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SirDude

Rent deposit?

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Lu

From my blog, just as illustration:

Paying rent Chinese style:

Rent is paid per three months (or longer, if you want), so it took me about a week of going back and forth to the ATM before I had the amount I needed. The largest note here is 100 yuan, which is fine for eating out or buying a vacuum cleaner, but not quite ideal for paying rent. I ended up with a pile of one hundred and fourty-nine 100-yuan notes.

The proprietor was in no rush to actually receive this rent, but after living in my house for about two weeks I managed to make an appointment for him to come pick it up, at 1 pm, at my house. I called him at five to 1 to let him know I was home. He would come after lunch, he said. No, that wasn’t good, said I, I had another appointment and also needed to get back to work. Alright, he’d be over in ten minutes, but could I please come downstairs so he wouldn’t have to come up.

And so I waited at the foot of my apartment building with my pile of one hundred and forty-nine notes until a taxi drove in with in it the proprietor. I handed him the pile of money, and asked if I could please have a receipt. Well, sure, if I really wanted one... He borrowed a pen and a piece of paper from the taxi driver, and scribbled: Received 15,900 yuan... Actually it’s 14,900, I said. He scratched through the 5 and wrote in a 4. ...received from [name], and a signature.

Voila, my rent had been paid.

As to ATMs, I could take out more than 2000 kuai but only in batches of 2000. It would have been wise to stack up while I was looking for a house. Of course it's also good to have your money in a Chinese account, but then you still need to take it out of your own account before you can put it into the Chinese one.

I opened my bank account with cash, but it was very cheap, something like 15 kuai for various fees and 1 kuai to put in the account. This was at the Bank of China, I suppose it's not much different at other banks.

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skylee

Why couldn't you withdraw the money at the bank from a teller? Was it because that would involve a charge? Or was it because you withdrew from a foreign account so you couldn't do it in a bank in China? I just don't understand why one couldn't do it in one go? (BTW I think the daily upper limit is a good protection. I've found out recently that I could only withdraw a total of HKD30,000 per day from ATM from all of my Standard Chartered Bank accounts in HK. Although this caused me a problem as I needed that money for an emergency, I still think it is a good measure.)

Was that 14,900 yuan rents for 3 months? That was really a bargain IMHO.

PS - it seems very incovenient if one can't use cheques for payments of larger amounts of money.

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gougou
Why couldn't you withdraw the money at the bank from a teller?
This is definitely an alternative. I'm not sure whether it works for foreign cards as well, but I have done it with my Bank of China card when I had to pay my rent half-yearly. The only downside is that it may entail quite a long wait, depending on the bank - the one opposite of our office usually makes me wait half an hour to an hour, even though we get to take the VIP tickets...
That was really a bargain IMHO.
How do you judge that?

I'd also like to know what the 14,900 was for, as it is not divisible by 3. Did you negotiate a price for three months?

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roddy

You can't turn up to a Chinese bank teller with a foreign bank card and withdraw money - it's the ATM network that connects internationally, not their terminals behind the desk - you couldn't even get money out from an account with a different Chinese bank, never mind a foreign one.

How much you can withdraw is limited usually by your banks daily limit and single transaction limits (usually how much cash the machines can physically handle in one go, I guess) for the ATM machine itself. For UK banks daily ATM withdrawal limits are I guess 200 to 350 GBP depending on your bank.

Chinese banks tend to have much higher daily ATM withdrawal limits - 20,000 RMB pops into my head - presumably so people can pay rent. Obviously there's no limit to over-the-counter withdrawals.

Lu, 14,900 doesn't divide neatly by 3, 6 or 12 - there's something you're not telling us!

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liuzhou

I pay my rent three months in advance, although the contract's Chinese version says three and the English version says one. But three suits me.

To achieve this feat, I have to withdraw the cash from the one holding my loot, stroll up the road a bit, then I can transfer the cash by sticking it into a machine in a branch the landlord's choice of banking establishment. The payment is sent to an account the landlord set up for this very purpose.

Although all Chinese banks are majority state owned, they haven't ever really worked out how to talk to each other. There is nothing like a "standing order" system which we have had in the UK since 1623. So I have to visit many banks trying to sort out my life. The rent bank, the water payment bank, the electricity payment bank, the telephone... ...

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Lu

I pay 6,200 yuan/month for a two-bedroom apartment, payed per three months. I don't think it's a bargain, but I'm happy with the place and I don't think I'm overpaying either. I had already paid part of it, that's why it doesn't divide nicely. (That was also a bit of mafan: they wanted me to pay the whole 3-month amount at once of course but I didn't have enough money at me, so I just gave them what I had at that moment and agreed to pay the rest a few days later. Then I went back to the hotel and realized I now had only 15 kuai left for the rest of the day. Fortunately a serving of baozi makes for a 4 kuai dinner.) (Feels a bit weird to tell the internet what exactly I pay for rent, but well, hopefully it will be useful for someone as a reference.)

My Dutch bank card has a withdrawal limit, and it also took me a few days to figure out that some banks (ICBC) allowed me to withdraw money a few times in a row, while others would only let me withdraw money once a day. I assume the landlord has a bank account, but that was never discussed as a method of payment.

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abcdefg
I pay 6,200 yuan/month for a two-bedroom apartment...

May I ask what city that is? I thought Kunming was getting expensive, but it's still nowhere near that much.

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Lu

Beijing.

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gougou
I thought Kunming was getting expensive, but it's still nowhere near that much.
I don't think it's possible to determine whether an apartment is a bargain or very expensive just based on the rent/number of rooms. I'm sure you could find places for that amount of money in Kunming, just as not every 2-bedroom flat in Beijing will set you back this much.

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abcdefg
I'm sure you could find places for that amount of money in Kunming, just as not every 2-bedroom flat in Beijing will set you back this much.

Of course. I understand.

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