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Rental Market Trends in Malaysia: Impact of the Pandemic on Tenant Preferences and Behaviors

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Discover the latest rental market trends in Malaysia amidst the pandemic. Learn how tenant preferences and behaviors have been impacted and stay ahead in the rental game.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the rental market in Malaysia. With many people working from home and others losing their jobs, the demand for rental properties has shifted. In this blog, we will explore the rental market trends in Malaysia and how the pandemic has influenced tenant preferences and behaviors.

Shift towards more spacious homes

Since the pandemic hit Malaysia, there has been a noticeable shift towards more spacious rental homes. With people spending more time at home than ever before, many tenants are looking for larger homes with extra rooms that can be used as home offices or gyms. This trend is particularly noticeable in urban areas, where space is often at a premium. Tenants are also looking for properties with outdoor spaces, such as gardens or balconies, where they can enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Rise of virtual viewings

The pandemic has made it difficult for tenants to view rental properties in person. In response, many landlords and property agents have started offering virtual viewings. These virtual tours allow tenants to view properties from the comfort of their own homes, reducing the need for physical viewings. This trend is likely to continue even after the pandemic is over, as tenants have come to appreciate the convenience of virtual viewings.

Increase in demand for flexible rental agreements

The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty in the rental market. Many tenants are looking for flexible rental agreements that allow them to change their living arrangements quickly if their circumstances change. This has led to an increase in demand for short-term rental agreements and the rise of co-living spaces. Co-living spaces are shared living arrangements where tenants have their own private rooms but share communal spaces like kitchens and living rooms. These arrangements offer more flexibility than traditional rentals, as tenants can easily move out if they need to.

Preference for properties with good internet connectivity

With more people working from home than ever before, good internet connectivity has become essential. Tenants are now looking for properties with high-speed internet and reliable Wi-Fi connections. Properties with poor internet connectivity are less desirable, even if they are otherwise perfect for the tenant's needs.

Emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene

The pandemic has made people more conscious of cleanliness and hygiene. As a result, tenants are now looking for properties that are clean and well-maintained. Landlords and property agents need to ensure that rental properties are cleaned thoroughly between tenants and that there are systems in place to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in communal areas.

Tenant responsibilities in Malaysia

As a tenant, you have certain responsibilities that you need to fulfill to maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship and to ensure that your stay in Malaysia is pleasant and hassle-free. Here are some of the key tenant responsibilities in Malaysia that you should be aware of:

  1. Paying rent on time:
  • Rent is usually paid monthly in Malaysia, and it is the tenant's responsibility to pay it on time.
  • Failure to pay rent on time may result in late fees, legal action, or eviction.
  1. Keeping the rental property clean and well-maintained:
  • As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping the rental property clean and tidy.
  • You are also responsible for any damages caused by negligence or misuse of the property.
  1. Reporting any maintenance issues to the landlord:
  • If you notice any maintenance issues, such as leaky faucets, faulty electrical outlets, or broken appliances, it is your responsibility to report them to the landlord immediately.
  • Failure to report maintenance issues promptly may result in further damage and additional repair costs.
  1. Complying with building rules and regulations:
  • It is important to comply with building rules and regulations, such as noise restrictions, parking regulations, and building codes.
  • Failure to comply with building rules and regulations may result in fines or legal action.
  1. Respecting the neighbors:
  • As a tenant, you are responsible for respecting the neighbors and their right to quiet enjoyment of their property.
  • This includes avoiding loud noises, parties, and disturbances that may cause inconvenience or discomfort to the neighbors.
  1. Returning the property in its original condition:
  • At the end of your tenancy, you are responsible for returning the property in its original condition, minus normal wear and tear.
  • Failure to do so may result in deductions from your security deposit or legal action.

By fulfilling these tenant responsibilities in Malaysia, you can maintain a good relationship with your landlord and enjoy a comfortable stay in your rental property.

Chase Unpaid Rent from a Tenant in Malaysia

Are you a landlord in Malaysia who is struggling to collect rent payments from your tenant? It can be a frustrating and stressful experience, especially if you rely on rental income to pay your own bills. Here are some steps you can take to chase unpaid rent from a tenant in Malaysia:

Step 1: Communicate with the Tenant

The first step in chasing unpaid rent is to communicate with your tenant. Reach out to them and try to find out why they haven't paid the rent. Maybe they are facing financial difficulties or have simply forgotten about the payment. Try to come up with a payment plan that works for both parties.

Step 2: Issue a Demand Letter

If your tenant is unresponsive or refuses to pay, you can issue a demand letter. This is a formal letter that states the amount of rent owed and the deadline for payment. Make sure to send the letter via registered mail and keep a copy for your records.

Step 3: File a Claim with the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims

If the demand letter doesn't result in payment, you can file a claim with the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims. This is a government agency that handles disputes between landlords and tenants. The process involves filling out a form and providing evidence of the unpaid rent.

Step 4: Attend Mediation

Once the claim has been filed, both parties will be called for mediation. This is an opportunity to discuss the issue and come up with a solution. If an agreement is reached, it will be recorded in writing and both parties will be required to follow it.

Step 5: Attend Hearing

If mediation fails, the case will proceed to a hearing. Both parties will be given the opportunity to present their case, and a decision will be made by the tribunal. If the decision is in your favor, you can take legal action to recover the unpaid rent.

Step 6: Hire a Lawyer

If the tenant still refuses to pay, you can hire a lawyer to take legal action. This can include obtaining a court order to seize the tenant's assets or wages. However, legal action can be expensive and time-consuming, so it should be considered a last resort.

Therefore, chasing unpaid rent can be a frustrating experience for landlords in Malaysia. However, by communicating with your tenant, issuing a demand letter, filing a claim with the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims, attending mediation, and, if necessary, hiring a lawyer, you can take steps to recover the unpaid rent. It's important to stay calm and professional throughout the process and to keep records of all communication and documentation.

Elements of tenancy in Malaysia

Tenancy is an important concept in Malaysia's property rental market. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, understanding the elements of tenancy is crucial in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free rental experience. In Malaysia, the main elements of tenancy include the tenancy agreement, rent, security deposit, and landlord's obligations.

The tenancy agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. It is important for both parties to read and understand the agreement before signing it. The agreement should cover details such as the rental amount, payment terms, length of tenancy, and any special clauses or conditions.

Rent is the amount of money paid by the tenant to the landlord for the right to occupy the rental property. It is typically paid monthly and should be agreed upon in the tenancy agreement. Rent may also be subject to periodic increases, which should also be stated in the agreement.

Security deposit is a sum of money paid by the tenant to the landlord as a form of security against any damage or unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy. The amount is usually equivalent to one or two months' rent and should be returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy if there are no outstanding issues.

The landlord also has obligations in a tenancy agreement, such as ensuring the property is in good condition and making necessary repairs or maintenance. The landlord should also provide the tenant with a notice of any rent increase or any other changes to the agreement.

In conclusion, understanding the elements of tenancy in Malaysia is crucial for both landlords and tenants. By being familiar with the tenancy agreement, rent, security deposit, and landlord's obligations, you can ensure a smooth and positive rental experience.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the rental market in Malaysia. Tenant preferences and behaviors have shifted in response to the pandemic, with a focus on more spacious homes, virtual viewings, flexible rental agreements, good internet connectivity, and cleanliness and hygiene. Landlords and property agents need to adapt to these changes if they want to succeed in the post-pandemic rental market.

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