May 30 2011
Many visitors come to Phnom Penh with the intention of staying for a month or three for volunteer work, fellowships or other programmes that require a medium-to-long-term stay. Others come for a short visit and fall in love and decide to stick around for a while. Because the Cambodia visa situation is very permissive, it’s a fine place to stop and stay for a few months.
What many fledgling expats don’t realise is that it’s also very easy to secure short-term accommodation in Phnom Penh. There’s a glut of available flats and landlords are accommodating about short-term stays.
Rooms in established flats are easy to find for between $80 and $150, and one and two bedroom apartments for between $200 and $350 per month. Better deals are available for those who are willing to really hunt for them and who are willing to sign longer-term contracts. Compared to guesthouses in Phnom Penh, renting an apartment can be very economical, especially when one factors in the what is saved by cooking and doing one’s own laundry.
Most landlords are willing to rent flats for a minimum of two months and require a one-month deposit, however that deposit can often be used as the last month’s rent. Landlords are even willing to rent apartments for as little as a month for slightly higher rent than they’d charge normally. Conversely, if you’re willing to sign a 6-month lease, you can often get $50 a month knocked off the asking price.
If you’re only going to be in Phnom Penh for a few weeks, most guesthouses are willing to offer discounts for long-term stays. For example, Okay Guesthouse will rent their $7 fan rooms for $5 per night for long-term stays, and next door at the Lazy Gecko, rooms that are $7 go for $42 per week or $175 per month. Negotiate in advance.
For shorter and longer rentals, flat share situations and sublets in Phnom Penh can be found on Expat Advisory, although you’ll have to create a free account to see the ads.
Here are two agents I have used in Phnom Penh for finding flats. They both work with foreigners so are used to our ridiculous requests for things like sitting toilets and air-conditioning.
Art the Homefinder
T: (012) 422 126
Socheat Yim at KC Group Realty
T: (012) 283 079; 099 234 506
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