Tips for expats on renting property in China

Published:  27 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Arriving in a strange land and attempting to find a good place to live is stressful enough for most expats, but language difficulties and lack of knowledge of laws can confuse even the most enthusiastic newcomer.

Renting a home is the convenient way to begin a new life in an unfamiliar location, but how to do this without any knowledge of what’s right and what’s decidedly dodgy. Chinese law is said to confuse even the Chinese, but the tips below will help newly arrived expats avoid the usual pitfalls.

If you’re offered accommodation with just a verbal agreement, you should remember that non-written agreements are regarded in law as indefinite leases, This means your landlord can ask you to leave at any time or even evict you with no prior warning. Obviously, arrangements such as these are best avoided.

Another frequently asked question concerns the responsibility for fair wear and tear of your rental property and its contents. In Chinese law, your landlord is normally responsible and, should he or she refuses, the tenant can get everything done and deduct the full cost from the next rental payment. Examples include water supplies and safety of electrical wiring and installations.When you’re renting on a one-year lease, you’ll need to pay three months’ rent in advance as well as a month’s rent as a deposit. Payments are made in cash.

It’s important to check your landlord’s ID card and deed of ownership before you sign a rental contract and part with cash. If, as sometimes happens, the landlord himself sends a representative to cope with the formalities, you’ll need to be certain the representative has the legal right to sign a rental contract on behalf of the property owner. If you’re aiming to sublet from another tenant, checking the original lease for permission to sublet is necessary.

Tenancy leases are not affected by transfers of ownership of the property on, say, the death of the original owner. New owners are obliged to honour existing leases without raising the rent or altering the contractual terms. However, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to ensure his rental payments are given to the new owner.

If renting is simply too much hassle and you’ve the means to buy your own home, you’ll have to have lived in China for at least a year. Proof such as an employment contract and a full year’s tax record must be provided before your purchase contract can be signed. The term ‘first hand property’ refers to homes still under construction, and potential buyers must check if the developer has a pre-sale permit and if the dimensions of the property are the same as those on paper. Hiring a professional for this is the best idea. If you’re buying a second-hand property, you need to watch out for breaches of contract.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive