How to rent your house to foreigners (Part One)

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(Scroll down to read in English)

 

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How to rent your house to foreigners (Part One)


FOREIGNERS:

Where do they come from?
Most of the foreigners who come to Laos are from Australia, Europe, America, Japan and Korea.  Some come to work in aid organizations and NGOs, others come for business. Some are miners, hydropower experts, teachers or volunteers.  Because foreigners are unable to own property in Laos, almost all of them will rent a house or apartment.

 

What do they want?
Foreigners usually come from the Northern Hemisphere where the weather is very cold.  As a result of this weather it is often very dark.  When foreigners come to Laos, they want to see the sun and they like light colours.  Most foreigners would like to live in a bright house with lots of windows and lots of sunlight.

Foreigners generally prefer a clean, modern and bright house which is close to minimarts that stock foreign food, schools such as Vientiane International School and fitness centers like Sengdara. They prefer to live on a paved road if possible.

These days many foreigners are concerned about illegal logging, so they are often suspicious of wooden houses. Some foreigners enjoy living in a wooden house, however, because it is a novelty for them.  Wood is difficult to obtain in Europe and Japan, so a wooden house is interesting for foreigners. A wooden house, however, does not need to be dark.  If you build a house from wood, make sure you include large windows and place them so they let in plenty of sun.

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HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOUSE WHEN FOREIGNERS VISIT:

There is only one rule and that is to keep it clean:

A tidy house gives a better impression than an untidy one. When visiting a house, most foreigners will look at every detail – after all they will be paying money to stay in the house.  If a house seems dirty they will not wish to rent it.  Make sure you always keep your house clean and tidy before letting foreigners come to see it.

Here are some low-cost ways to ensure your house looks its best when foreigners visit.  

  • Remove untidy items such as plates in the kitchen, clothes or toys on the floor.
  • Don’t leave anything on tables, kitchen or bathroom counters
  • Clean the bathroom tiles and mirrors and leave the toilet seat down
  • Open all blinds and curtains to make the house seem bright
  • Use air freshener to help the house smell nice
  • Place flowers on tables or shelves
  • Put sheets and pillows on all beds
  • Make the beds
  • Turn on fans or air-con so that the foreigner doesn’t feel hot
  • Remove all large pets such as cats and dogs from inside the house
  • Mow the lawn and sweep the leaves in the yard
  • Do not have other visitors around when foreigners arrive
  • Sweep and mop the floors
  • Switch off all appliances including TV and tidy loose cables

 

WHEN THE FOREIGNERS ARRIVE TO LOOK AT YOUR HOUSE:

-Offer water, tea or coffee

-Show them around but give them time to look by themselves

-Have a friend or relative to translate if needed

-Do not pressure them to make a decision on the spot

 

Just follow these simple steps for a better chance of renting your house out to foreign tenants. In Part Two of this series we will discuss ways to renovate or decorate an existing house to make it more attractive to foreigners.