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Bali Rental Scams

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

7 Bali Rental scams you need to be aware of.....

Finding suitable accommodation to settle into when retiring to Bali can be a challenge. Being in the tropics; properties quickly age and need plenty of maintenance which can become costly. We’ve put together things you should consider in selecting your long-term accommodation and some tips as to some of the questions you might ask your future landlord or agent.

1. Payments and contracts

Rentals are normally for one year and payment should be made in advance therefore it is important that you enter into a secure contract with the landlord or via a property agent to ensure that if something goes wrong in the future, you are protected and have a way of getting out of the agreement and getting your money back (or at least part of it).

2. Hidden extras

You may well be attracted to a property by the price. Be aware of what is included in the rental price; since quite often there are many additional costs associated with renting a villa and the landlord might already have some previous obligations that need to be honoured such as temple offerings. You need to understand your full monthly budget and obligations. The additional costs of utilities such as electric (which can be high if the property has a pool), water, gas, internet and telephone as well as local banjar contributions (village hall), rubbish collection as well as local help such as a maid, gardener and perhaps even pool cleaner can soon mount up. If you are choosing accommodation within a compound with other houses then there will often be a service/community fee as well to cover the communally shared facilities. All in all, these little extras can cost you between Rp 6 million and Rp9 million a month (AU$600-$900) which over the year can mount up to a sizeable addition to the budget. See our example chart below

Example Monthly Cost

3. Maintenance

You have to ensure that your agreement clearly lays out responsibilities in the event of a breakdown or mal-function of any of the equipment. Bali is in the tropics and houses need a lot of maintenance and care. As a new tenant you don’t want to be landed with massive expenses for pool pumps or air-conditioning units just after you move in. Some rental agreements will clearly lay out the likes of air-conditioner servicing in order that the equipment is maintained and serviced to maximise the AC’s useful life.

4. Security

Although on the whole Bali is a relatively safe place to live, there are certain areas that are safer than others. Some accommodation in complexes might have security and this is provided as part of the community fee contribution for the common area services and facilities enjoyed by all the residents.

5. Insurance

Although insurance is not commonplace in Indonesia. It’s important to know whether your landlord has any kind of property insurance in the event something major happens and to check whether this covers you in the event that the property becomes uninhabitable due to a flood, nasty earthquake or fire. It’s common that once annual rents are paid to the local landlord, the money is immediately committed to other things like paying off loans, family and religious commitments so there is not normally much change hanging around for very long.

6. Water

The water in Bali is not suitable for drinking from the tap and even many people will use bottled water for cooking with as well. Water is normally sold in large “gallons” however you would be surprised how many you go through once you start using the water for your day to day needs.

7. Location

What might be a quiet little street in the day might transform to a metropolis by night. Be sure to check the location of the premises at different times of the day including the nighttime. I remember once looking at a beautiful house in a quiet street, we went back in the evening and there was a very loud karaoke bar across the rice paddy, needless to say, we never moved there!

At Bali Insight Living our concierge services focus on giving our clients non-biased information; in order that our clients can make their own informed decisions in all aspects of moving and settling in Bali.

We also endeavour to recommend accommodation providers with a good reputation to minimise the risk to our clients. Quite often our accommodation rentals will include a twice weekly housekeeping (including linen change), free maintenance service, pool and garden maintenance (where applicable) and even in some cases electricity included enabling our clients to fully understand their financial obligations and not getting any shock surprises.

To find out more about Bali Insight Living and how we can assist you in your move to Bali subscribe at

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