“The rent is a little higher here, but so far I’ve been able to pay it, and that’s a miracle too like still maybe being sane while thinking of guns and sidewalks and old ladies in libraries.” – Charles Bukowski, The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966
Are you moving to Bahrain on a work contract? If so, you will have to rent an apartment because according to ExpatFocus.com, “expats moving to Bahrain will have no choice but to rent property, as there are many restrictions on foreign nationals buying property.”
Tips on choosing the right apartment to rent
The good news is that there is a wide variety of apartments to rent in Bahrain. And these flats are mainly found in urban developments.
Here are several tips to help you choose the apartment that meets your needs (in no particular order):
It is important to note that expats and Arabs tend to live in their communities within the urban developments. Therefore, it’s advisable to look for an apartment in the expat community. No rule (or law) says that you have to choose an apartment amongst other expats. But, you will find that you will settle down quickly and get used to life in a foreign country if you settle amongst the expat community.
Distance from work
It is always a good idea to live a short distance from your employer’s premises unless there are no housing developments nearby. If so, then the recommendation is to stay in the housing development as close as possible to your work. Extended travel costs unnecessary time and money.
It is essential to work out beforehand what monthly rental you can afford to pay. It doesn’t help renting an upmarket apartment that you cannot afford. Rental costs are based on the size of the apartment as well as the amenities such as swimming pools and gym facilities on site.
Therefore, draw up a budget and only look at units that you can afford. In this way, you will avoid the risk of overspending.
Long- or short-term contract
Most rental contracts are for a minimum of one year. It is very rare to find a rental agency that offers short-term rentals. It also goes without saying that short-term rentals are quite a bit more expensive than a long-term rental. Therefore, it makes sense to sign a long lease. The good news is that most contractors (or foreign workers) are employed on long-term contracts so it shouldn’t be a problem to sign a year-long lease.
Check what facilities or amenities are included
Some rental contracts include the use of the onsite facilities, while other leases ask you to pay extra to use the onsite gym or swimming pool. Amenities such as air conditioning and gas also may or may not be included in the rental agreement. Consequently, it is vital to make sure that you know what the rental contract includes. Otherwise, you will end up over budget and out of pocket.