General Questions


Is there a fee that I must pay for Maxview’s service for finding my home?


You do not need to pay for our service. The landlord will pay an agency fee once the lease agreement is signed. In China, But rest assured, despite this arrangement, we always negotiate on your behalf. Most of our business is from existing client referrals and long-term corporate clients. We'd like to keep it that way.


When should I start the home search process?


We suggest that you start searching for a place one or two months before your desired lease commencement date. If you start house hunting too early, generally landlords will not agree to hold their properties for you, thus diminishing the chance of negotiating the best lease rates for you. But there's no harm in looking earlier. We'd be pleased to integrate an orientation tour into the property inspection schedule. It's unlikely that you'll be able to select the actual home at an early date, but you can narrow down the options, allowing for a quicker property search later on.


What type of housing is available for rent?


Like all major cities around world, properties available in China include apartments, townhouses and villas. There is one particular type of property that differentiates Shanghai, called “Lao Yang Fang” in Chinese or Old Lane House or Old Garden House in English. It is a type of historic building built from the 1920’s to the 1940’s and mainly located in the former French Concession (the center of town). Most Lao Yang Fang have been newly renovated in a charming style, However, the old plumbing or wiring hidden inside the house may cause inconvenience to new tenants. Furthermore, the local environment could seem like an adventure, but it can also be a potential problem in terms of communication, safety and privacy. Try not to stay in Lao Yang Fang if you are new in town.


Are most of the properties furnished in Shanghai?


Yes. Most of the properties are furnished. However, some landlords can be flexible to remove part or all the furniture while some landlords may refuse to remove any furniture simply because it is too much trouble to find someplace to store them. In some newly developed compounds, you may also request that the landlord decorate the property according to your taste, such as purchasing the furniture together with the landlord or simply receiving a furniture allowance to buy the furniture by yourself.


What is included in an expat property lease?


Typically, besides property usage rights, the property lease includes major appliances, management, satellite TV fees, lighting and curtains or blinds. Expat houses and some high-end apartments will have dishwashers and clothes dryers. Expat apartments are often furnished, while houses are often semi-furnished or unfurnished. Depending on the rent, furniture can often be negotiated into a lease. Family club memberships are normally included in a house lease. If required, utility subsidies are included at cost as are parking spaces at apartment towers.


Is a parking space included in the lease?


At expat apartments, if they are to be included in a lease, parking spaces must be specified in the Tenancy Agreement and are an additional fee starting from about USD120/month. Apartments in Shanghai are not sold with parking spaces and few landlords buy parking spaces. Therefore, parking spaces are included in the lease at cost. For expat house leases, parking is in your garage or for free on the street outside your house.


Is house-keeping included in the lease?


House keeping is rarely included in the lease in Shanghai. Some serviced apartments provide a fixed number of cleaning days a week. Although unusual, some landlords may agree to provide a housekeeping subsidy in the lease. Please check your employer's housing policy to ensure that house-keeping may be included in a corporate lease.

Why are rents low at brand new properties?


When a property first opens, some landlords offer low rents as they are eager to rent out their new property as soon as possible. But you might have to put up with construction noise and small problems typical with any new property. Also, the gym might not be ready. The plus is that you're locked into a low rent and if it's unfurnished, you might be able to choose the furniture. 


Lease Contract and Payment Terms


What details should I consider about my apartment before signing the lease?


Washer and dryer: In China, it is quite common that the washing machine doesn’t connect to hot water or have a heating function. Additionally, dryers are less popular since many Chinese prefer to hang their clothes outside. If you absolutely must have these appliances