Taking up a long term lease on an apartment in Kuala Lumpur can be a complex, time-consuming, frustrating and expensive process. Approval procedures and timelines vary from landlord to landlord. The market can be unforgiving in its pace. And add all that to the headache of dealing with a traditional broker in this city.

At Brunsfield Real Estate, our mission is to make the entire rental experience as smooth and stress-free as possible. Let us empower you. We hope the following Rental FAQs will help align your expectations with the realities of the market, and provide you with an introduction so that you can feel more comfortable as you begin your search with us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and the entire rental process in more detail.

Let us be your real estate professional.

Q: When should I begin my search?
A: A little planning can go a long way. We generally recommend that our clients start looking for an apartment 30 to 45 days before their desired move-in date - though we have certainly helped many folks find an apartment in 1 day or 1 week. Most landlords find out about their upcoming vacancies only within a month or two (and sometimes days) of the leases expiring for the current tenants, hence the suggested time frame. For example, if you are looking for a May 1st lease, it may make sense to beginning looking at the end of March and beginning of April. And, if an apartment is already vacant, the owner will likely want to rent the apartment sooner than later. If your travels bring you to Kuala Lumpur earlier, we would be happy to show you places to give you a preliminary sense for various apartment sizes and prices ranges. If you are not in Kuala Lumpur yet, we can certainly discuss your needs, send you pictures, floor plans and descriptions, and stay in touch until you arrive. Or, we can even help you rent an apartment sight unseen. Ask us how.

Q: What paperwork do I need to bring?
A: If you are taking up a long term lease, paperwork preparedness can help expedite the rental of an apartment. When applying for an apartment, landlords will typically ask each applicant to furnish the following supporting documents:

  1. Employment verification letter on company letterhead stating position, salary and bonus, if any. If you are starting a new job, bring your offer letter.
  2. If your rent is to be borne by your company, bring along a copy of your company's profile.
  3. Photo identification (i.e. driver's license or passport).

If you are self-employed, landlords may want to see a CPA letter and prior year tax returns. For guarantors, landlords may also require prior year tax returns. You can potentially strengthen your application by providing documentation for any other verifiable sources of income and additional assets (i.e. brokerage account, money market fund).

Q: What is a guarantor?
A: A guarantor, or "co-signer", is an individual who guarantees payment of the rent. It is very common to have a guarantor - especially for first-time renters, clients moving to Kuala Lumpur or for prospective tenants who are starting a new job. Depending on the landlord, multiple guarantors can be used. Guarantors are often parents, but can be siblings, friends or co-workers - as long as they live in Malaysia. We would be happy to coordinate with your guarantor.

 

Q: What is the first step to securing an apartment I want to rent?
A: The first step is to submit a completed rental application. We can provide you with the appropriate, building-specific form. Submitting the application will enable our team to identify the most appropriate accommodation type to suit your needs

Q: What are the financial requirements for renting an apartment?
A: Landlords review credit, income and assets in evaluating a prospective tenant. Most landlords require applicants to demonstrate monthly income levels of at least 3 times the monthly rent. Combined incomes are almost always considered for couples. If an applicant is shy of the income requirement, or has unsatisfactory credit, a guarantor may often be used. The guarantor must have good credit and earn income of at least 5 times the monthly rent.

Q: How long does it take to get approved?
A: In short, it depends. Some buildings can approve you on the spot, while others may take a day or two - or upwards of a week. Having your paperwork at the ready will surely help. Keep in mind that renting a condo or a co-op will often involve a longer time frame because the paperwork must be submitted for board approval.

Q: What monies are due and when?
A: At a minimum, landlords typically require 1 month rent, 2 months security plus 1 month for utility deposit. Some owners may want additional security and/or pre-paid rent after reviewing an applicant's supporting paperwork and credit report. All monies, including the brokerage commission and stamp duty, are due at lease signing in the form of separate certified checks.