Things to look out for

Contracts, security, deposits

Rental contracts in the Philippines can be complicated and as an expat you probably won’t be well versed in Filipino property law. Never sign a contract without reading it through carefully first. Landlords may make verbal agreements with a potential tenant only to have them reversed in the written contract.

Things to look out for

It is worthwhile getting a property lawyer to look over your contract before signing, particularly for long-term rentals. A good lawyer needs to be familiar with local housing laws in order to protect your interests, especially as a foreigner. Ask fellow expats for recommendations when looking for a lawyer, they will probably have used one before renting their accommodation.

Deposits

A common problem with long-term rentals is the security deposit. This system is similar in many countries; the tenant pays a fixed amount as a deposit against any damages incurred while renting the property. It is not unheard of for landlords to refuse to pay the deposit back even if no damage has occurred as they have already spent it on something else. One way to prevent this happening is to take pictures when you move in to document any damage that may already be present. Then if the landlord inspects your apartment when you leave you have proof of what damage was already present.

Security

Security is going to be high on a list of accommodation priorities. There is a big gap between rich and poor Filipinos and expats are usually much wealthier than a lot of local Filipinos, unfortunately this makes them a target of crime. To feel safe and to decrease the chances of being robbed it’s important to check what security measures are in place in your potential accommodation. Gated communities and expat villages have the best security with round the clock guards and security cameras. Visitors aren’t allowed into the gated zone without permission from the home-owner they are visiting. Condos also have ample security with security cameras as standard. Apartments will have varying levels, it is best to check with your landlord regarding what measures are in place. Always rent from a reputable landlord or company to ensure better renter security.

It is worthwhile getting a property lawyer to look over your contract before signing, particularly for long-term rentals. A good lawyer needs to be familiar with local housing laws in order to protect your interests, especially as a foreigner. Ask fellow expats for recommendations when looking for a lawyer, they will probably have used one before renting their accommodation.

Deposits

A common problem with long-term rentals is the security deposit. This system is similar in many countries; the tenant pays a fixed amount as a deposit against any damages incurred while renting the property. It is not unheard of for landlords to refuse to pay the deposit back even if no damage has occurred as they have already spent it on something else. One way to prevent this happening is to take pictures when you move in to document any damage that may already be present. Then if the landlord inspects your apartment when you leave you have proof of what damage was already present.

Security

Security is going to be high on a list of accommodation priorities. There is a big gap between rich and poor Filipinos and expats are usually much wealthier than a lot of local Filipinos, unfortunately this makes them a target of crime. To feel safe and to decrease the chances of being robbed it’s important to check what security measures are in place in your potential accommodation. Gated communities and expat villages have the best security with round the clock guards and security cameras. Visitors aren’t allowed into the gated zone without permission from the home-owner they are visiting. Condos also have ample security with security cameras as standard. Apartments will have varying levels, it is best to check with your landlord regarding what measures are in place. Always rent from a reputable landlord or company to ensure better renter security.

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