Find an apartment in Shanghai

More and more expats are choosing to live and work in China and for many renting apartment is the first step to a new life here. Here are some tips and suggestions.


1. Agencies you can choose to get accommodation information

To get accommodation information, you may need to consider approaching real estate agencies for assistance. Here are some agencies commonly known in China.

Real estate agencies Telephone number
5i5j 021-400-851-5515
Centaline Property
Ziroom 021-400-100-1111
Shanghai Lianjia  021-1010-9666 021-400-850-8888 021-400-620-9008


2. How to find the perfect apartment

(1) Contact the landlord or a local agency

You can choose to contact the landlord directly to rent an apartment. You can also find the listing and follow up the rental process through a housing agency if you are new to the city. A reliable agency with qualifications can provide you with better service and protect your legal rights as much as possible. Many agencies also have their own websites and mobile apps, so you can search for listings based on your needs.

(2) Choose the apartment that suits you the best

There are many factors to consider when looking for an apartment. For example, the rent, the distance from work or school, and the security environment and supporting facilities of the community.

(3) Sign the contract

Once you find your favored apartment, you need to sign a contract with the landlord. You will need to show your passport or other documents required by the relevant regulations. You can also ask the landlord to show you their ownership certificate and ID. Please pay attention to the clauses covering your obligations and consequences of any breach in the contract. If you have any questions about the contract, you can ask the landlord or the agency.

(4) After the contract is signed, you need to go to the local police station to register with relevant materials such as your passport and the contract. The specific process can be discovered at the local public security department.


3. Other suggestions

(1) After moving in, please carefully fulfill the obligations in the contract and the regulations of the community. For example, some contracts will state that pets or overnight guests are not allowed. If you share with other tenants, taking into consideration each other's living habits will make your daily life more enjoyable.

(2) You can file a complaint with the local housing and construction department if your legal rights and interests are infringed during the rental period.

(3) You can negotiate with the landlord whether to renew the contract or not when it expires. If you want to change your place of residence, you will usually need to register at the police station nearest to your new residence.

Note:It is common to prepay three months of rent and one month rent deposit.



4. Rent a house on "Suishenban" app 

If you know some basic Chinese, you may search for accommodation information using the "Suishenban" app or WeChat mini-program.


(1) Open the "Suishenban" WeChat mini-program, "Suishenban" APP or Alipay mini-program, search for "I want to rent a house" on the homepage, and select "Map for finding a house". After entering the service page, the system will automatically locate the current location and display the number of rental houses in each district of Shanghai with the current location as the center.


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(2) It supports the map screening of administrative districts, towns and communities. You can click on the circle or zoom in and out of the screen to view the number and information of houses in the corresponding range.

(3) You can select according to administrative districts, housing types, area sections and apartment types according to actual needs.

(4) You can also click the "Screening" button to enter the advanced screening page with more screening conditions: rental method, floor, decoration and rent, and accurately select your favorite housing.

(5) You can directly enter the name or address of the community to search, or click the "Locate" button to view the number of houses in nearby streets.


You can also visit to access information regarding rental properties in Shanghai.


Sources: City News Service, Government Online-Offline Shanghai,