Finally, last Saturday we handed back the keys to our old apartment. Renting a new apartment in China is actually pretty quick, easy and pain free (in my experience) but when you overlap your dates of moving into a new place and getting the keys to a day place it can make you a little lazy. Also, having over three years of “stuff” that seems to have been collected takes a lot of time to move.
After living in the same apartment for two years we decided we wanted a change of scenery so we went on the hunt for a new place. That hunt lasted a couple of hours.
During a bike ride we took in the October holiday, Harry and I saw an apartment block we liked the look of (from the outside) and kept it in mind for when we actually started looking. Getting a place in China, or Chengdu at least, really is very simple. (Side note, it helps if you can speak Chinese or have a Chinese friend or colleague that’s willing to help you out a bit.)
We found a letting agent nearby the block of apartments we had already had our eye on. We told them our requirements (two bedrooms and a balcony) and away we went.
Our letting agent took us around some available apartments. Four in fact. We decided to look at the first one we had viewed one more time before going home. This was a key factor in our decision! The second time we viewed it we were completely in love with it, so we said yes!
We put down a small (100rmb approximately £100) holding deposit before signing the contract. This made sure the apartment wouldn’t sneakily be let to anyone else while we waited to sign. And with that, we returned home and left out letting agent to it! She called the landlord, “haggled” a price (the apartment was more than affordable anyway but she said we’d be able to get 100rmb/£10 off of the rent every month so, why not?) and arranged a date for us all to meet and sign contracts.
Due to us having plans the following day, we met with our landlord two days after visiting the apartment. We signed the contracts, did the handover and were then treated to an afternoon of fun and dinner with our new landlords! They were very happy to have us as their new tenants to say the least.
That was it. We went from starting to look around to having the keys for our new apartment in just two days. And this is what we got for our money (all 2200rmb/£220 a month of it):
Two pretty large balconies (with awesome views of the river and city) and an extra utility balcony
Two bedrooms – noone needs to see the second one right now. It’s acting as our storage space. (but it’ll be ready by the time you arrive next year, mum and dad!)
A cosy lounge with windowsill/seat
A kitchen and a pretty funky bathroom (complete with an all important sit down toilet!)
Life in China really is very comfortable!