The Ins and Outs of Expat Renting a Property in Malaysia

by | Feb 11, 2022 | APAC - Other Countries | 1 comment

Have you found the perfect rental in Malaysia that matches your budget in the right location? If that is a yes, you may itch to sign your tenancy agreement with your prospective landlord. But read the tenancy agreement carefully before you do, because it may have items that could catch you off guard should something happen during your tenancy.

To help you get started, here are the essential details you want to read into before signing your tenancy agreement.

Malaysia Rentals: The Security Deposit

Make sure you checked that all the electrical appliances are working before you moved in<br />By naomish
Make sure you checked that all the electrical appliances are working before you moved in By naomish

The first thing you need to check in a rental agreement is the security deposit.

It is the insurance, of sorts, that will cover any damages to the property that you may have caused during your tenancy.

The deposit can be returned to you if there is no damage to the property once your tenancy ends, but it will be forfeited if the damage is extensive or if you canceled your tenancy early.

Usually, the security deposit will be two months’ rent plus utility for one month.

Malaysia Monthly Rentals

Rents in Malaysia are usually negotiable, but some landlords may have a set amount for their properties. Your tenancy agreement should have details about the rent, and when it is due. There should also be a point about the mode of payment so you can pay your rent easily.

Landlord Insurance in Malaysia

Landlords can charge tenants with “landlord insurance”, which protects their property from irresponsible tenants or those who default on their rent. It will also protect them against liabilities, especially if a tenant gets an injury because of unnoticed damage in the property. This clause should be included, so you know what to do and what not to do that may affect the insurance.

It is vital to note that if there is insurance included in the agreement, there will be a point there that will list down repayments if you accidentally voided it.

Malaysia Rentals: The Diplomatic Clause

If your lease is 12 months or more, you should find a diplomatic clause in the tenancy agreement. This clause protects you from being charged rent if you end your tenancy early because of relocation or loss of employment. The diplomacy clause should list the notice period for your lease termination and the compensation you will provide if you didn’t meet the notice period.

Option To Renew

If your lease is only good for a year, but you would like to extend, there should be an Option to Renew clause in your tenancy agreement. If you find one, check if there is an escalation clause in it, which states the landlord’s right to raise your rent if you continue for another term. Under this agreement, your landlord also agrees that you will get a priority to the property before they decide to put it back on the market.

Details of the Landlord and Tenant

The agreement should also have all the key details about you, the tenant, and your landlord. Some details should include address, contact details, and their government-issued ID number. This will be important if anything happens during your tenancy.

Tenancy Commencement and End Date

Not all landlords will allow pets and in fact, not all condo management will be pet friendly so check with your property agent first By plhnk
Not all landlords will allow pets and in fact, not all condo management will be pet friendly so check with your property agent first By Plhnk

You also want to check the tenancy commencement date and the end date.

The former entails when you can start moving in your stuff to the property, while the latter is when you must vacate the property.

There should be a provision in the agreement regarding a notice period when the tenant will move out or if they wish to renew.


Subletting And Roommates

If you want to make some extra cash by subletting your unit when you are away, make sure that your tenancy agreement has a clause for that. If it isn’t allowed, it can be a lawful cause for your landlord to cancel your lease. Just ask your landlord if it is ok to have a roommate even if you won’t include their name in your tenancy agreement. So long as you ask permission, the landlord may be ok with it.


Finally, familiarize yourself with the termination clause of your rental agreement. There are many reasons a person ends their lease early, from finding a better deal elsewhere, defaulting on your rent to moving to another country. Landlords can also enforce conditions that can lead to an early termination of your lease, which should be listed clearly in the tenancy agreement. Financial penalties must also be included and the causes that could lead to them.


Before you sign that tenancy agreement, be a smart renter and read the tenancy agreement before you sign the dotted line. You never know what is in it, and you could save thousands of dollars in the long term. If you can’t find these details in the tenancy agreement, look elsewhere.

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by: Kally Tay