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mason12

Renting an Apartment in Changsha Advice

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mason12

Hi to everyone,

 

I have used the search function and found some great advice however I am looking for some more specific advice relating to renting in Changsha, Hunan Province. I will be starting at Hunan Normal University in September and don't want to share a dorm room (Singles are not available). I have used 58.com to get a rough idea of prices and found that I should be able to rent a studio for around 2,500rmb per month. Now my questions are:

 

1) Are there many rental agencies located in Changsha, that I could realistically walk into and be taken to view apartments?

2) I only have HSK3 Chinese at the moment, so my knowledge of Chinese is not enough to fully rent a contract, are there many agencies around the student areas that could help in English?

3) I have seen that it seems a completely viable option in cities such as Beijing to just turn up, rent a hotel for a week, find an apartment and move in. I was wondering how feasible this would be in Changsha?

 

Any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!

 

Many thanks!

 

 

  • Good question! 1

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889

There's a lot to be said for taking the path of least resistance and renting a hotel room month-on-month, even if the cost is a bit more:

 

-- No landlord to negotiate and deal with.

 

-- No separate utility bills to pay.

 

-- Room cleaning and linen change included.

 

-- No long-term lease.

 

-- Easier to switch to another room if there turns out to be a noise or other problem.

 

Having a kitchen may seem to be an advantage, but eating out is cheap and convenient in China. Shopping and cooking for yourself can be a hassle. If you need encouragement to follow this approach, just look for back posts here and on other forums from people who have problems with their landlord, or decide after a couple of months the school isn't for them, etc.

 

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abcdefg
17 hours ago, mason12 said:

1) Are there many rental agencies located in Changsha, that I could realistically walk into and be taken to view apartments?

 

That won't work. You first need to look around on your own, or preferably with the assistance of a local Chinese friend. Once you find a neighborhood you like, then walk into one or two real estate offices that are located there. Explain your requirements and ask them to show you what they've got. You will need to insist up front on not just being dragged to lots of places that could not even remotely fit your needs or else you will get a time-consuming run-around.

 

(What I mean is you can say very clearly "I'm looking for a studio apartment for about 2,000 Yuan per month in this immediate area" and you will still be taken to see three-bedroom apartments that cost 5,000 on the other side of town.) 

 

Take someone who can translate for you. Be prepared to pay 6 months rent in advance. Be prepared to bargain over price and over rental terms. You won't be offered the best deal right from the start. 

 

17 hours ago, mason12 said:

2) I only have HSK3 Chinese at the moment, so my knowledge of Chinese is not enough to fully rent a contract, are there many agencies around the student areas that could help in English?

 

Such agents are rare as hen's teeth. You probably won't be able to find one. You need to ask a bilingual local Chinese person to go with you. 

 

17 hours ago, mason12 said:

3) I have seen that it seems a completely viable option in cities such as Beijing to just turn up, rent a hotel for a week, find an apartment and move in. I was wondering how feasible this would be in Changsha?

 

That's feasible in Changsha too. 

 

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mason12

Thankyou very much for your reply. I was worried this would be the case, I don’t know any Chinese people in China, never mind in Changsha!

 

889, I was considering  the hotel route however, would that work with the residency and being ‘registered’? I will be on an x visa for the year and know that requires me to register at the local police.

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889

No matter where you stay, you need to be registered with the PSB. Hotels do this automatically, usually online, and of course the PSB has access to the online records. If you stay privately you need to go to a local paichusuo to register your address. This is the case no matter your visa status.

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, mason12 said:

I was worried this would be the case, I don’t know any Chinese people in China, never mind in Changsha!

 

Perhaps someone at the school can help you. 

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Flickserve

Here's what I would do. 

 

Go to a hotel that is easily accessible to the university. Be prepared to stay for a month and a half. 

 

Once you have done all that university admin stuff, work out which local area you want to stay in. Find a local letting agent or three with the help of a local person and then look for a place. A fellow Chinese student would be OK to help search for a place on foot but when it comes to signing a contract, try to find someone more experienced and street smar for some help.

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大块头

It looks like there is a Facebook group for expats in Changsha. You may be able to find a bilingual realtor if you ask there for recommendations.

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