Teaching in China: How to Find a Suitable Housing?


Finding suitable housing when you decide to teach English in China can be a challenge, particularly for foreigners who are unfamiliar with the local housing market. In this article, we will discuss some of the key factors to consider when searching for a place to live in China, as well as some tips for navigating the local housing market.

The first step in finding a suitable place to live in China is to determine your budget and your preferred location. Rent prices can vary significantly depending on the city and the neighborhood, so it’s important to have a clear idea of your budget before you start your search. You should also consider factors such as proximity to public transportation, access to amenities like shopping and restaurants, and the safety and security of the neighborhood.

Once you have a clear idea of your budget and preferred location, you can start your search for a place to live in China. There are several ways to do this, including:

  • Online listings: There are several websites and apps that list apartments and houses for rent in China, including popular platforms like 58.com and Anjuke.com. These sites often have a wide range of listings, but it’s important to be cautious and do your research before making any commitments.
  • Real estate agents: Working with a local real estate agent can be a good option if you’re unfamiliar with the local housing market or don’t speak Chinese fluently. A good agent can help you find properties that meet your needs and negotiate with landlords on your behalf.
  • Social media groups: There are many social media groups on platforms like WeChat and Facebook that cater to foreigners living in China. These groups can be a good resource for finding apartments and houses for rent, as well as connecting with other expats in your area.

Once you’ve found a few potential properties, it’s important to take the time to visit each one in person and assess its suitability. When visiting a property, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Size and layout: Make sure the property is large enough to meet your needs, and that the layout is suitable for your lifestyle. For example, if you work from home, you may need a separate room for a home office.
  • Amenities: Check that the property has all the amenities you need, such as a functioning kitchen, a washing machine, and reliable internet access.
  • Condition: Assess the condition of the property, including any necessary repairs or maintenance. It’s also a good idea to check for signs of damp or mold, which can be common in some areas of China.
  • Security: Consider the safety and security of the property, including the presence of security guards or CCTV cameras, and the security of the building’s entrances and exits.

Once you’ve found a property that meets your needs, it’s important to negotiate the terms of the lease with the landlord. In China, it’s common for landlords to ask for a deposit equivalent to two or three months’ rent, as well as the first month’s rent upfront. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the terms of the lease, including the length of the lease and any provisions for renewing or terminating the lease early.

Finally, it’s important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in China. The Chinese legal system can be complex, so it’s a good idea to consult with a legal professional or a local expat organization to ensure you understand your legal rights and obligations.

In conclusion, finding suitable housing can be a challenging process for foreign teachers who are teaching in China, but with careful planning and research, it’s possible to find a place to live that meets your needs and fits your budget. By considering factors such as location, amenities, and security, and by negotiating the terms of your lease carefully, you can ensure that your experience of living in China is a positive and enjoyable one.