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About Apartments in China

How much does renting an apartment in China cost?
Despite the fact that in some first tier cities the rent has been skyrocketing, it is relatively affordable to rent an apartment in most Chinese cities. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in the outskirts costs roughly 2000 CNY each month (less than $300). Living in the center of the city is more expensive – ranging upwards of 3000 – 5000 CNY depending on the city and the area of town. When it comes to utilities like electricity, water, gas and even the internet, the combined price per month will only be a few hundred CNY in addition to your rent. One usually doesn’t need any extra documents to sign a temporary rental contract. However, it might depend on your future landlord. Moreover, if you rent an apartment for a few months only, some landlords request the full rent to be paid in advance.
How to find apartments for rent in China?
If you plan on getting long-term accommodation in China, big cities with large expat communities are the best place to go, e.g. Beijing and Shanghai. On online rental platforms, there are updated listings everyday and you find loads of contacts. Using Nestpick could help you compare the listings across platforms and find the best offer firstly. If you don’t speak Chinese, it is better to find an apartment through a local agency. With a one-time commission fee they will show you many properties and help you with signing the contract.
What is the process for renting a property in China like?
The real estate market in China can be overwhelming, especially in bigger cities. Using a real estate agent can help you sort through the clutter and understand what you’re looking at. In bigger cities, it’s easy to find a real estate agent who speaks English, however, in smaller towns it can be a good idea to bring your own translator to your appointment. Because they work on commission, your agent may try to convince you to take an apartment outside of your price range, but remember it’s okay to be inflexible. A tenant should be familiar with at least an understanding of important terms when searching for a rental property and be able to show your visa or proof that you can be living in the country to the landlord.
What should be noticed when renting an apartment in China?
When searching for apartments, tenants should consider the location, budget, apartment quality, neighborhood(s) of interest, the reliability of the Chinese landlord, the utilities provided in the apartment, as well as community safety. Besides, the payment method and deposit policy is also important. In order to negotiate on the rent, having a reliable translator handy to understand and review the rental contract is quite important for expat tenants.
What are the laws and requirements for a rental property in China?
Overall, Chinese tenant law favors the landlord than the tenant. There are no laws around rental discrimination, price fixing or deposit amounts, and most contracts will call for friendly dispute management instead of legal action. The laws are complex, but out of these laws and requirements, there’s an important one for foreign renters to remember: make sure your new apartment is registered as a rental property.