Foreign Teacher Accommodation in China: How does it look?

Some schools offer free accommodation, and some schools offer a certain amount of housing allowance. Either way, all the apartments in China are fully furnished. Foreign teacher apartments generally contain the following:
  • Bed
  • Wardrobe
  • Sofa
  • Table and chairs
  • TV
  • Fridge
  • Toasting oven or microwave
  • Shower
  • Western toilet
  • Washing machine.
This should be everything you need to feel comfortable.

Renting an Apartment in China

Content guide:
– Where to start your search?
– Deposits
– Ways to find an apartment
– What not to do

where to start your search?

There are a number of ways that you can begin your searching for apartments in China. The first step is to decide yourself what’s the most important to you: location, price and apartment quality. Doing some research and get a general idea about what the price is, what are the best locations, this really helps with your apartment searching when you arrive the city. Bear in mind though, it is nearly impossible to find the perfect balance of all the three factors.
As with property anywhere in the world, location plays the biggest role in price and convenience when renting an apartment in China. City center are generally 1,000+ RMB more expensive than other areas within the city. If your school is located right in the city center, find an apartment that is within 30 minutes to 60 minutes of commuter time will save you a lot of money than living next to your school.
 
Renting in major cities are generally higher than smaller cities. A typical shared apartment in Shenzhen ranges from 2,800 – 4,000 RMB. With half of this money, you will be able to get a comfortable 2 bedrooms apartment in Chengdu. However, the salary in Shenzhen is going to be higher than in Chengdu.

Deposit in China

An upfront deposit needs to be paid along with your first month renting. The amount of deposit is usually a month of renting, but it varies depending on the agents. Some agents offer the option of three month renting, six month renting and a year renting as deposit, and the renting can be lower for a higher deposit fee.

Ways to find an apartment in China as an expat 2019

  1. Find a local agent
An agency saves you time in having to do all the legwork in finding an available apartment or sifting through all the online listings, may of which are old/fake/redundant. 
 
Here are some websites where you can find a local English speaking agents for apartment hunting:
 
Find an apartment in Shanghai
Find an apartment in Beijing
Find an apartment Shenzhen
Find an apartment Guangzhou
2. Join a renting WeChat Group
Get a WeChat if you are going to China. You can download Wechat for free from here
 
Lots of agents will post their available jobs in WeChat groups. As WeChat groups are invitation only, you will need to have some WeChat friends who are already in the group to send you an invitation link. 
3. Get assistance from the school
Most schools will offer assistance in your apartment searching if you are new to China. Just tell your contact person from the school that what are your apartment preference, and they will be able to get you a lot of great options to consider. 
4. Try some Chinese local apartment hunting APPs/Websites
Here are some applications and Websites local Chinese use for apartment searching. If you can read Chinese or have some Chinese friend who can help, this way is great way to be access to all the apartments in the market. 
58 Tongcheng
Douban
Ziroom
Woaiwojia

What not to do while renting in China?

Don’t expect to find an apartment on the first day of arrival. Apartment hunting can be time consuming. As mentioned earlier in this article, do enough research about the price, location and apartment quality before ahead will save you a lot of time. 
 
Many foreigners believe they are getting a great deal when they are being overcharge, as they are stuck in Western prices. Things are a lot cheaper in China. It is suggested to compare at least 4-6 different apartment, then decide what price is reasonable in the area. 
 
Don’t pay in cash. Make the transfer over WeChat/Alipay/bank account will keep a transaction record.  You will find this transaction record useful if there happen unexpected issues. 

What does a shared apartment look like in China?

For shared apartment, you will get a private room. Kitchen, restroom, and living room are shared with 2-3 roommates. Shared apartment are common in major cities as it is too expensive to rent a private apartment. We found 3 shared apartment renting information in a WeChat group, and we think this price and photo are quite typical here in China. 
Apartment A:
3,600 RMB including internet, gas, cleaning service, repair service ect. 
Layout: 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
Location: 7 minutes to Dong An Road(Line 4/7) 
Shared apartment in Shanghai
Apartment B:
3,400 RMB including internet, gas, cleaning service, repair service ect. 
Layout: 3 bedrooms and 1 bathrooms
Location: 7 minutes to Shanghai Railway Station or jiang ning road (Line 1/13)
Shared apartment in Shanghai

What does a Private Studio look like and how much does it cost?

Layout: 1 bathroom, 2 floor, 2 bathroom
Floor: 24th
Area: Jing’an, Center of Shanghai, 10 minutes walk to Xujiahui Station
Price: 12,500 RMB per month
 
Private Apartment in Shanghai
Private Apartment in China
Typical apartment in China
If you have any further questions about apartment renting in China, feel free to reach out to us. Contact with a recruiter to be added in a housing WeChat Group.