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Your Accommodation in China


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Thought this might be a useful topic to have to compare what people are paying for what kind of accomodation and so newcomers can get an idea of what's out there. Just give the details of your accomodation, any actual discussion or questions are probably best placed elsewhere. Use the format I have below, or improve upon it :wink:

Type of accomodation: Rented apartment

Description: 113m2, new building, furnished. Big (by Chinese standards) kitchen, large lounge, sun room, two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms.

Rent: 4000Y a month, paid quarterly. Lease started Dec 05.

Location: About halfway between Xizhimen and Beishida, Beijing. 10 minutes from subway. Maybe 15.

Found via: Classified ad, direct from landlord.

Lease: Was originally six months, don't have a contract now, just keep paying having agreed with the landlord that we'll both give at least a months notice of any changes.

Came with: Standard new household stuff, biggest sofa in China. Furniture isn't IKEA, but IKEA-style I guess. Maybe a bit sparsely furnished, but that's ok with me.

Landlord / Building management: Landlord is overseas. Building management deal with any issues well.

Notes. This is a much bigger place than I need, but I love having the space and telling myself that one day I'll stop working on the sofa and turn the second bedroom into an office. I suspect similar apartments are available in the area for a bit cheaper, but at the same time poking around on the Internet and speaking to a few other tenants here it seems I'm paying less than average for the building - for example I know there are students at Beishida living here and paying 3800Y for a smaller one bedroom place. So that makes me feel better . . .







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Details of the place I had in Beijing:

Type of accommodation: Rented apartment

Description: 80m2, new building, furnished. Narrow kitchen, large lounge, sun room, two bedrooms (large one with sun room), 1 bathrooms.

Rent: 3100Y a month, paid quarterly. Lease started Jun 06.

Location: Dongzhimen nei, 5 minutes from subway.

Found via: agents on donzhimen nei da jie

Lease: Was originally six months, broke it after just over 5. Contract specified I'd lose 1 month's rent for breaking early (watch out for this), but they compromised on 1 week.

However, when I moved out, the agents did 'find' damage which had already existed when I moved in - that I hadn't bothered to notify them about because of their unwillingness to fix anything - and charged me for that.

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Accommodation I have been living in my University in Wuhan:

Type of accommodation: Rented apartment

Description: 40m2, old building, unfurnished. Tiny kitchen, medium lounge, one bedroom, 1 tiny tiny bathroom.

Rent: 600Y a month, paid quarterly. Lease started July 06.

Location: in my University.

Found via: self-made advertisement

Lease: Oral lease, if it sounds more official and trustworthy than ' Mutual Credibility'.

Seriously, I am not complaining about the relative poorer living conditions - compared with those described in above posts - which suffice my need. But what I am not pleased with is the attitude of landlady, who never forgets to postpone doing almost everything, even rent collection.

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Broken leases all around? Wow, Beijing is a lawless place :)

Type of accommodation: Rented apartment

Description: 76m2, old building, furnished. 2 small bedrooms, small living room, kitchen and bathroom. 2 ACs, 1 TV. We pay for our own broadband, utilities; landlord pays management fee to the building.

Rent: 2750Y a month, paid quarterly; 1 month security deposit. Lease started May 2006.

Location: Dingxi Rd, 2 min from Zhongshan Park, Shanghai.

Found via: Liked the neighborhood, walked into a couple of real estate offices, hit the jackpot on the third one. Signed the next day.

Lease: Originally 1 year. We're breaking 3 months early because we want to be settled into a long-term rental by June for personal reasons; so were helping the landlord find a new tenant.

We also looked at some really cool old Shanghai "new-style" alleyway housing when we were looking for this place, but they come in two flavors: 1) cheap, but with shared kitchen/bathroom, or 2) expensive, with private facilities. One place downtown right off of People's Square behind the bird and turtle pet market had four showerheads connected to four water meters aimed at a single bathtub! The better half vetoed that one :)

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  • 2 months later...

Type of accomodation: Rented apartment

CITY: Beijing, Haidian District

Description: one room in a apartment with 5 other rooms. Had a large porch that I used as a living space. Shared bathrooms and kitchen.

Rent: 1450rmb a month, one time 3 months fee. Internet was 50rmb/month utilities were about 40 rmb/month

Location: 5 Minute walk from west gate of Ren Da. 10 minute walk to BeiWai

Found via: Chinese friends

Lease: 3 months then renewed for another 4.

