Rentals are available in Colombo, but the search will take time and effort. High-end rentals are more easily available than those suited to the average to middle rental group.
While locating housing within your budget and locality preference, you should visit various sites:
The classifieds in the Sri Lankan newspapers would also provide leads to accommodation.
Agents or brokers, who help locate living premises for those in need, charge a commission for their services. They take you around to show all those available-for-rent houses/flats which fit your specified criteria.
There are several such agencies which one can engage in Sri Lanka:
However, exercise caution whilst using middlemen-services. Know their fees before signing a contract, read the terms carefully, and ask for recommendations.
It is advisable to visit an apartment before signing a contract to assure facilities are available and in working order. This will also give you an idea of what is available to rent in Colombo.
Tenancy in Sri Lanka is flexible and can be arranged without written agreements, although a written contract may offer better protection. However, it is common to agree on terms orally with the landlord.
The Sri Lankan Rent Act only covers certain properties so know what tye you are looking at before agreeing to rent. Properties that fall under the act are usually pro-tenant rights and those which are not be covered by this Act and would be pro-landlords.
If you rent a property which is not covered by the Rent Act, you could be asked to vacate with just a month's notice. However, if your property is covered, the notice period would be more comfortable – usually a least 3 months.