First of all, things in Bali are quite different to what you may expect regarding accommodation; despite there being a lack of space and lots of overcrowding, apartments are rare in the Western sense with most people living in small rooms called kos (or boarding house).
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|A typical Bali kos, courtesy of kostBali.wordpress.com|
Rooms in a kos generally have a bedroom with a bathroom without cold water and often no sit down toilet, just a hole in the ground and a bucket. They normally have a communal kitchen on the grounds and are usually single storey. Standard is for them to be empty except for a mattress. They are often in blocks of 10s or 20s and so privacy can be an issue also. However, kos can be much more complete than as described above – if you are willing to pay a little more you can find kos with hot water, air-con, furnished and a kitchen, but these are rare and will usually cost up to 3 or 4 times that of a standard kos. A bog standard kos might cost around 500,000 Rupiah / month whereas a complete one will be more in the region of 1.5 million Rupiah & up. When looking for a kos, usual signs are Kos Kosan, Terima Kos, Rumah Kos. (see below for further Indonesian vocabulary for house hunting.)
|A traditional Balinese home
(courtesy of Swallow House Trading)
If you have a bit more money, you may want to consider renting a house. This, however, is not as straightforward as it may seem. Most landlords looking to rent a house prefer people to live there long-term with some even asking only for people interested in 2 years rent minimum. Another frustrating thing about trying to find a house for rent in Bali is that many ask for you to pay a full year’s rent in one installment – yes, that’s right, one lump sum! This is what rules out many people from renting a house as, even though the rent for a year is actually quite reasonable, having that kind of cash at hand is not possible for everyone, especially seeing as many will have just spent a lot of money on a flight to get to Bali. The cheapest prices for a year’s rent I have seen are around 15 million Rupiah (empty, no furniture, excluding electricity and water bills). More of an average price would be around 25-30 million Rupiah for which you should be able to find a furnished house in a nice area. Many landlords often promise to improve the premises with lump sum you will have paid for the rent and I have heard of many sticking to their word and doing – I would advise you to ask them what they will do to improve the house as building works may also be annoying. I would like to point out that, if you are looking for a house in the dry season, when the rainy season comes you will only then find out how good the roof is as many house have leaks. This usually solved by a quick call to the landlord but can be a major annoyance if it gets onto your bed or sofa!
Finally, the top end of the
perumahan housing complex / residence