One of the bigger mistakes that happens a lot lately is that people will immediately book and pay for their accommodation in Bali long term. Upon arrival it is more than disappointing because the pictures are not like how it looks online and things might not even work (things like showers, kitchen appliances, toilets). Long term booking that go through online should have simple steps to avoid a lot of unpleasantries.
Are you looking for a long term private accommodation that will not be booked via Booking, Agoda or any of the popular online booking tool? Did you find the accommodation through social media like Facebook / Instagram or just via chat somehow? Then these are steps you would need to take to avoid loss in time and money.
Most of these tips can be applied for foreign countries, but since I am based in Bali, it’s how it goes around here. Many digital nomads in Bali are planning a long term rental. These tips can help everyone.
Losing money on accommodation
It’s very simple. Either a lot of essential things of the accommodation aren’t working or the it’s a scam. Unfortunately people sometimes are pretending to be an authorised agent. They are acting as an intermediate and trick people into sending them money. In return they would arrange it all. These people would quickly disappear and bring a bad name for those who are the real agents.
Sometimes facilities don’t work such as water / water pomp or kitchen appliances. Don’t expect the owner to show up and have everything fixed and pay for all of this. It doesn’t work like that. Foreigners also have troubles finding someone to fix an air conditioner the next day. So how would you prevent such loss?
Tip 1: Seeing is believing
It’s important that you get to see the accommodation yourself. During the pandemic 2020-2022 many villas and houses for rent stayed empty for 2 years. This caused many problems from mold to broken equipment. The pictures that you might see or receive could be old pictures. When you would make an appointment to see the accommodation it could be that you see a total different accommodation.
Before you check out the accommodation, look at the location on Google Maps and try to see the street view too if it is available. Is this a potential place for you to stay the coming months, then contact the owner (or agent) to make an appointment to view the house.
If you can’t because you are abroad, and you have friends on the island, you should ask your friend to make some videos for you on the spot. This could verify if it’s a good accommodation. If it goes through an agent, make sure you are dealing with a real company. Do some investigation towards the company, and make sure the person you are communicating with is also indeed working for the company.
Tip 2: Try everything
When you are on the spot to check! I mean everything. Some places are very humid due to its surroundings and mold can grow easily on the walls. Flick every light switch on and off, to see if it’s working. One of the more important things and often taken for granted, water. Try the water pressure when turning on multiple water sources. Try at least all faucet, make sure water is coming out.
An important thing to know is if you have PDAM or ground water. PDAM is from the government and ground water is you independent often also storing it in huge water tanks.
While you are here, it’s important to take up some measurements as well. If you want to purchase some things will it fit? Make sure the place can fulfil your vision of your temporary yet long term stay in Bali.
Water (hot), lights, electricity sockets, doors, locks, you have to make sure you try them. This is your moment to highlight if something is not in order to get it done by the landlord. If you already rent it and find it out later, it’s on you to fix these matters.
Tip 3: Electricity limitation
All places have a limitation on electricity. Be sure to know what your limitation is because before you know it, the power shuts off. I have had it plenty of times, where I have my computer on, refrigerator doing it’s thing. To add someone else is watching TV in an air conditioned area. 1300 Watt is very standard for houses , homestay and simple accommodation. Villa’s sometimes support 2200 Watt or more. When you would exceed the Watt, the power just goes off, and you would need to turn it back through the fuse box.
Make sure the accommodation you are going to rent will support all your needs. I am not buying a 500 Watt computer because of this, as a laptop uses a lot less. If you are wondering to upgrade it, yes you can, but you can’t bring this upgrade with you. So you would be upgrading not your own property.
Tip 4: Put it on paper and sign it with the owner
Make an agreement with the owner of the property. Make a contract and sign it with your signature and materai (a stamp). You should also have a receipt that you paid for it. This is just all for your own protection. In this contract you should have the following:
- Who is the owner (and KTP information)
- You yourself and your passport / personal information
- Chapters with rules
- Signed by both parties
Each chapter (pasal) would describe the rule. For example damage to the house while you are renting it. Who would be responsible? Just make it acceptable for both you and the owner. This should also protect you from sudden rent increase so make a chapter about that as well.
Tip 5: Book a cheap accommodation first for the first few days
Sometimes people would just book everything online, through Whatsapp, Facebook or Email. My recommendation is to book a simple accommodation like a hotel first so you can watch it all for yourself as you scout for a long term rental place. This allows you to get acclimate yourself, explore the surroundings and make sure you have what you were looking for.
Better be safe than sorry. Plenty people would resort to Facebook asking for help about being scammed on things or places. Sometimes it wasn’t what it was. Or your friend that scouted didn’t know exactly what you are looking for.
Having a temporary (cheap) place to stay first will avoid all other risks. It is ok to ask around on Social Media for a long term accommodation but make sure to scout it yourself as well. A temporary hotel could also give you some luxury for a low price, so it’s a win win situation.
Tip 6: nearby places supermarkets, restaurants and stores
Not to forget that you also need to be able to get groceries from time to time. If you do this by yourself you will save a lot of money in the long term. If this is of no issue, or your time could be spend otherwise, you can also get your Gojek or Grab to do the groceries for you.
But it is nice to know that you have restaurants nearby with choice of variety. It will make the quality of life better and convenient. Make sure nearby stores, warungs are there as well if you know you will need them.
Traffic does count as well. Scout the area, make sure that there is no permanent traffic in front of your place. this will fill your house with (break) fine dust and traffic exhaust. This is nothing enjoyable and it can happen. So avoid living in a place that has a permanent traffic jam. (this happens in Canggu)
Make sure you are not next to a nightclub that would disturb your night rest. So look out for everything nearby
Tip 7: Money
One of the most important things and sometimes underestimated is money. Are you paying for utilities like electricity, internet and water? Did you factor these in next to the rest that has to be paid. Make sure you have enough for your living expenses in Bali. It might not be Bali, but money factor would be valid everywhere.
For your own good experience, make sure you have enough money. Bali can be very expensive experience (or cheap) and this is up to you how luxurious you are going to make it. From a simple long term homestay to a luxurious villa. You can have it all tailor made to your dream. Just keep in mind there is a price tag.