for more than 12 months, this will be a short-term stay.

This is usually seen if you are in the country for a business trip or for a vacation. If you don’t intend to stay more than 3 months, it is recommended that you choose from platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com or hotels.

The tenancy period in Malaysia is usually at least 1 year and can reach up to 3 years. Landlords will usually prefer tenants that stay for the long term. The longer you stay, your landlord will be inclined to negotiate the rental with you.

If you intend to stay for more than 1 year, you will require to have either visa as below.

  • Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme
  • A student enrolled in a course with a duration of 1 year or more
  • An employee with a 1-year visa or more
  • A worker from any industry with a visa of 1 year or more

Rent A Property #4 – Rental Option In Malaysia

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Foreigners may not be familiar with the local market. Property hunting will be a problem. The best way to start property hunting will be the internet. You can check out popular property portals with vast listings and plenty of options.

Once you have found the preferred property, you can contact the property agent and request a viewing. You have to ensure that you do your due diligence and research the area and nearby amenities.

Rent A Property #5 – What Should You Be Mindful Of As A Tenant?

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Even renting the property, you will still have certain responsibilities. It is best not to do irreparable damage to the property and maintain it in the best condition. You will want to keep the trust and goodwill between you and your landlord.

You will want to ensure that you have a hard copy of the tenancy agreement before paying the deposit. You can avoid any conflicts if there are any. Inform your landlord of any letters that are addressed to them. If you are making any changes to the property, notify your landlord to avoid misunderstanding.

Rent A Property #6 – Are You Liable For Property Maintenance?

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If you think the house needs some cleaning or a fresh coat of paint before moving in, it is better to request from the owner beforehand. You can include such special requests in your tenancy agreement to ensure they are met.

Once you have moved into the property, you will be the one responsible for all minor repairs to the property, such as fused bulb in the property

Rent A Property #7 – When My Tenancy Duration Is Almost Over?

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If you don’t intend to continue the rent of the property after the end of your tenancy agreement, be sure to inform your landlord beforehand. This is to ensure that you can hand it over smoothly after the end of your tenancy agreement.

If you want to continue to rent the property, be sure to discuss it beforehand to ensure that the landlord is willing to extend the tenancy period. By then, you need to renew your contract and signed a new tenancy agreement.

Even if you would like to continue your stay, you should still inform the property owner 3 months in advance, just in case. If the owner agrees to extend your tenancy period, you will have to renew your contract and sign a new tenancy agreement with your landlord.

Here are some guides for you as a foreigner if you are intending to rent a property in Malaysia. Do more research before you start searching for the property you need.

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