A move to the Island of the Gods will rattle you out of the resort and get you installed into the buzzing life that sizzles on Bali. Minerva Moriarty explores the pros and cons of becoming an ex-pat.
Without the much the loved help of hotel butlers, room service, kids club and a concierge, you may be on your own to navigate your way through the do’s and don’ts of setting up a new life in Indonesia.
Part of living the dream is living relaxing in that gorgeous villa or sprawling home that you have always imagined. But did you know that about 99 per cent of landlords in Bali want 12 months rent up front? The other 1 per cent is usually happy with six monthly payments. The rule of thumb is that the longer the period paid for upfront, the cheaper the rent will be. Example: A villa with an annual rental ask of USD20, 000 may translate into USD13, 000 per six months or USD2, 500 a month. This is business as usual and you will have a signed document to prove that you have taken a 12-month tenancy on a particular property. It will be worth your while having this checked over since there is no central government body that regulates such transactions. A Notaris in the location of the desired house will be worth the fee to check out the validity of an agreement including quirky items such as corresponding addresses. The vast majority of property investors are not sharks and simply want to make a return. But as in all significant financial deals it caveat emptor – buyer beware. The good news is that no deposit is required.
As soon as the document is signed, have the locks changed. Just about every rented villa in Bal has experienced high human traffic from the tenants through to gardens and pool maintenance men. Protect yourself and your belongings. Once the year clicks over, you sign another lease.
Tenants have to provide their own insurance. Also, many of the repairs will fall into the lap of the tenant. This can get expensive if a roof caves in. Ensure that major repair work falls into the owners lap. Staff may be included with the property whether you want them or not. This can be a great stroke of luck if the are good and seriously problematic, if they are trouble. Remember, they there to help and many work at the same villa for decades. These folk are a great source of information, help and learning language.
One good idea is to take a vacation rental property for the first few months while you feel your way around and decide where you want to stay permanently. It also allows you to talk to locals and get the drum on an area. Not many people will want to live adjacent to the local Banjar (village council) where twice weekly orchestra practice takes place at night.