There are a variety of living situations available in Taiwan. Outside of the city, rent drops considerably and it might be in your best interest to look for places that are outside of the city, but an easy commute.
Check out several different places before you put down any money or sign a lease. Evaluate what is important to you in a home. Do you want to pay as little as possible? Is it important what part of town you live in? Will you be happy living without certain luxuries. Be honest with yourself, the place needs to suit you. Note that many Taiwanese apartments are guarded and come with a gym.
Finding a place can be difficult if you are not able to communicate in Chinese. Many ads are only listed in Chinese.
Put out the word that you are looking for an apartment and expand your chances of finding an amazing home. It is not unusual for a friend or close contact to have a place to rent.
An unusual but sometimes fruitful approach is to ask the security guards. Owners of apartments will usually tell their security guard if they are looking to rent it out. Most of the time you will need to speak Chinese, so if you cannot, bring a Taiwanese friend.
Many papers offer extensive classified sections. These are usually available in print, as well as online.
Besides online newspaper classified's, there are many different search engines geared to searching for housing.These include:
Online forums of foreigners living in Taiwan are great sources when renting an apartment. They often hold advice and listings of a range of accommodations. Some of the most popular in Taiwan are: Forumosa and Tealit. EIT is also a helpful site for classified's.
Try to make a good impression when looking at apartments. Arrive on time, dress neatly, and be on your best behavior. Feel free to ask questions about the space like:
1) How long is the lease?
2) When is the move-in date?
3) How much is the security deposit?
4) Are utilities included in the rent? If not, how much are they?
5) Are pets allowed?
You will need to sign a formal lease to rent an apartment. Make sure you are clear on all points of the contract as this is a legally binding contract. If the contract is in Chinese and you are not familiar with Chinese, or not enough to understand the strained legal jargon, have a third party inspect the contract and make sure you truly understand the document.
Most apartments require a one year contract. This can be difficult when you are uncertain about visas and the length of time you will be allowed to stay. Leaving before the end of the contract can come with a substantial fee. Make sure of your time commitment before signing a lease.
Standard practice for landlords is to ask you for two months rent up front as a deposit. This should be returned at the end of the lease if you have not violated the contract or permanently damaged the residence. The landlord may keep all the bills in his or her name, but you will be responsible to paying them every month. Make sure this is clarified before signing. Landlords rarely cause problems in Taiwan, but it is important to understand every aspect of the agreement and be able to adhere to it before committing to it.
Looking for cheap accommodation in Taipei isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.
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