Came with: Bed, desk, dresser, A/C, TV w/dvd





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City: Kunming, Yunnan

Type of accomodation: Rented apartment (http://www.waiyn.com/gb/b6.sb3.1.htm)

Description: 65m2, 2006 building, unfurnished. 24th floor with 3 elevators.

kitchen with many cabinets, large living room, one bedroom, one bath with h2o htr.

small terrace with washer outlets.

Rent: 650Y a month, paid semi-annually. if annually may get a discount. monthly fees

(maintenance, tv, elevator, water pump) total about 100Y/month.

Location: new northern district of kunming, 25-minute (1Y) bus ride to the front gates

of yunnan uni or yunnan abnormal. 5-minute bus ride to carrefour or metro. 30 minutes

to the main train station on the new red express bus. add another 15 minutes if

changing busses to the airport. taxi fare to/from downtown clubs about 20Y.

Found via: real estate office.

Lease: six months, with a 1000Y deposit. lease will be up in june. i'm told that although

rents are rising in this area, the landlord may not increase the rent.

Came with: loads of cabinets in the kitchen!!

Landlord / Building management: very responsive. found a few problems when i moved

in, management agent called the landlord who was over within 20 minutes. had workers

on the scene that afternoon.

Notes. there are many units available in this area, with new high-rises under construction.

same size units can be found as low as 550/month, or larger (85m2) units for the same

price, some with toilets and tubs. i went for this one as there are no vacant lots within

yelling distance, there are three elevators, 7-minute walk to the bus station with about

15 lines, and the kitchen is larger than a postage stamp (room for the fridge!).

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Type of accomodation: Rented room.

City/Area: Wudaokou, Beijing.

Description: 1 bedroom in a 3 bedroom apartment. Shared kitchen, bathroom and living room. The shared areas are tiny, but my room is reasonably large.

Rent: 1550Y a month, paid every 6 months, plus a 1 month deposit. Rent includes all water, electricity and internet. Lease started at the end of Feb 07.

Location: About halfway between Wudaokou station and Tsinghua University.

Found via: Classified ad online.

Came with: Double-bed, desk, wardrobe. Shared facilities include fridge, microwave, washing machine, etc.

Landlord / Building management: Landlord lives close by. All dealings so far have been through one of the other tenants.

Notes:It's not the newest, or cleanest of buildings, but the rent isn't too expensive and the location is ideal.

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City - Hong Kong

Type of accommodation - Rented apartment

Description - 559 sq ft, unfurnished, well-maintained 20 year old building in a private housing estate of 50 multi-storey buildings, some of which are on the waterfront (mine faces the hills). 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen.

Rent - HKD6,900 rent & HKD750 mgmt fee a month, paid in cheques monthly (I gave 12 pre-dated cheques to the landlord one year in advance). Rent exclusive of utility charges. 2-month security deposit. Lease started in April 2003.

Location - Heng Fa Chuen, with a metro station just downstairs, very convenient yet quiet.

Found via - real estate agency.

Lease - 2-year, then 1-year. The current lease is 2-year.

Came with - 3 air-conditioners, many cupboards/wardrobes, curtains, gas stoves.

I broke the tap on the bathtub the day I moved in (thanks to strong brother trying to do something to the shower) and the landlord arranged to replace it with no nonsense at all. :D

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Type of accomodation: Rented apartment.

City/Area: Chaoyang, Beijing.

Description: Ostensibly a 54 sq. m. 2-bedroom, 5th floor (of 5) apartment, but I use the larger bedroom as a living room/study because what's called the common room is fairly small. Furnished but spartan.

Rent: 2000/mo on a 3mo+1mo schedule. Utilities (except for heating) are extra. 1-year lease.

Location: Xinyuanjie, (inside Sanyuanqiao) A nice, shady community.

Found via: Community service center - fee was substantially cheaper than the standard agency rates of 1mo rent.

Came with: Standard furniture & household electronics.

Landlord / Building management: Rented through an agency, which probably adds 200/mo to the rent. Landlord is fairly nice, too.

This is a very nice neighborhood; buildings are probably early 80s. Nice access to bus transportation; subway is a 10 minute bike ride away.

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Wow, some of those rents are high! I guess i'm spoiled living in my giant apt in the styx.

