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Apartment Living in Jakarta

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In some countries, apartment living previously indicated a social or economic stigma. Many people saw it as a compromise, driven by financial and utilitarian necessity rather than social and aesthetic advantages. Common thinking was that apartment living meant too little privacy, too much noise, little or no access to personal outdoor space, undesirable neighbors and unpredictable increases in rent or condominium fees.

This is no longer the case in Jakarta. Over the past ten years Jakarta has seen an explosion in the development of a wide variety of apartment facilities. Apartment living is quickly becoming a social status symbol as many of the complexes offer very convenient and desired locations, five-star facilities and luxurious interiors, enabling the dwellers a unique city living experience. Depending on the person/family’s individual situation and lifestyle, and the ever-increasing time drain of being caught up in long delays due to traffic jams, apartment living near the work place is beginning to make more sense than owning or renting a house.

Location, location, location

One of the biggest advantages that apartment living offers is location. Many apartment buildings have been constructed in or around the Golden Triangle area of Jakarta, which is Jakarta’s Central Business District. Expats with families will generally prefer housing options in the southern areas of Jakarta as these areas are closer to many of the international schools and offered quiet suburban-style neighborhoods.  If the expat does not have children, apartment living near the office may be a more viable option to avoid time spent in traffic jams.

For professionals, apartment living offer a more practical housing option as many are located in the business district or very close by which greatly conserves the amount of time required to commute to the office each day. Considering the horrendous traffic situation that exists and continues to worsen each year in Jakarta, distance from your office is a major factor to consider when choosing a place of residence. Many high rise apartment buildings also boast a very close proximity to restaurants, shopping malls and 5 star hotels that are all a part of the emerging cosmopolitan lifestyle that is available in Jakarta.

Excellent Facility Maintenance

Individuals that travel often, find apartment living ideal for their lifestyle because whether they are in the city or out of town, their residence is always being maintained. The maintenance fee that is charged to the tenants assures that the grounds and faculties are always kept ready for resident use. For busy people that don't have time to care for a yard, those who are physically unable, and those who simply don't want to employ someone to landscape and garden, they can still enjoy beautifully landscaped grounds. Maintenance fees also cover the maintenance of the inside of the apartment as well. This means that apartment owners do not have to worry about contacting repair people when a problem occurs.

Option to Purchase

Sometimes property development agents advise that people who are considering buying an apartment should consider buying in a facility that also has serviced apartments or is run by a professional maintenance team. If the facility has serviced apartments, it is imperative that the facility be continuously maintained at a very high level in order to continually appear attractive to the short term tenants that are using the serviced apartment facility. There have been instances where developers put the entire building up for sale, but are then no longer committed to maintaining the property after al the units are sold. This, in some cases, can occur even before the construction has been completed. In these cases, the tenants then form a “Perhimpunan Pehuni Rumah Susun” or Resident Owners Association. This community group then takes it upon itself to act in the best interests of the apartment facility. Sometimes they hire a professional maintenance company that is responsible to maintain the building and surrounding grounds. Issues involving the maintenance of the building and grounds are decided on by this group and then assigned to the professional maintenance company. This insures the value of the property is maintained and individuals’ investment is protected.

Purchasing an Apartment as an Investment

Many people see purchasing an apartment as a wise investment and a secure asset to put money into rather than depending on the low interest rates in the banks and the widely fluctuating Rupiah exchange rate. Investors will often buy at soft launch prices while the building is still under planning/construction, with the intent of selling the apartment at a greatly increased rate after the property has been completed. In some cases this is proving to be the case and the value of the apartment has increased by as much as 50-100% within a 5-year period. However this is not always the case; if the developer does not complete the project as planned or the quality of the project is not maintained, the investor can find himself in an unfavorable position. Inventors find it difficult to request legal actions against unscrupulous developers as the protection under the legal system in Indonesia is questionable. If the apartment is being purchased as an investment, it is very important to consider the developer of the project and their reputation, as this will have a very big impact of the resale value of the apartment and the quality of the structure.

