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Property FAQ
We often get questions from our previous clients about the residential maze in Shanghai. Below you will find a selection of the most common which we think we be of help to your home search.

Question 1
What are the factors that affect on the rent?

Upon our several years experience in the rental market in Shanghai, the factors which affect on the rent will be as followed:
The interior deco of the apartment itself
This is obvious. The nicer the apartment is; the bigger the apartment is; the more expensive furnitures the landlords provide with; the more expensive the rent is going to.

This is quite understandable as well; The closer the apartment is to the metro station, the more expensive the apartment is; the closer the apartment is to the downtown area, the more expensive the rent is going to.

As we all know we have lots of different types of compounds in Shanghai for you to choose from, for instance modern western standard high-rise compounds; Nice renovated land house compounds; Serviced apartment compounds; Local Chinese buildings. If you live in a nicer compound, it means part of the rent that you pay to the landlord goes to the management office which provides you with the good security, beautiful environments, well-equipped gym facilities ECT.

Question 2
How would you negotiate with the landlord? What sort of things could you negotiate on an apartment?

First of all, the negotiation job should be our agent's responsibility (that's something which defines a good agent). When you look at apartments, you have to keep all the good things and bad things in mind, if you are interested in any one, you should make an offer to the agent, the offer should include how much you are willing to pay for this apartment (Normally the price that the agent tells you is the quoting price from the landlord, so it is negotiable.); what sort of furnitures you want the landlord to replace for you or move away for you; what sort of detailed things you would like the landlord to do for you (repainting the wall, changing the curtains ETC); what sort of things you want to the landlord to buy for you (I am talking about electrical appliances such as Oven, another TV, heater ETC). You agent will start negotiating with the landlord according to your offer and he will give you some feedback in terms of what sort of things the landlord agrees on and what sort of things the landlord refuses. You should analyze your own situation and make the second-round offer. The negotiation sometimes will go back and forth for a while and finally you will get what you want. If our agent feels the expectation from the landlord is way beyond your offer, he will tell you immediately and start looking for some other places for you to save your time.

Question 3
Who pays the commission?

We love to answer this question. The rental market in Shanghai is immethodical. Some sophisticated agencies will take advantage of foreign clients not understanding the language and charge both parties (the landlord and the client) money for commissions. We are here to tell you. In the High-end rental market in Shanghai (rent above 1,000 US$), the agency only charges the landlord the whole part of commission normally. Sometimes the landlord is only willing to pay part of it because of the negotiation on the rent, if this happens (only under this condition); the agency will charge the other part of the commission from the clients. If the rent is under 1,000 US$, the agency should charge both parties 35% as commissions.

Question 4
What kind of first payment is normal in this market?

After you sign the lease contract with the landlord, you have to contribute the first payment to him which includes the security deposit and the first rental payment. In the rental market in Shanghai, both 2-month rent security deposit, 1-month rent payment in advance and 1-month rent security deposit, 2-month rent payment in advance are reasonable; However, in the high-end rental market, the landlord will prefer to get a 2-month rent security deposit (because the property is worth more money). No matter 1 or 2 month security deposit you pay to the landlord, Lintel ensures that you will get them back after the lease expires. Because we will take care of your staying in the apartment during the lease term.

Question 5
What is the minimum lease term in Shanghai?

Serviced apartments are normally more expensive than the normal ones, but the quality will be a bit better and it comes with certain services such as house keeping, laundry ETC. The locations of the serviced apartments are normally in the CBD down area. Also with the serviced apartments, you could always get the flexibility on the lease term. So if you are single and always on your business trips or if you could only sign a short-term lease and you have the budget, the serviced apartments are going to be suitable for you, otherwise the normal apartments will be more lucrative for rent.

Question 6
Old renovated apartments or new apartments?

In the old French concession area in Shanghai, there are quite a lot of Old renovated apartments or lane house apartment which are available. But because of their unique style and plenty of people are looking for such places they are even more expensive than those new apartments. There is something you have to keep in mind: these old renovated apartments are located in the old Chinese neighborhood, they don't come with any management offices like the ones in those modern high-rise compounds, if the landlords don't do a great job renovating the places, there will be lots of trouble for you to deal with in the future. So if your budget allows you to find a very well renovated lane house apartment, we will suggest you to stay in one of those attractive apartments, you will surely enjoy the beauty of it; otherwise, we will strongly recommend you to stay in a new apartment, it will be more comfortable for your staying.

Question 7
If there is anything broken in the apartment, who should be responsible for it and who should I ask for help?

In the lease contract that you sign with the landlord, there will be clause saying "Repairs to damage caused during the tenancy by the tenant, other than normal wear and tear". So if the damage is caused by your abusing, you have to pay for the repair; if it's broken automatically due to its age, the landlord should be responsible for the maintenance. However, if there is anything broken in the apartment, the thing you should do is to go to the management office and call up your agent, our agent will help you to translate the problems to the management people and find the way to solve the problems ASAP.

Question 8
Which area in the best in Shanghai?

There is no single answer to this question, it really depends on your own situation and what you are looking for; you could find your own answer in our City Guider.

Question 9
What is the difference between the local clients and the foreign clients in the rental market?

First of all, in Lintel-Shanghai Clients are clients; there are no local and foreign differences to us. Second of all, we guarantee that all the prices that we give to our clients are the prices that we get from the landlords. No matter whom you are and where you are from. So there is no difference at all.

Question 10
What currency is used for the rental payment?

Usually, rents are quoted in US$ but paid in RMB. This matter is subject to negotiation with your landlord. Very few landlords now accept USD as the exchange rate is changing.

Question 11
What extra costs, such as utilities, should I include in my budget besides the rent? And how are they?

Utilities cover water, gas, electricity, phone, ADSL and Satellite TV fee. In addition, if you live in a normal apartment, you have to pay your own maid fee. And if you need a parking space you will usually have to an extra monthly fee on top of your rent. Utility costs really depend on how much you use every month. Water, gas will normally be quite cheap, your monthly bills will end up being RMB 60-70 in total for both. Electricity is the most expensive part; it depends on how often you use the ACs, if you keep the ACs on all day long, your bill will end up being RMB 1,000 around; telephone is the same depending on how many phone calls you make every month, you will have to pay RMB 25 per month to have the land line connection and each 3 minutes will cost you RMB 10 cents. ADSL cost is fixed, it depends on how fast internet you need in the apartment, the price ranges from RMB 110 per month to RMB 150 per month. Satellite TV will cost you about RMB 300 per year which is quite cheap comparatively. Maid charge is like RMB 10-20 per hour, it depends on what sort of things you want the maid to do for you.

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