Shenzhen China Living in a Modern Chinese Apartment
If you are already aware of the first tier city of Shenzhen, you will know that it is a new city full of young Chinese migrants from all over China. They migrate to the city because of the opportunities it gives them.
Shenzhen is a very young city in comparison to somewhere like New York City or London. But there are 1000’s of apartments to choose from – from old buildings to modern, small to big, and squat toilets to western style toilets. There is a vast array to choose from.
To give you an idea, whilst I am writing a this I am sitting in my 1 bedroom apartment in a high rise on the 27th Floor! It has a nice feel to the apartment and it is located in a modern block – and yes I do have a modern toilet. The size is about 60 square metres, and the rent is quite high. More about that later!
Security in Every Apartment Garden
Nearly all apartments here in Shenzhen have security guards on them, so you will be very safe in whichever kind of accommodation you choose. The locals will call each group of apartments ‘Gardens’ my apartment is situated in Oasis Gardens, Shixia – right in the heart of the city in a district called Futian District, surrounding us are several other districts such as Bo’An, Nanshan (Shekou) and Longgang. All within a half an hour drive of each other.
Old Apartments and Modern Apartments
There are many old buildings here in Shenzhen. Most of the old building don’t have elevators and don’t have any apartments higher than the eighth floor. In a lot of the old apartments there will be the floor style squat toilet where you have to crouch down! You get used to it! And in most of the old apartments, if you have a balcony, there are some grill like bars to stop you jumping out of the window, or throwing your dog off, whichever you like. The old buildings are cheaper to rent in Shenzhen than the new modernized apartments. Although landlords and homeowners are now refurbishing the old apartments to a high standard.
Old apartments and new all come equipped with hot water and air conditioning.
Safety is paramount in these big cities in China. Every floor is equipped with a fire hose and fire escape. I’ve witnessed one fire near a school that I was working at, it was in an old building with eight floors and the fire was on the first floor. The fire crew were well trained and safety measures, even in the old building, were up to date – the fire was extinguished without spreading to the other floors or apartments.
In Shenzhen many rules apply that you will find at home. Such as 2 months rent as a deposit, and one months rent upfront. Note if you find a house through an agent, there will be an agency fee incurred – half a months rent.
Renting Downtown Shenzhen Cost 1 Months Rent in a Modern Building
50 – 60 square meter 4500cny – 5500cny – 1 Bedroom
60 – 80 square meter 5500cny – 7000cny – 2 Bedroom
The rental prices above are approximate prices for the summer of 2017. The property boom in Shenzhen is massive, which in turn has created high rental fees on properties, and if you want to buy in the heart of Shenzhen, then you really should compare the prices to London house prices and you will be surprised. Just 3 years ago I was paying 3800cny per month for a one bedroom modern apartment in the same district.
Maintenance Fee’s: 150cny per month
Electric: 300cny per month
Gas: 100cny per month
Internet: 1000 cny for 10 months.
There are many agents on every street corner in Shenzhen, they either want to sell to you or can help you look for a rental. If you are short on time, then an agent is the best place to go and get help. Just remember, you have to sacrifice half a months rent (agent fee). I have used the same agent for the past two years, they are called LianJia and you can easily find them through google. If you have a teaching job and are working for a recruitment firm, they will help you find an apartment before you arrive – only if they are nice. Most apartment agents have at least one realtor who speaks English.
Landlords – I have never had any problems with landlords and have received my deposit back each and every time I have moved. I’ve moved four times in four years! The landlords don’t bother you, just make sure you pay your rent and bills on time.
Bills – Every apartment i’ve lived in – the landlord has provided me with a bank book. This is where all bills get debited from, just make sure you keep the bank book (account) topped up. My landlord now is excellent and I pay her via social media platform WeChat – WeChat has a payment system integrated, a bit like Apple Pay but more popular.
Neigbours – Everybody needs good neighbours right? Well neigbours are the same across the world, you will get good ones and bad. My current neigbours include 2 families – grandmas often walk with the babies up and down the corridoors! Some cooks – I’m not kidding these guys are running a take away from their apartment – obviously accepting payments through WeChat. And finally two foreigners who share a 2 bedroom apartment and split the rent. If you can do this, then it’s the best way – sharing!
Don’t forget you need to have 2 months rental deposit, and 1 month upfront and include the agent fee’s when making your plan to come to lovely Shenzhen. There are many modern apartments and new builds, check that each apartment you look at has fire equipment. And always haggle to try and get a bit of a discount. If you like having a balcony, tell the agent. If you don’t like living high, tell the agent. And most agents have an English Speaker at hand.
Good Luck in your House Searching in Shenzhen!
Extra – Washing Machines in China
Most of the apartments are equipped with a washing machine. They are the kind of washing machine which you open from the top. All of the washing machines that I have had don’t have a hot water pipe. Clothes are cleaned with cold water. Which doesn’t really bother me. If I need to really scrub some stains out of clothes I will use the hot water and the sink! When you go into the electrical stores you will see many of the washing machines like in England, but they cost a lot so that’s why landlords don’t invest in them.