Rent an Apartment in Shanghai

You pay your rent directly to the landlord via bank transfer, WeChat Pay, Alipay or by cash. The rent is usually transferred in Chinese Yuan

In most cases the owners require 2month deposit. The deposit will be returned to your bank account the day your lease expires.

Yes, you may have to pay additional costs such as property management fees, utility bills (electricity, water, and gas), and internet and cable TV fees.

In Shanghai the minimum lease term for most apartments is 1 year. Some landlords are also willing to rent out their apartment for 6 month, however the rental price might increase slightly.

In Shanghai lease contracts cannot be terminated during the lease term. If you need to terminate your contract you will lose your deposit. However, in many cases it is possible to find a tenant who might want to take over your current lease. Therefore, you can get back your deposit

Subletting is generally allowed, but you should check your lease agreement and discuss it with your landlord or agency. They might have specific rules and conditions.

When signing the lease, you would need your passport or a picture of your passport. The rental contract will be provided by the agency.

To secure an apartment you have to sign the rental contract. However, in Shanghai the owner requires a small security deposit which can be deducted from your deposit. Before you transfer any money always make sure that you have received the ownership certificates and a copy of the ID card of the landlord.

The agency fee in Shanghai is 35% of 1month rent. You will need to pay the agency fee when signing the lease agreement or shortly after finalizing the deal.


Most apartments in Shanghai are already fully furnished. However, if you need to remove or add some additional furniture, we can assist you to discuss it with the landlord.

Yes, in Shanghai all apartments have Air Conditioning in all rooms. All Air Conditioners have cold as well as warm air. Some newer apartments in Shanghai also feature floor or wall heating.

You can easily bring your utility bills to any corner store such as 711 or Family Mart and pay there by cash. Moreover, you can also pay your bills via WeChat or Alipay.

A Fapiao is a formal taxed receipt issued by the Shanghai tax office. The tax for rental fapiao in Shanghai is 3.5% of the monthly rent which is usually added to the rental price. The landlord will help you to issue the VAT invoice, it usually takes several working days.

Any foreigner living in Shanghai has to register with the local police station within 24hours after arriving. If you are staying at a hotel, they will do this for you when you check in. However, when you are renting your own apartment or live in a shared apartment you have to go to the closest police station to apply for a temporary residence permit. We will help you with the local police registration.

About Shanghai

The air quality in Shanghai is pretty good compared to other big cities in China. However, if you stay for a longer time in Shanghai, we would recommend to buy an air purifier for your apartment.

73% of the water catchment areas that supply surface water to Shanghai were affected by high pollution levels and is therefore undrinkable. We would suggest buying bottle water, or installing water filters in your apartment.

Summers are hot and humid the most pleasant seasons are spring and autumn and winters are chilly and damp and temperature can drop below 0°C

Shanghai offers various expat-friendly neighborhoods. Popular choices include the Former French Concession (Xuhui District), Jing’an District, Huangpu District and Changning District.

Any foreigner, visiting or living in Shanghai, has to register with the local police within 24 hours. Apart from those who live in hotels or service apartment, people had to go to a police station to register their temporary residence – find out the correct police station, prepare lots of documents,etc. That’s quite complicated especially for those need to re-register their temporary residence every time enter to China.

Now, Expats landing in Shanghai can register their temporary residence online with only 3 steps!

Open the link: https://gaj.sh.gov.cn/crj/24hr/web/zcbd/login?locale=en_US

It just takes a few minutes to sign-up yourself, use a valid e-mail address and a safe password. After you created the account, log in.

Fill in the declaration form:

  1. Upload a picture of your passport
  2. Upload a picture personal info page
  3. Fill in your address in Shanghai, including street, building, and room number
  4. Fill in the date of arrival
  5. Fill in your date of departure
  6. Fill in a valid telephone number

Please agree to the terms and conditions and click “submit.”

Congratulation : Declaration completed!

After submitting, you will receive a confirmation message via E-Mail. The registration process will be finished within 60 minutes and an E-Mail will be sent to your inbox including the police registration form

Latest Posts

Compare listings