Your Personal Rental Property Checklist

Looking through rental properties is exciting but can be an exhausting and overwhelming process. Whether you’re pressed for time or eager to make a decision, you could settle with a rental property that only partially meets your needs. No matter if you’re using an agent or searching yourself, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re paying market price when you decide on a property.

To help you navigate the rental minefield we’ve created a rental property checklist with some tips to help you filter your rental search and find the property of your dreams in Shanghai.

To start off, we suggest you make a detailed outline of your needs and create a MUST HAVE list and LIKE TO HAVE list so you can view each property with a clear idea of what your wants and needs are.

The Property

– Is the property developer or privately owned?
– Who handles the maintenance?
– Is it 24/7 English speaking?
– Does the property have central heating or wall mounted?
– When was it last updated?
– Does the property require updating in the kitchens, bathrooms or rooms?
– Has the property been altered in any way?
– Has the property been recently decorated?
– If you have pets then ask if it is pet friendly?
– Are the rooms big enough for your requirements?
– Are there enough bathrooms?
– Is there enough storage for all of your belongings?
– Does it have basic facilities you may need like a dishwasher, oven, or washing machine?
– Does it have a home office?
– Are there enough outlets in convenient locations?
– What is and isn’t included in the property lease?
– Are the windows double-glazed?
– Is there damp anywhere?
– Has the property been well maintained?
– Does it have a private or shared garden?
– Does the property get enough natural light?
– Why is the previous lessee moving out?
– What are the compounds facilities like?


– What are the closest methods of transportation?
– How far away is it from your work?
– How far is it away from international schools?
– What are the neighbors like?
– What is the community like?
– Are the surroundings noisy?
– Are there any restaurants or bars nearby?
– Where are the closest shops?
– Is it close to any major roads or flight paths overhead?
– Is there allocated parking if needed?
– Are there any plans for development near or around the property?
– What is the area’s crime level?
– Overall, could you see yourself living there?

Once you decide on the perfect property to rent, you’ll then need to prepare for the big move! Whether you’re moving into a house or an apartment, there are many things to consider at both the old and new locations. Here is a count-down moving checklist to help you manage the move.

6-8 Weeks Before Moving
– Book a moving company
– Pre-plan and schedule repairs to be done
– Redirect your emails

2-4 Weeks Before Moving
– Organize your contents insurance
– Disconnect current utilities
– Connect all utilities for the new property
– Change your address (banks, license, subscriptions)
– Discontinue any delivery services
– Transfer all your accounts (payTV etc)

Day Before Moving
– Complete packing
– Confirm details with the moving company
– Clean as much as you can

Moving Day
– Complete your condition report
– Change the locks of your new property (check with landlord beforehand)
– Final clean
– Check the old property to make sure nothing is left behind

If you have any other questions or personal concerns, feel free to contact me at and I’d be happy to assist. Happy hunting!

adrienne farrellyAdrienne 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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