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How to reduce your risk when signing the lease contract

Last Updated: 2017-11-28 12:25:00
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For expat friends who come to Shanghai first time, the first thing you need to do after arrival is apartment-hunting. And for those who have lived here for many years, you may also need to look for a new house or apartment due to change of work, or for some personal reasons, sometimes just want to change to a fresh environment. Apartment-hunting is for sure something you have to experience, so what should you pay attention to when you are looking for a place in Shanghai?

In this article, we will give you some advices when you are signing a formal lease contract.

First: the most important thing when you sign the lease it to make sure the person who sign with you is the owner of the property. Now days, there are many secondary landlords (or subleaser I will talk about this in another article) in the market. But even it is a subleaser; he or she has to have a letter of attorney signed by the owner. So the landlord should provide such documents: copies of ID card, ownership certificate and letter of attorney. These papers are also needed when you register in the police office. You will also need to give a copy of your password to the landlord as well.

Secondly: before you move in to the new house, make sure to have an inventory ( a furniture list) with the landlord. Make a list of which furniture belongs to the landlord, which not,.   Don’t forget to turn on the home appliance see if they are working. If there is anything broken, ask the landlord to fix it.

Thirdly: before you move in, ask the landlord to settle the entire utility fee with the previous tenant. We normally write down the meters of water, gas and electricity. So when the next bills arrive, the new tenant just needs to pay his part. You can pay the pills at a nearby convenient store or a post office. You can also pay it online via Alipay or wechat.

Fourth: Terms of payment. In Shanghai, the normal practice is either pay one month rent upfront plus two month deposits or three months rent plus one month deposit. But here in the French concession, Xintiandi and Jingan area, the landlords will ask for one month rent plus two months deposits. And this is not negotiable, so for anyone want to look for an apartment or a lane house here, you should bear this in your mind.

Fifth: Fapiao or rental invoice. Some expat friends need Fapiao. The Fapiao is issued by the tax office, so either party needs to pay the tax. It’s better to indicate in the lease contract which party will provide the Fapiao and pay the tax.

Finally, if both parties honor the contract, at the end of the lease, the tenant should have no problem getting the deposits back. In my many years of working experience, I have never seen a case which the landlord won’t return the deposits. I am very proud to say the Shanghai landlords are good landlords.

Perhaps you would say those things are very professional for an expat with language barriers. Well, let me give you a piece of advice, you will need a professional and bilingual agent to help you with that, make sure your agent is reliable and know what he is doing.

For more, you can give us a call at 130466079 or visit www.lanehouseshanghai.com

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