It is not easy navigating the Phnom Penh rental market as there is a lot on offer and prices do vary considerably depending on where and what you are looking for. The city offers all types of properties, so it is important you know what is on offer. There are essentially four types – Khmer-shophouses, renovated shophouses, Western apartments, condos / serviced apartments – each with distinct features and price tags.
Khmer-style shophouses are very common in Phnom Penh and are usually found in 3-4 story low-rise row homes. They are typically long and narrow and can be quite dark. The entrance is at the front or back of the apartment and the side walls have no windows. Rear access can often be un-nerving for westerners.
Bedrooms often don’t have external windows, but internal ones facing the home interior. Furniture is not usually built in. Khmer-style kitchens are normally quite basic and often lack storage. Bathrooms are also basic with no separate shower and no windows. Furnishings will also be basic – usually rattan or wood.
This style is popular with foreign renters wishing a more local experience and varies in price for a 1-2 bedrooms place from $300-500/month (city centre) to $250-$400 (outer).
Renovated shophouses are less common but offer a local experience with western creature comforts. They are basically an updated shophouse with new floors, additional windows, contemporary lighting, modern furnishings, hot water and so on.
Bedrooms may have built-in-robes, shelving and A/C. Kitchens will have better storage, more workspace and new appliances. Though more modern and western than a Khmer-style shophouse, furnishings and construction may be cheap and require a bit of maintenance.
This style is good for foreigners wanting to live comfortably but on a budget. In the city centre, you can expect $600-$1000 and $400-$600 (outer) for a 1-2 bedroom abode.
Western apartments can be found in low-rise walk- up apartments and tall 12-story multi-unit towers and tend to have more amenities. They are generally new, have varied floor plans, windows in all rooms and plenty of natural light and air circulation.
Kitchens have good standard appliances, work space and storage. Bathrooms will be newer and may have a separate shower and/or bathtub. Living spaces will be larger, brighter and be well fitted out with and plush furniture. Cleaning, internet, cable and drinking water will be included in the rent. Some will be accessed by elevator and may have rooftop terraces. Construction is usually a better standard, there will be 24-hour security there will be parking for bicycles and motos. Maintenance is generally better and quicker.
Prices for a 1-2 bedroom western apartment will vary from $600-1200/month (city centre) to $500-800 (outer)
Condos / serviced apartments
These are generally top-notch with western layout, natural light, city views, modern kitchens and bathrooms.
Services like cleaning, laundry, internet, cable TV, drinking water, 24-hour security and reception, multiple-elevator access, parking, gym swimming pool will come as standard. You can expect to have streamlined and organized rent collection and timeliness in maintenance requests. Although easy to find, prices are often high. The buildings tend to be larger and are perfect for families wanting quiet and security or professionals wanting to entertain or simply enjoy the extra space and comfort.
Prices for a 1-2 bedroom luxury condo / serviced apartment will vary from $1200-6000/month (city centre) to $1000-2000 (outer).