There are several tips for renting houses and villas in Bali that can help you choose accommodation that is comfortable in all respects. For people who came, for example, for the first time to winter in Bali, some points may not be obvious.
The advice is more relevant for long-term rentals.
1. Don't settle for the first option that comes your way. Take your time and explore. It's better to travel around, see more houses. In Bali, there's a plethora of housing options, and you can almost always find the house of your dreams ;)
2. Negotiate! If, for example, your budget is $800 per month for accommodation, don't mention it to the homeowner right away. In Asia, bargaining is a norm! Negotiate with a smile, calmly, point out some flaws in the house, mention that you saw a house nearby for one and a half times cheaper. Don't hesitate to leave and say you'll think about it even if you like the house. Often, after a day or two, homeowners become more accommodating and are willing to lower the price. A significant bargaining chip is paying upfront for six months or a year.
3. If you have a local friend, you can bring them to negotiations. This will eliminate misunderstandings between you and the homeowner. However, this should be someone you've known for some time. In Indonesia, the commission system is well developed. It's quite common for homeowners to offer a commission for assistance in renting out their property to anyone. There's nothing wrong with this if the commission is small, and the person is genuinely offering quality housing, not just any place to get a commission.
4. It's not customary to pay money for viewing housing options. If you encounter an agent who demands money for showing you a villa, they are likely a scammer. Legitimate agents factor their commission into the rental cost. There's no standard commission rate for housing in Bali; it can vary among different agents and for different options.
5. If possible, don't pay for the entire year upfront. Try to negotiate living in the house for a few days (or even better, a month) before making the full payment. During this time, you'll discover whether the house is quiet or if roosters are crowing loudly nearby in the morning, among many other factors. There are numerous nuances that become apparent when you start living in a new house. This period also allows you to test all household appliances and electrical systems.
6. Inspect the surroundings. Thoroughly examine the area for any nearby construction projects. Construction sites can bring significant noise, dirt, and potential hazards from workers. Moreover, construction may not happen on holidays, after sunset, or early in the morning. Therefore, inspect the neighborhood several times at different times of the day. The same applies to proximity to a temple. Religious ceremonies in temples are frequent and usually involve loud music.
7. If possible, get to know your neighbors. Ask them about the pros and cons of the area or village. Good and friendly neighbors can help you better understand the nuances of the neighborhood and provide valuable advice for your initial period. Try to assess whether they are noisy. Sometimes, it can be noisy if there's a daycare nearby or if a group of young people lives there who enjoy hosting home parties.
8. Consider the sun exposure of the house. For instance, if the house has a nice veranda but it is in direct sunlight for most of the day, it might be uncomfortable to spend time there. On the other hand, if the house remains in the shade throughout the day, it may be damp and humid, leading to mold issues, slow drying of clothes, and potential mosquito problems.
9. Check for safety. See if the village or housing complex has security, if there's a safe in the house, and examine the quality of the door and locks. If you have a beautiful villa that opens directly onto rice fields without a fence, and there is no surveillance or security guard, it may not be entirely safe.
10. Check the condition and functionality of the equipment. Clarify details such as:
- Is the water running well in the house (in faucets, in the shower)? For example, in some areas on the Bukit Peninsula, there are serious water pressure issues. Check how quickly the hot water heats up.
- Also, ensure that there are no leaks, especially in the toilet. Inspect the plumbing. Otherwise, this could result in high bills for water consumption.
- Does the house have a wired internet connection, and what are its specifications? Test the internet reception in the house using the SpeedTest application.
11. If there are any improvements needed in the house (cleaning and servicing air conditioners, installing mosquito nets on windows, painting something, buying kitchen items, furniture, etc.), ask the owner to do it before signing the contract and transferring money. Usually, after payment, owners lose interest in making additional arrangements, and convincing them to do repairs becomes much more difficult, sometimes even impossible.
12. It's important to try to assess the homeowner in terms of adequacy. If you're renting a place for a year, an inadequate landlord can ruin your life for the entire year.
13. Agree on who will pay for water and electricity. Often, it can be arranged that everything is included in the cost of the house. This is also a negotiating point. If you will be paying, find out where and how to take meter readings.
14. Of course, a lease agreement should be signed. Read it carefully, make sure you understand everything, and that everything suits you. Don't hesitate to discuss and amend anything in the contract. Also, obtain a receipt for the transfer of money.
Wishing you to find the house of your dreams!