How to find and rent a house in Shanghai

If you are not taking the place in the house of a previous politonger now leaving, it’s not that much simple to find a house in Shanghai.

Nothing impossible of course, everybody of us did it! I found a house thanks to a real estate agency, and it was quite easy. Some info and tips for you.

- There are many real estate agency, but very few of them have English speakers. So, if you have a Chinese friend (maybe a previous politonger that came in Milan) you should ask his help to be a translator.

- In each case (both if you find an English speaker or a Chinese one), tell him how much money would you like to pay for the monthly rent, the area, the features of the house. Remember that it’s easy to rise up the price: starting from low prices it is always a good idea.

- Forgot the European standards, remember you are in another country.  I don’t mean Chinese houses are worse than the European one: they are just different! So don’t compare and just choose what reflects your wishes :-)
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- Chosen the house, come back with the landlord and the real estate employee to check the details and if everything is working. Ask where is the gas counter, where is the hot water heater, the electric counter and so on. Check if the hot water is working, if the heater system is working and if the flush is working. They seem stupid things, but once you are in a new house you want everything to work, right? So you should check everything before, specially if to call a plumber you need a translator!

- Once checked these stuff, you can try to bargain the price. If the house has some lacks and they are not important to fix (ex. some tiles are broken, the furniture is not in very good conditions) you can lever to them to ask a lower price. And don’t forget to say you are a student, if you are lucky can happen that the landlord could be more flexible. If you don’t need the “fapiò”, their “fattura”, the price can also be less.

- At the moment to sign the contract, you should have in cash the money of the first month’s rent (used as deposit, to give to the landlord: he will give back to you when you will leave) and the 35% of the monthly rent to give to the real estate agency. Then, you should pay the landlord three months in advance, by a bank transfer on his bank account.

That’s it from my side! I would like to recommend you the real estate agency where I found the house and the employee who followed me step by step. He is also available now for any explanation, translation and information I need.
His name is Young and he works for Dooioo Real Estate in 292, Madang Road.

Info su Sara Biancaccio

Hello! I'm Sara. I studied product design in my bachelor and I continued my study with the master of science in Product service system design. There I got the opportunity to go to Shanghai for the double degree, where I am now! Photography is one of my biggest passion, I did the reporter for the design week in Milan and now I'm doing the food photographer for Wagas, a chain of restaurant in Shanghai.
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