The most difficult part in each and every relocation process is trying to find somewhere to live. To make matters worse, accommodation in Hong Kong is well on its way towards the pricier end of the spectrum. It is not accidental that according to recent research, real estate prices in Hong Kong rank as the second highest in the world, only behind Monaco. In this article, we look at:
- The importance of research in the hunt of apartment rental for expats
- What it means to have local know-how
- How local architectural traditions shape accommodation in HK
Here is a useful guide on what you need to know about finding an apartment for rent in HK that perfectly suits your needs.
To begin with, expats get startled by a couple of things upon their first arrival which more often than not revolve around apartment size and culture. Some companies provide employees with housing allowances, a privilege that expats should certainly try to negotiate and take advantage of where possible.
STEP 1: Research is your new best friend
Searching for the appropriate place to stay and trying to factor in all the dynamics that shape this decision is very significant right from the start. Things like budget, proximity, amenities, nearby area and schooling all need to be taken into account. The advice of a friend, a colleague or an agent can prove extremely valuable in this case.
In fact, there is a variety of areas and suburbs to choose from, but expats should first consider their lifestyle needs thoroughly before securing housing. For instance, the cost of living farther from the central business district is lower, but this option may not be convenient for those who want to be near their workplace. The good news are that the local public transportation system is superbly organized, since it connects the different residential areas seamlessly.
STEP 2: Preferences over costs
The costs of living in Hong Kong can be expensive especially for expats. When put side by side with other major capitals of the world, HK apartment rentals take the rankings by surprise. Generally, the rent is paid on a monthly basis. Finding a suitable accommodation solution may end up to be an expensive endeavour to start with.
Nevertheless, high expat salaries tend to compensate for these costs. Hence the majority of apartment-seekers quickly realize that the vibe and energy of the city makes every penny worth it. The classic Chinese-style apartments are more reasonably priced, but they come to a huge contrast with what the Western expats had dreamed of. Certainly, the final decision should be in harmony with the other monthly expenses. Many companies may help you manage accommodation outlay offering loans to cover initial start-up expenses. The way to compensate the company would be through the expat’s salary at no interest on a monthly basis.
STEP 3: What about a tenancy agreement?
Signing a tenancy agreement with the landlord is a useful requirement for the security and peace of mind of all parties involved. If you are unsure about the conditions and the rules of the agreement, it is better to seek for a professional help either a rate agent or a lawyer. Most of the times, tenancy agreements are fairly straightforward and in standard format but if you come across any problem whatsoever the most advisable option is to ask for help. The key clauses that you should consider have to do with the so-called diplomatic clause which allows you to terminate the tenancy earlier for moving reasons to another country (an aspect that is effective after the first twelve months and, usually, requires two months’ written notice before you leave. Building insurance will probably be covered by the mutual owner or the landlord if it is a building in single ownership.
Apartment Rental for Expats Made Easy
Qi Homes Hong Kong, based on years of solid research and expertise, provides you with an all-round solution for your accommodation needs. Our trained agents are only a click or phone call away and are here to cater for every little detail. We are able to tailor our approach to your individual needs and help you through each and every step of the process.