Every 2 years on average we move and that is what we did in recent months. We packed up our household and moved to Singapore.
This moving around the world is due to the nature of my husband’s work. In the past 10 years of relocations, I have personally planned, organised, researched and managed every little detail of our moves. Moving from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore was no different. Being a Singaporean made it easier for me to navigate our move to Singapore but moving out of KL was a little more complicated.
So I hope my post today will be of some help to other expats who are planning or going to move out of Kuala Lumpur in the near future.
Tips for Expats moving out of KL, Malaysia
When looking for a removalist to move all your furniture and valuables make sure that they are an internationally reputable company and a registered FIDI (International Federation of International Movers) member. Here are a few of the big name international relocation companies who operate in Malaysia :
- Asian Tigers
- Crown relocations
- Allied Pickfords
- Santa Fe relocations
- Unigroup relocations
- Felix relocations
Rental termination of dwelling, Inspection & Refund of rental deposit
Before we moved to KL Malaysia, we lived in Australia for a number years and there things were pretty straightforward and there is even a governing body in each state of Australia for residential tenancies which overlooks any disputes that may arise between tenants and landlords. This is not the case in Malaysia. There are certain parts of the law that apply to residential tenancies but nothing specific like a Tenancy Act. The minimum notice you need to give your landlord before you move out is generally at least 1 month or as otherwise stated in your tenancy agreement. Inspection of the rental dwelling is normally done on the day of handover of the property to the landlord.
We requested for a clause to specifically state in our rental contract that should we move out of the property the rental deposit be refunded to us either by cash or cheque on the same day of the inspection. This way we were assured of getting our money back instead of having to wait weeks or months for the refund especially if you are planning to relocate to another country. If you did not request for such a clause to be added in your tenancy agreement, you can speak with or preferably email (for record purposes) your landlord to come to an agreement on this prior to the inspection.
The next step to getting your rental deposit back is to not give the landlord a reason why he should not refund it back to you. One thing that you can do is to do a professional clean of the rental dwelling including the curtains/blinds and air-conditioning and keep all the receipts should the landlord have any questions regarding cleanliness of the unit. If you have any major damages which was caused by yourself or your family then obviously the landlord has the right to deduct what he deems reasonable for the repairs or renovation.
You also need to keep receipts of the last electricity and water bills as prove for the landlord that you have paid these bills before the handover of the keys.
The above are based on my experience so do verify what is necessary for you and your situation with the rental agent or landlord prior to your move to avoid any misunderstandings.
Cancellation of Utilities and Bank Accounts
The electricity and water bills are normally sent to the household under the landlord’s name and these bills have to be paid by the tenants. As such no cancellation of electricity or water is needed. As this is based on my experience, should your situation differ, do seek advise from your landlord or his rental agent on the appropriate action needed on your part.
The only utilities that we had to cancel were our Internet/home phone and cable TV services. For cable TV and Internet you will need to call them giving them enough notice- around 2 weeks for cable TV and 3 working days for Internet and home phone prior to your move to cancel their services. After which you will need to return the set top box and modem to the service providers. When you return the items to the service providers make sure that they have your bank account details so that they can refund your deposit accordingly. The refund however could take a couple of months as it was the case for us.
Income tax clearance
Your employer should sum up and calculate all your income including unused annual leave and expected bonuses (if any) until your last day working with them. In our case they helped to fill out the tax declaration form for filing of the income tax clearance. The tax office will then issue out an income tax clearance letter which will detail any remaining income tax to be paid and the due date.
Cancellation of work & dependent visa
Do make sure your employer cancels your work permit so the next time you want to travel to Malaysia for a holiday or come back for another job there won’t be any problems.
So that’s that. If you have any other questions on anything else you would like to know or have any suggestions if you are an expat living in KL, leave me your comments below!