Types of Housing in Malaysia

Housing in Malaysia and more specifically in the Klang Valley (which covers the more prevalent expatriate areas of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor, Cyberjaya & Putrajaya) comes in different forms, which includes houses (stand-alone – known locally as bungalows, semi-detached & terraced) and apartments (ranges from low-cost to high-end apartments known locally as condominiums). Condominiums are the most popular type of housing for expats as they are well secured, with amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, playgrounds & convenience stores within its reach. The typical expatriate areas within the Klang Valley is located in Mont Kiara, Bangsar, Damansara Heights, Sri Hartamas & the KL City Centre. These areas are great melting pots for expats who wish to connect to the local scene whilst being in familiar surroundings with their fellow expatriates.

Accommodation can be partly furnished or fully furnished, based on the tenant’s needs and requirements. Once an appropriate accommodation has been found, the tenant would need to provide payment of a 1 month’s Earnest Deposit, 2 month’s Security Deposit & ½ month’s Utilities Deposit. The typical length of tenancy is 2+1 years which means a 2-year lease with an option to extend to another year. An Expat Clause, also known as Diplomatic Clause, is a usual clause added into the Tenancy Agreement which allows a tenant (within certain parameters) to break off the tenancy after one year.

Typical rental costs

The rental costs vary based on locations and types of housing, but a general overview would be as below. Prices are rental per month:

Apartments   Houses  
Furnished RM Furnished RM
1 bedroom 3,000.00 1 bedroom N/A
2 bedrooms 4,500.00 2 bedrooms N/A
3 bedrooms 5,000.00 3 bedrooms 7,000.00
4 bedrooms or more 6,500.00 4 bedrooms or more 15,000.00
Unfurnished RM Unfurnished RM
1 bedroom N/A 1 bedroom N/A
2 bedrooms N/A 2 bedrooms N/A
3 bedrooms 5,000.00 3 bedrooms N/A

Written by: Jeremy, Relocation Consultant at Pathfinder Relocation Services