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How to find an apartment in Wuhan

Source: Changjiang Weekly 03/25/2016 05:03:02

Getting accustomed to life in China can be difficult. It requires learning the language, the customs, and where to find the basic supplies needed for survival and everyday life. Of course, before you can go about doing any of these things, you first need to find a place to live, a base of operations for your life here in this unique country.

Finding and renting a room or an apartment in China is not an easy task. In this article, we will explain the best ways to find and rent a room or an apartment here in Wuhan.

Finding an apartment

In China, looking online is probably the best way to find an apartment. There are two websites that are particularly useful: www.onlystu.com (只为学生网, Just for Students) and www.ganji.com (赶集网, Ganji). These websites are in Chinese.

The first site is for students looking to find housing on university campuses. On the homepage, click 出租房屋 (renting apartments and rooms). Then, select your university and the part of the campus that you would like to live in. To narrow your search, you can select a price range, number of rooms, and whether or not you want to rent an apartment (整租) or a room (合租). Please keep in mind that since this is a website for students, most of the listings are for single rooms, not whole apartments. Each of the listings will detail the various features of the apartment and the requirements of the renter.

The second site is for anyone who is in need of a room or an apartment. On the homepage, look under 房产 (real estate) and click on 出租房 (renting apartments). The options at the top of the page allow you to select your district, your price range, number of rooms, and whether or not you want to rent a room (合租) or an entire apartment (整租). Once the listings appear, you will want to select the tab marked 个人 (individual). This will make sure that all of the listings are those of individual renters, not real estate companies. Often times, real estate companies will demand the payment of an additional fee before they allow you to see the apartment or sign a contract. These fees can be as high as RMB 1,000. Looking at the listings provided by individual renters will help you avoid these middle men. Each of the listings details the features of the apartments and rooms for rent.

Both of these websites make the renter's contact information available in the listing. You can call them and make an appointment to see the apartment.

Additional information

When looking for apartments, avoid business districts. The electricity charges for business districts are typically much higher than those of the residential districts. In business districts, you may pay an additional RMB 1.5 per kilowatt hour.

Also, be sure to note the requirements of the renter when looking at any listing online or elsewhere. Some renters only rent to one gender. This is typically the case for renters that are only renting out a room in an apartment.

Renting an apartment

To rent a room or an apartment in China, you have to sign a contract. These contracts are usually pretty straightforward; however, it would benefit you to have a Chinese friend go over the contract with you. Before signing a contract, be sure to discuss all prices and figures with the renter. Keep in mind that the price of a room or an apartment, like most things in China, are negotiable.