Security Concerns

Many expats are concerned about security issues due to unfortunate incidents that have occurred in Jakarta in the last 10 years. Most apartment buildings offer 24 hour security and security cameras throughout the facility to ensure that tenants do not have to worry about their persons or property being victims of terrorism or theft. In the unfortunate event that a theft does occur, most cases can be handled by apartment security personnel. With the aid of security video tapes, most theft cases can be resolved in-house; but, if needed, the police can be called and further action can be taken. Upscale apartments also offer private elevators that only provide access to one apartment. The elevator will only function when the tenants’ keycard is swiped in the security mechanism that is located within the elevator, opening only at that tenant’s floor. This high security measure makes it impossible to access the apartment by anyone who is not unauthorized. The lobby receptionist notifies tenants if they have a guest and the tenant can then send the elevator to the ground floor to invite the guest to access the appropriate floor.

All apartment buildings in Jakarta are required to carry property insurance to cover loss in case of fire or a natural disaster such as earthquakes and floods. Interior and contents of the apartments are not covered by insurance and are the responsibility of the owner to insure.

Wide Range of Facilities

Apartment living gives tenants access to a wide range of on-site facilities. Many apartment buildings have complete sport facilities including fully equipped gyms, jogging tracks, putting greens, basketball courts, and swimming pools. The use of these facilities is complimentary, making it unnecessary to incur the expense of joining a fitness center. Function rooms and sometimes private theatres are available for tenants use for private parties or gatherings for a small fee to cover the costs of air conditioners and cleaning. In most cases guests are treated to complementary parking. and ample space is available, making it convenient not only for the host but also for the guests to attend any function. Areas of the grounds such as barbeque areas or roof top pools can be booked or reserved for special functions as well. These services that are available to tenants to make it possible for them to host larger parties in the convenience and privacy of their own building. The spectacular views from the upper floors also create a unique ambience for any gathering.

Serviced Apartments

Businesspeople who travel frequently can take advantage of many of the serviced apartments in the city. Serviced apartments offer short stay guests many conveniences. Generally they do not require the large deposit or pre payment that is required in many longer term apartment rental agreements.

If a tenant knows that they will be returning to the city in a few weeks, arrangements can often be made to collect mail or keep personal belongings in storage areas until their return. Storage areas are not always available in all buildings so people that are interested in this service or have excessive belongings should inquire about storage facilities prior to signing a lease. Closet/cupboard space can be quite limited in serviced apartments.

The maid service that is included in serviced apartments can be dictated by the tenants’ needs. If the tenant does not feel that daily service is necessary, they can request the maids only clean the apartment on specific days. This also means that the tenant is not responsible for the hiring or salary of the maids but still enjoys the benefits of having one.

Maids can also be arranged for non serviced apartments. Sometimes the apartment buildings guest relations service will help the tenant find a suitable maid. Most apartments have very small maid quarters attached to the apartments and these quarters are accessible via a service lift and a specific entrance to the apartment. Tenants may feel that it is not necessary for the maid to live in, so these maids will come during the day and return to their own homes in the evening. Newer apartment buildings have incorporated layouts that allow the main living area of the apartment to be locked and secured from the kitchen and maid area. If the owner of the apartment is going out or traveling, they can leave the personal areas of the apartment secure but still give the maid access the service and kitchen areas.

Opportunities to Meet People

Apartment dwellers often find participating in activities arranged within the building complex a good way to network and make new friends. Guest relations or the public relations department often organizes special events or activities for the tenants to celebrate public holidays, or appeal to certain age groups. In some buildings a complimentary continental breakfast is available every day, to facilitate interaction amongst residents. In some apartments buildings, the existence of specific communities such as Korean or Japanese or young families with toddlers actually attracts others to become tenants of the same building.

Apartments in Hotels

Some hotels also offer apartment living. Hotel apartment living offers some advantages over regular high rise apartments in that there are restaurants onsite as well as business centers. food and beverage discounts can be negotiated into the contract as well as discounts on laundry services. Hotels can offer these discounts as they manage the food and beverage and laundry services. Typically however, cooking facilities are not provided as this would create a fire hazard which most hotels are unwilling to accommodate. In the case of a regular apartment building, normally these on-site outlets are managed by separate companies so the services are not necessarily committed to giving tenants these same discounts.

As you plan your upcoming stay in Jakarta, consider your lifestyle needs and/or your family’s needs and consider whether or not apartment living will enhance your stay in Indonesia. There are a wealth of properties to choose from!

Last updated April 5, 2014

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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