Apartment hunting in Sihanoukville is the same as apartment hunting in any other western city. You can google Sihanoukville apartments, check out newspaper ads, go through listings on real estate websites, or you hire an agent to find you one.
In any case, there are plenty of apartments for rent in Sihanoukville. Not only that, there is quantity, but the quality is never an issue as well.
That means you get a wide selection, starting from single-bedroom studios to super-luxurious condos with spectacular views.
Prices start at just $300 per month for the cheapest apartments on the outskirt of the city and easily go over a thousand dollars. The most luxurious can even cost a couple of thousand dollars.
If you are the type of person that likes to be in the midst of things, you need to be looking at apartments in Victory Beach and Central Sihanoukville. On the other hand, if you want to save on rent money, you might want to check the offerings at Otres Village.
Regardless of your location preferences, the next most crucial thing is your lease contract. Everything starts and ends with your lease contracts.
The thing is Cambodian courts don’t like dealing with rental disputes. Plus, there aren’t enough laws on rental dispute matters. Therefore, Cambodia cannot be considered a pro-Tennant or pro-landlord country. At least, not from a legal standpoint.
Like it or not, there is always a chance for a dispute to occur even with the best landlord. In one such case, no one press charges. Instead, they go to a Sangkat (commune) office. For a small fee, they act as mediators. That’s how rental disputes are resolved in Cambodia, most of the times.
So, in case that happens, it is the lease contract that has the last say, and that will have the most influence over your case. Therefore, the better your lease contract, the stronger your case may be.
The best thing about lease contracts in Cambodia is you can add as many clauses as you like. That’s 100% legal.
However, you can’t go wild with your clauses because your new landlord needs to sign off on them as well. You can add clauses that protect you from unprovoked early eviction, unsubstantial rent raise, and a clause that explains what happens if there is something that stops working.
The main thing to understand about renting an apartment in Sihanoukville, or elsewhere in Cambodia, is that everything can be negotiated.
Whether it is your lease contract or the rent, everything is possible, and nothing is out of reach. That’s how locals get the best reasonable prices, and that’s how you should act. Just because you are a foreigner, it doesn’t mean that you need to pay more.
Some landlords might think they can, and most likely, they will push a higher price at the beginning. But after a while, and especially after you tell them that you are looking in other places as well, they can, and they will soften their stand.