Finding a home to rent in Suzhou is probably one of the first things you need to take care of upon arrival. Luckily, there are many types of accommodation you can rent in Suzhou. Our article introduces us to these, offers advice on the apartment search, the rental agreement, and much more.
Different Types of Accommodation in Suzhou
While there are different types of accommodation for every need, most expats who move to Suzhou settle down in the big cities where large apartment blocks are the norm. However, there are different types of accommodation you can rent in Suzhou:
• Regular apartments: this is where most expats live! Regular apartments are not always in great shape, but they are perfect if you are on a budget.
• High-end apartment complexes: the home of well-to-do expats! These apartments are usually new, furnished, and offer a higher living standard. They are more expensive than regular apartments, though.
• Serviced apartments: perfect for business people on a longer assignment (i.e. a few weeks or months)! They provide the luxury of hotels but with more space. However, this luxury comes at a price.
• Villa communities: usually the home of those with an expat package! While spacious, well-furnished, and the perfect environment for families with kids, these are hardly affordable for most expats and often located far from the city centers.
• Traditional Chinese housing: the place travelers and hipsters like to rent in Suzhou! Traditional housing makes for a unique experience. However, these places are often run-down and less secure, considering that they are usually located at street level.
Enlisting a Real Estate Agent
As mentioned above, hiring a real estate agent might be inevitable. This is not necessarily a bad thing as they will be able to find just the right place for you to rent in Suzhou, and to negotiate the contract with your prospective landlord. Unfortunately, English-speaking real estate agents are rather rare in China. If you are not confident that your Mandarin is good enough, you should bring an interpreter when meeting up with your real estate agent.
If you want to be on the safe side, ask for some recommendations from other expats. Not every realtor is reliable, after all, and you will want to get a good service for your money. It also helps to know what to expect in rent, so that you know if the apartments your realtor shows you are reasonably priced. Try to make yourself very clear when explaining what you want in terms of area, size, and rent in Suzhou. You will not have to pay any commission until you and your landlord have signed the rental agreement. Then, the commission should be about one month’s rent.