As any real estate market, Yangon has some specificity, the most noticeable one being the rental payment terms.
Most landlords ask for a year or six months rent upfront.
They will prefer payment in cash.
Tenants usually give a month rent as an advance for the rent and sign an advance contract. Then the landlord will not show or rent his property to other potential tenants. Landlord and tenant then agree on a day when the remaining amount has to be paid. Landlords don’t want to wait too long to do so.
The tenant will get the keys and will be allowed to move in only when he will pay the remaining amount and sign the final contract.
Agents and commissions
Most tenants and landlords will go through an agent to find or rent a place. Sometimes, agents have direct contact with both tenant and landlord, many times not. The agent who has a client looking for a place will charge the equivalent of a month’s rent to the client. The agent who has a landlord willing to rent a place will charge the equivalent of a month’s rent to the landlord.
Some agents or companies will also claim that they charge only the landlord the equivalent of one month's rent as broker fees. What really happens is that they include the tenant’s commission in the rent. They will tell a landlord to ask more money for the rent and will keep the remaining amount. They then not ask agent fees from the tenant.
For example a landlord who wants to rent a place US$2000 a month will rent it US$2500. The agent will get US$500 by 12 months so, US$6000 as commission. The tenant thinks that he does not pay the commission but in fact he does.
So to get a clear idea of the market, a client should check properties with 2 or 3 different agents.
There are also few groups on Facebook where agents and companies advertise their properties. It is worth looking at to get an idea of the market.
Most landlords will accept that the tenant bargains to get a lower rent. However, the offer can’t be too low compared to the rent asked. The landlord will then feel insulted. Some apartments will stay vacant for months because the landlord doesn’t accept an offer lower than what he expects (even if the offer is realistic market wise). The tenant must ask everything he needs before signing the advance contract. Asking for more work or furniture later might be possible but the landlord is under no obligation to provide what is asked. The more the tenant asks for renovations or furniture, the more difficult it will be to bargain down the rent.
The 4 steps to rent a property in Yangon:
1. Choose a property you like and ask everything you want before signing anything (renovation, electrical appliances, furniture…)
2. Secure the unit by paying a month advance on the rent and sign an ‘advance contract’.
3. Check that everything is ready.
4. Pay the remaining amount for the rent (5 months or 11 months) and the agent fees.
For a full overview of Yangon real estate market please contact us and we will send you a 7 pages document with in-depth information.