Shanghai apartment process: how to find a property

by Alex
26. August 2015
Category:   renting in Shanghai

We can help you to find exactly the apartment you are looking for in Shanghai.

Do you want a modern high-floor apartment in Puxi or a villa in Pudong? No problem, we cover around 97 % of the real estate market in Shanghai.

If you already have an idea of what type of property you want, please send us an e-mail with your budget, wanted property type and the amount of bedrooms you need.

We will quickly return with some suggestions to different properties that might be suitable for your needs.

Rent Apartment Shanghai

“97 % of the market!?”

You might be thinking: “Covering 97 % of a real estate market in a city like Shanghai is simply impossible!”. Well, in fact – it´s not. The real estate market in Shanghai works in this way:

– The landlords add all his or her apartments/villas/houses to a database
– Every real estate agency have access to this database and can choose every house they want to find for their customers

This makes it easy for every company to find something of great value for each customer. I have worked in this market for a long time and cannot remember last time a client did not get a match on his or her preferences.

Signing the contract

You have to sign three copies of each contract because the Chinese government need one as well. And be careful to fully understand and read every part of it before you are signing it.

Did you miss?: Rental contracts in Shanghai

Remember: signing legal documents in a foreign country might be a pain in the ass unless you are 100 % sure that you know what you are doing.

Things like Internet connection, hot water bills and other costs need to be specified by the contract.

“How much does it cost?”

Apartments in Shanghai are more expensive than in other parts of China, that´s just a fact. But the longer you want to rent, the lower the price. Most real estate companies will have that as their first question to a new customer: “How long do you intend to stay in Shanghai?”.

Buying your own furniture (on IKEA for example) might bring down the price as well, but I would say that around 85-90 % of all the apartments in Shanghai already are fully furnished.

IKEA can be helpful to buy furnitures for your new apartment in Shanghai. Or to eat some Swedish world-famous meatballs.

IKEA can be helpful to buy furnitures for your new apartment in Shanghai. Or to eat some Swedish world-famous meatballs.

In addition to the fixed monthly rental price you will have expenses such as:

– Phone bill
– Management fee (often 5 % of rental fee)
– Agent fee when moving in
– Deposit (not necessarily a cost if you get it all back in the end)
– Water, gas and electricity bill

Short time stay

Short term leases are available in Shanghai, but I would not recommend to contact a real estate company for this matter. There are already good alternatives for those of you who stay in China less than a month:

– Hotels
– Airbnb
– Couchsurfing