Even if you have an agent it is still a good idea to be able to negotiate your way through your own lease negotiations. These points below cover the basic items that you will need to cover before signing your lease.
Landlord/Developer – Find out if the property is owned by a Developer or Private Landlord. If it is owned by a in individual then get their country of residence so you can allow for possible delays in negotiations, payments and services.
Payment – If the rent agreed is in USD and paid in RMB then base it on a fixed exchange rate (usually the Bank of China) and agree on a fixed total RMB amount.
Rent & security deposit – One month’s rental and two month’s refundable security deposit are paid once the contract has been signed. Contracts are a relatively new form of agreement in modern China and the legal system is still evolving, so the payment of money secures the property more than signing a lease.
Management – Get a copy of the services and responsibilities of the management. Understand who is responsible for what as well as response times and what to do if emergency repairs are needed. Get signed reports that all the property’s appliances have been cleaned, checked and repaired.
Management fee – Property compounds employ a company for maintenance and management services. A monthly management fee is charged for these services. The fee is usually paid by the landlord . Ensure you find out who is responsible for paying this fee.
Official receipt – If your company needs an official receipt (fapio), ensure this is included in the offer. Some landlords try to avoid paying tax and prefer tenants who don’t need an official receipt (fapio). Most companies will need one fi they are paying housing but if you paying by yourself then you won’t.
Official receipt – If your company needs an official receipt (fapio), ensure this is included in the offer. Some lanExtra furniture, equipment & other items – If extra furniture, equipment and other items are provided, find out the budget and how purchase will take place. Ensure the amount is enough to buy items that won’t break or wear quickly. .lords try to avoid paying tax and prefer tenants who don’t need an official receipt (fapio). Most companies will need one fi they are paying housing but if you paying by yourself then you won’t.
Sports club card – Ensure membership is provided to the sports club and find out what is free and charged.
Utilities – Find out what are the approx monthly utility bills such as electricity, gas and water. Are utilities metered as user pays and is there a service fee attached to it? Who covers installation and payment of IDD and ADSL lines and how long they will take to install? What TV channels are available and who pays the satellite TV fees.
Taxes – The landlord should be responsible for any business tax and property tax related to leasing the property.
Insurance -The landlord should be responsible for the premises and provisions and the tenant insure their own belongings.
Legal ownership -Ensure the landlord is the legal owner of the leased property and has all the necessary papers to prove it.
Sale of property – Ensure that your lease remains valid if the property is sold.
Renovations – If the property needs renovations, ensure they are listed and added to the contract to ensure they are done by the time you move in. Instruct your agent to write a time frame of all renovations and follow up on its progress with updates. Visit the property a few times to check on quality etc. (don’t worry if it looks like a “war zone”) If you are concerned about delays, add a clause that wither rent won’t be charged and/or alternative accommodation will be provided if renovations aren’t completed on time.
Expiration of contract – On expiration of the contract, after all bills and/or damages are paid, the deposit should be refunded in its original currency within one week. If you are concerned that your deposit is earning interest, ask for a copy of the account’s bank statement.
Attachments – Ensure that any attachments are referred to in the contract, are an inseparable part of it and are equally enforceable.
Disputes – It is recommended that you negotiate to resolve any disputes that arise and get your agent involved as early as possible. There is not a highly developed legal system for disputes in China.
Language – Contracts are written in both Chinese and English languages with the Chinese version generally having the legal power in the event of disputes.
Source: Shanghai Housing