Rental terms in Shanghai

by Alex
16. August 2015
Category:   renting in Shanghai

Apartments in Shanghai are often well equipped and fully furnished. The furniture usually also include a TV, stereo and kitchen appliances. The majority of expat apartments have a telephone line installed and high-speed WIFI is often possible implement.

The cost of renting a furnished apartment in Shanghai is 10,000-12,000 RMB per month, depending on the quality of the apartment. Serviced properties cost considerably more. Villa rentals, always meant for foreign expats, come at rates between 20,000 RMB – 50,000 RMB each month. “Old houses”, that often are placed a bit outside the city centre, cost around 60,000 RMB/month.

Flat sharing has become increasingly popular in Shanghai, especially among students. The average rate for a downtown room is around 3000 RMB each month. English newspapers and forums (Smartshanghai for instance) is a good place for people to seek and find flat sharing partners.

Rental ContractsShanghai

One year rent

A general rule in the Shanghai real estate market is that the contract have to be at least one year. It is sometimes possible to negotiate the rental period to be six months, but this is very uncommon.
Longer leases, of two to three years are sometimes offered and these can also be a one-year “fixed” with a further year or two of optional tenancy agreement. The terms of the lease are in both Chinese and English, but under Chinese law, which means that its the Chinese version that will be used in the event of a legal dispute.


You have to give a deposit (equivalent to 1-3 month rent) when you move in to the apartment. This is used as a security against any damage that you may cause to the property. The deposit will be refunded when you move out unless you have broken any contract rules or have any bills left to pay.

Police registration

Once you move in, you have to take your landlord to the local police where they need a copy of your passport. You have to register to the police during your first week in Shanghai. Sometimes htye will give fines that can reach up to as much as 500 RMB/day!

As with rental contracts the world over, a standard clause is determined that the property must be in good condition and you will be responsible for the cost of deterioration not caused by normal use.

Shanghai International School