City/Area: Huilongguan, Beijing.

Description: A whopping 138 sq. m. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, ridiculous living room and huge kitchen. Came with basic furniture. Theres a third bedroom that stays locked with all of the landlord's junk in it.

Rent: 2000RMB/mo payed twice a year. Utilities are all extra. Wuye fei paid by landlord. 1-year lease. Paid a one-time 1,000 RMB fee to a real estate co. for finding it.

No cockroaches, thanfully.

Nice view of the mountains too.


Oh yea, its in Huilongguan, 1 hour away from anything fun. But a quick bus ride north will take you to 沙河, the dirtiest little suburb you can find. And if you keep on going you can go all the way to Changping where they have a water reservoir!!!!

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Type of accomodation: Rented apartment.

City/Area: Kunming, Yunnan.

Description: ~90m2, 2001 building, 3br, 1bath, furnished apartment. On 7th floor.

Rent: 900Y a month, originally paid 6 months, plus 1000Y deposit. Lease began

in Oct 2004. I now pay every 3-4 months. Landlord pays all bills and provides

receipts, which I then reimburse.

Location: Off Jianshe Lu. 5 min walk to Yunnan Normal, 10 min to Yunnan Univ,

15 min to Wenlin Jie.

Found via: real estate office

Came with: queen bed, wardrobe, huge sofas, 30" tv, electric water heater and

washing machine. Furniture is decent quality.

Landlord / Building management: extremely friendly, helpful landlord who hasn't

raised rent in over 2 years.

Notes: gate remains open 24h (no need to wake guard after midnight).

This was a good deal when I moved in. Now, similar sized furnished units in this

area are likely to be 1200 or more.

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Description: 75m2, 2 year old building, fully furnished, dark brown polished wooden floorboards,open kitchen, modern bathroom, double storey studio.

Rent: 2650Y a month, paid quarterly. Lease started 13 March. Rent includes heating, gas, water, internet connection, management fee. There was an option for 3000Y per month to include big flat screen computer. Or 2500 per month without any internet connection.

Location: In a hutong in Hepingmen. There are long narrow alleyways about a minute away. 6 minutes walk to Hepingmen subway station, 7 minutes walk to Xuanwumen subway station, 10 minutes walk to Xidan subway, 10 minutes walk to Tiananmen Square.

Found via: Classified ad, direct from landlord.

Lease: One year.

Came with: Brilliant storage space, huge red sofa bed in loungeroom, a very comfortable king size bed, flat screen tv, DVD player, cable TV, a 5 metre long Jacksonesque oil painting, a few Ming Dynasty replica pieces. Landlord decorated it to look like a Bondi beach studio with a touch of China. Some of my walls are lemon yellow. Others are light green. Kitchen was fully equipped with toaster, kettle, rice cooker. The place came with a years worth of kitchen, bathroom cleaning products, and toiletries ( soap, shampoo etc). There's even a very slick vacuum cleaner.

Landlord / Building management: Landlord is here in Beijing. She's been really helpful. I drafted the lease myself. We went through all the clauses carefully and I don't get the feeling there'll be any big issues. But then it's early days yet.

Notes: Very happy with this situation. I'm waiting for a catch. There's a very intense locking system on the front door which has me wondering who or what is she hiding from?

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Venture 160

I just got lucky. I saw the ad at about midnight, called at 9:00 in the morning, by 1:00am, I'd handed over 3 months rent, 1 month deposit, and had negotiated, drafted, and signed the lease. There are good deals out there but clearly they go quickly.

It's in a 6 storey apartment block in an area surrounded by alleyways. I don't think the majority of hutongs will stay for long. I'm seeing some 拆 signs around. Not loads but that can of course change overnight. I live in hope.

Main streets like Chang An Jie are very close, though I don't at all feel that I'm in a busy city area since my immediate surroundings are hutongs.


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  • 2 weeks later...

1 average sized bedrm in a 3 bedroom unit, on 10+ floor, good storage space, secure new building, friendly staff. I room with 2 local girls and am about a 5 minute walk to the jishuitan ditie, and everything else I need in the area. 2 bus stops away from bnu. 800yuan/ month. ( rented for 6 months, pay every 3 months, plus deposit of 800 yuan + agency fee about 600 yuan) oh yeah, utilities about 50-80 yuan per month

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  • 2 months later...

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