Renting an Apartment in Phnom Penh | What You Need to Know

by Nick & Raychel
'Not Luxe' Nick and Raychel lay on a blue beanbag in sunny Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Let’s talk about renting an apartment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

If you’re moving to Phnom Penh to teach English, you’re going to need a place to live. Okay – so there is good news and there is bad news. Let’s start with the latter. Unlike moving to a country like China, most English teaching jobs in Cambodia will not cover your accommodation. That said, the good news is that there are many different apartment rental options in Phnom Penh, and we’re here to make the process a little easier.

If you prefer to watch instead of read, find our YouTube video on finding an apartment to rent in Cambodia here.

So how do you get started in looking for an apartment to rent in Cambodia? And what exactly should you look for? Let’s talk about that now.

Book a hostel/hotel for the first week upon your arrival in Cambodia

First things first, we always recommend booking a hostel or a hotel for the first week after your arrival so that you have time to look for your new home.  Spend a good week situating yourself, finding where you’re going to work, and exploring the different areas before committing to a lease. At the time of writing this blog, there are tons of options for apartment rentals in Phnom Penh, and there is no need to rush. 

But what do you do once you’re ready to look for a place? Soon, you’ll have a better idea of where to look, what to look for, and what pricing looks like for renting an apartment in Phnom Penh.

Where do you even start looking for a place?

Here are the two main places where we recommend looking for an apartment in Phnom Penh:

  • ‘Phnom Penh Housing’ Facebook Group

    In this Facebook group, you simply post what you’re looking for, what your price range is and what area you want to live within Phnom Penh. I promise you, within an hour of posting, your direct messages will be flooded by helpful real estate agents looking to show you around the city.

    Landlords and estate agents can also post their listings this Facebook group for you to message them as well.

    In our opinion, this is the best community for finding a great apartment rental in Cambodia. People search for roommates here as well, if that’s your cup of tea.

  • Khmer24

    Khmer24 is a buy & sell platform in Cambodia, similar to Craigslist, Kijiji, or Gumtree. Here, you can find properties to rent or buy in Phnom Penh, or really anywhere in Cambodia. Khmer24 is a really good platform to get familiar with if you are planning on moving to Cambodia to teach English, or for any other reason as well. 

Are real estate agents in Cambodia free?

Yep, they sure are. Real estate agents will make a commission from the owner off of the place that you rent, so you don’t have to pay a dime. If you are an expat moving to Phnom Penh, or really anywhere in Cambodia, we recommend getting one. We recommend getting a real estate agent in Cambodia while you are renting an apartment in Phnom Penh, as they will help you translate, navigate, and negotiate in Khmer.

Here’s what to look for when you’re renting an apartment in Cambodia

Everything should be included in your price range.

If your budget is $300 USD/month, for example, don’t budge. In fact, we would say the same thing if your budget is $50 USD/month. No matter what your standard and personal budget is, we are telling you now that you will be able to stick to it and there will be an accommodation that suits your needs and price point.

When looking for an apartment in Phnom Penh, ensure that you’re asking about the water bill, electricity bill, and WiFi. Just like any country, those expenses could rack up pretty quickly -so be sure you know what those entail. 

What area in Phnom Penh is the best to live in?

Here are our personal favourites:

  • Russian Market: by far the least expensive AND expat-friendly area in Phnom Penh. Super accessible, cool views, great vibe, amazing food, and did we say inexpensive??
  • Tuol Kuok: A nice, safe, clean area in Phnom Penh, a bit far away from the crazy nightlife near the riverside, and close to lots of schools
  • BKK1, BKK2 & BKK3: Any time you see any of these three areas in an apartment posting, you may see the price increase. This is because the BKKs are a safe area to live for expats, lots of new housing development and fantastic accessibility.  
  • We do not recommend ‘the riverside’ to live full-time, as the party-hardy expats all tend to veer in that direction, and the scene can get a bit dodgy if you’re not careful. Take it from us.

How much does an apartment cost in Phnom Penh?

Like any city, this can be a tricky question. It really depends. But hey, here’s our breakdown.

  • $300 USD/month can find you a great little apartment with Western amenities, furniture, and security in a great area of Phnom Penh
  • $500 USD /month is a big budget that will find you a modern apartment with Western amenities, a pool, gym, security, and probably a view
  • $100-$200 USD/month will afford you a great big room in a shared home with flatmates, or a private Khmer-Style apartment, potentially without a stovetop, but if you’re cool with cooking on a hot plate and living on a budget – you can make this budget work

– When you see an apartment listed at a certain price, it is always negotiable
– Don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent to help you negotiate, that’s what they’re there for!

Still looking for a job in Phnom Penh? Find our guide on how to get a paid teaching job in Cambodia. 

Just moved to Phnom Penh & looking for stuff to do? Find our Phnom Penh ‘things to do’ guide here!

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