When you rent an apartment in Shanghai you will inevitably sign a contract. For expats relocating to China there is enough to deal with without doing a course in Chinese contract law. We have compiled a list of things to help you make sure everything is above board when renting in Shanghai. Here are our top tips:
- Home ownership and Landlord Identity – Your prospective landlord should be able to supply a copy of his ID card and a copy of the Land papers associated with the property. You should make sure that the ID number matches the number on the Land papers to ensure the landlord is the owner.
- Contract language – The contract should be supplied in English or Chinese and English, Read the contract thoroughly and never feel rushed or nervous about making sure you understand it completely
- The contract should include the address of the apartment, if you do not understand Chinese you must get this written out in Pinyin.
- Contract duration – The length of the contract should be in the contract as well as any penalties associated with leaving early, usually landlords will stipulate that you find a new tenant in the case of early termination.
- Landlord termination – If the landlord evicts you early they should pay a penalty of at least one months rent, this should be written in the contract.
- Monthly rental fee, Deposit fee and fee schedule ( monthly and every 3 months are popular here ) should be clearly outlined here.
- Receipts – get a receipt every time you pay money, if you are paying by bank transfer you should keep the printed receipts and take photos of payment screens etc. just in case.