Shanghai House Lease Contract

by Alex
19. August 2015
Category:   renting in Shanghai

Okay, you have found a great apartment in Shanghai, but you are a but unsure on your next step. Well, being in a different country signing legal documents are not anyones dream situation.

But we will help you in giving you some input on how to structure your property deal and work out the house lease contract in Shanghai.

What should the contract look like?

Before you sign the contract, you should clarify exactly what is included in the monthly rent and what expenses that come in addition to this. You also have to clarify with your landlord how you do the monthly payment (some Chinese landlords/real estate agents prefer payment every three months). The best and safest way is by bank transfer.

It is customary that you pay three months’ rent at once. At least this seems to apply to foreigners. But you can negotiate with the tenant if this is a big problem for you. I was able to go away from the “three months payment” thing because I could simply not afford it.

Ask if you can get both an English and a Chinese version of the contract. If not, ask some Chinese friend/classmate/colleague to have a look at your contract and ask him/her to read it carefully.


You have signed your contract? That leaves only one thing to do: you have to register at the local police station. Which is, you should tell your landlord or real estate agent to go with you (in most police stations in Shanghai there are no English speaking staff).

You have to bring:

– Your passport
– Your contract
– Visa
– House lease contract

You risk a 500 yuan fine if you do not register at the police station immideately after arriving China and moving into your new apartment.