Renting an Apartment

It’s a cold night, for those who are evicted from their shelter, I hope they could find their new home soon

Renting an apartment is usual for every young people who pursue their career in the big city, which is far away from their home town, but renting apartment is not so easy in China, especially in Beijing. What I want to talk about here is just for a decent average apartment renting, not the basement and illegal co-tenant.

The best way for renting an apartment is from your friends who you both have trust to each other, you two make an agreement privately, you both are basically tax free.

In general, the law would not protect the privilege of the tenant, the landlord can kick you out without any legal consequence, and in most cases, practically, he will increase the rental cost dramatically to force you out. Also the landlord can terminate the contract without any compensation, while tenant will lost his guarantee deposit if he have to move out earlier for his own reason.

So as a tenant , what are you gonna do to find a good, decent apartment:

  • The first of all, please keep your expectation for rental cost in a reasonable way, which is you would pay 4000-8000RMB per month ($600-$1200) for a safe and decent apartment.
  • Find a formal agency for the deal, I personally recommend Lianjia( is way better than other competitor agency, and have the largest market share in Beijing currently.
  • Finding a landlord via Lianjia can only assure the real and accuracy information for the apartment, you have to tell if the apartment is suitable for you, as well as the landlord, in China, if the moral character of the landlord is disgraceful, you will be running into big trouble in the future. So talking a little with the landlord to tell by yourself.
  • Another way to rent an apartment is not via lianjia, but from lianjia, which is their own renting brand for this market segment, the apartment is mostly like the room in hotel, standard layout and facility support, also with regular room service (every week), what you have to care about is the pay check for all the service. I personally like this, because I don’t have to worry about being kick out by the landlord.
  • Some company will build or rent bunch of apartment for their employees, especially for some private sector to save total cost(food,traffic compensation), that’s usually a good way for employees, HR people will help you take care of the negotiation and standard.
  • Just don’t trust any of the online app platform for renting, I have to say they are all kind of phoney, con. What they care about is your money or the money from investor, when they got enough user base to brag in front of the investor, they will IPO and take the money away.
  • In winter,you have to pay more attention to the way of warming your apartment, try to find a central-heating community instead of individual-heating by gas which would usual in US or Europe, but in northern China, especially in Beijing, individual-heating by your own gas is expensive burden for tenant if you want keep warm. So central-heating community is way better in winter than others.

You have to keep in mind for safety where you rent the apartment from,

Usually, the price range I mentioned will spare you from most safety issue, but you should still pay more attention for this, because there are precedents of getting fired or gas poisoning for some renting apartment, especially in suburb area. There are lot of cottage style apartment where most low income group live in. So don’t even try this kind of apartment for cost saving, in Beijing, we don’t say the word ‘slum’, but it really is.

Again, look around your community and escape exit, you don’t want to run nowhere when the building get fired, an well managed community is important, you can figure it out by the fist time you visit it.

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