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Kos-Kosan In Jakarta: How To Find The Right Rental Room To Fit Your Budget & Lifestyle In The Capital

How to find kos-kosan in Jakarta

Jakarta is one of the most expensive cities in the country, and settling in in the capital can be quite a challenge. Thankfully, there are plenty of accommodation options available, and kos-kosan or rental rooms are the most popular option for workers and students alike, especially those who come from other cities.

Still, finding a good kos-kosan in Jakarta that fits your budget and lifestyle is no easy task, and we’ve come up with a guide to help you find the right room that suits your needs as you settle in the Big Durian.

1. Check your budget

Image credit: EmAji

Ideally, you won’t want to go above 10% of your salary on a kos-kosan, as you want to make sure to have extra cash to spend on other things such as food and transportation.

Generally, it’s considerably cheaper to rent a room a bit farther from the CBD, though you’d then have to spend extra on transportation if your workplace is anywhere near the city center. If you prefer to live in more affluent areas, you can get a kos-kosan for as low as Rp. 2,000,000 (~USD137.94) in Central and South Jakarta.

2. Make sure it’s within a reasonable distance from where you work

Image credit: Fuzz

Jakarta is notorious for its hectic traffic, and as such it’s always a good idea to live closer to where you work to save both time and transport money. It’s most ideal to live 30 minutes away from your workplace at most, ensuring that you won’t have to spend too much time on the road.

While app-based transportation options such as Grab and Gojek are convenient, they can get quite pricey in the long run, so it’s a plus point if your kos-kosan is located near an MRT station, Commuter Line station, or Transjakarta bus stop.

3. Find a quiet neighborhood

jakarta neighborhood
Image credit: Filza

You want to make sure that you can feel at home in your kos-kosan, so it’s important that your accommodation is located in a good neighborhood. After spending the day in the chaotic capital, you’ll want to enjoy some nice and quiet time for yourself and as such, a peaceful and safe neighborhood is essential.

If you prefer to live in a quieter neighborhood in close proximity to the city center, areas such as Bendungan Hilir and Kebon Kacang in Central Jakarta are popular options for many with plenty of kos-kosans available in the area as well as several warungs, cafes and restaurants. 

Alternatively, Setiabudi in South Jakarta also has plenty of studio apartment-style kos-kosans aimed at young professionals – these are usually marketed as “exclusive kos-kosans”, while being in close proximity to more affluent areas in the southern part of the city.

4. Make sure it has good security – plus point if occupants are given access cards to the building

access card
Image credit: Lee Jie Jie

Living alone in so big a city can be quite daunting, and as such it’s especially important to ensure that your kos-kosan has adequate security. Find a place that has 24-hour security, so you’ll feel content knowing that there’s always a satpam or security guard keeping your kos-kosan safe at all times.

It’s even better when your kos-kosan gives each occupant an access card so that only those who live there can enter the area, ensuring extra security for everyone.

5. Get to know your landlord or landlady

woman in living room
Image credit: The Smart Local Singapore

Chances are you’ll rarely get to see your landlord or landlady apart from when there’s paperwork to be done, but it’s best to make sure that you have a good relationship with them.

After all, in case you encounter an issue with your kos-kosan, you’ll have a better chance of having the said issue resolved more quickly when you’re on good terms with your landlord or landlady, so it’s always a good idea to get to know them from early on.

6. Make sure it has enough parking space if you have a vehicle

motorbike in front of a jakarta kos-kosan
Image credit: Iman Maulana

Most neighborhoods with kos-kosans have small roads, so you want to make sure your place has enough parking space so you won’t have to park your vehicle outside the gate and congest the adjacent road in the process.

In addition, having enough parking space will be handy when you have a guest coming over with their vehicle, so they can be comfortable visiting without having to worry about parking their car or motorcycle on the road.

7. Make sure your room has adequate ventilation

a kos-kosan in jakarta
Image adapted from: Rojali Sutan

Fresh air is essential, especially in big cities like Jakarta, so while you probably prefer an air-conditioned room for those stuff afternoons, it’s important to have adequate natural ventilation in your kos-kosan too.

Some kos-kosan buildings are so packed that there’s hardly enough room for some fresh air, so you’ll want to find a building with just enough distance between rooms and enough space for windows so that you can get a breath of fresh air from time to time – at least in the morning.

8. Check out the adjacent facilities

a convenience store in jakarta
Image credit: Dens Pandawa Property

Another important aspect of finding a good rental room is making sure that there are supporting facilities in close proximity, such as minimarkets, warungs, and laundry services. You’ll want your kos-kosan to be only a few minutes away at most from a minimarket, for example, to ensure that getting your everyday needs won’t be a problem.

Thankfully, most business owners such as minimarket and laundry service owners know to take advantage of neighborhoods full of anak kos, or kos-kosan occupants, and open their outlets near kos-kosans, so chances are when you find a good rental room you’ll have no issue finding any adjacent supporting facility.

9. Pay attention to the kosan’s policy on letting guests stay overnight

a kos-kosan room in jakarta
Image credit: Yusuf Hernanda

It’s important to note that many kos-kosans do not allow guests to stay overnight, so before you close the deal, you’ll want to make sure what your landlord/landlady’s policy is when it comes to having guests.

For example, if you come from another city and plan to invite family members over to stay you’ll want a kos-kosan that allows guests to stay overnight. Do note that some kos-kosan operators, especially those in more affluent areas, charge extra for guests to spend the night, usually at as low as Rp. 200,000 (~USD13.79) per night.

Bonus: List of popular websites to find kos-kosans

It’s important to know where to look for a good kos-kosan, and luckily these days finding a good room is just one click away with the following websites:

You can phone, email, or message the landlords via these websites to arrange for a viewing. 

How to find kos-kosan in Jakarta

While there are plenty of kos-kosan options in Jakarta, especially near universities and office spaces, finding the right one that suits your needs and budgets can be challenging, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s important that you do your homework before you decide on a kos-kosan to ensure a comfortable stay amid the hustle and bustle of the capital, so that you can make a good home out of your rental room and get adequate rest when you’re not out there working.

Also check out:

Cover image adapted from Lee Jie Jie and Iman Maulana

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