Tips on Lowering Rentals

Many expatriates out there have asked me about bargaining when it comes to their Shanghai rental accommodation, so I have out together some advice.

Whilst there is oversupply of local housing, there is a supply of good quality properties and huge reduction from asking prices aren’t possible. Discounts range between 10 to 15% of original asking price but the final rental depends on other factors. Most landlords provide a furnished property for expatriates. A second hand property should be freshly painted and any damages repaired. Electrical lines, appliances and plumbing should be serviced with evidence of this given to tenant. Property agents will usually charge a landlord/tenant or both for renewing a lease so ensure that your period is lengthy enough. You can sign a 3 year lease with an option to renew in the second and third year at the same rental amount or market price. Rentals prices are “asking prices”. Final rentals are influenced by a number of criteria. Below is some advice on negotiations:


The landlord may not want to lower the rental due to the following reasons:

  • The property is of good quality
  • Landlord has better offers in hand
  • Landlord not in hurry to rent out property
  • Landlord may believe property is of certain value
  • Landlord may not want to pay full commission
  • The agent’s lack of experience in negotiations
  • The agents need of a high commission


A prospective tenant can get lower rentals if they follow some of the advice below:

  • Pay rent on quarterly basis
  • Don’t request for extra items
  • Don’t ask to remove items
  • Pay rent in USD
  • Sign a longer lease term than requested
  • Take the property unfurnished (if not furnished)
  • Commence the contract as soon as possible
  • Don’t get and offical tax reciept (Fapiao) unless necessary

More housing advice can be found HERE!

Adrienne black top - small

Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties


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