Apart from Student Halls that you may apply for residential, you may also consider exploring accommodations outside the campus. Students may choose to rent a private apartment or share a flat with other CHCHE students.
However, renting off-campus is challenging. Before taking action, you should look through the rental procedures and guidelines listed on the “Tenancy Guide for Non-local Students in Hong Kong” (非本地學生在香港租屋指南) published by Estate Agents’ Authority (地產代理監管局).
Step 1: Readiness
Before taking action on renting a flat, you are advised to prepare yourself and list out your expectations upon living off-campus.
You may take reference of the checklist below:
Step 2: Start looking for apartments
To start looking for apartments, you may first gather information from property agencies or via rental websites. While contacting with property agencies, it is better to verify the licences of the agencies from the licence list. Before deciding an agent, it is also important to read through the information from the Estate Agents Authority (地產代理監管局).
Step 3: Budgeting
Budgeting is an important procedure before deciding to rent an apartment, apart from rent there are other expenses that you may need to take into account when living off-campus.
Other expenses such as:
- Commission for property agent – if you rent through a property agent, normally you will have to pay a fee around 50% of you monthly rent as commission. However, if you rent directly from the landlord, there is no need to pay any commission.
- Deposit – this is a fee that you normally pay in advance to the landlords. It is normally equivalent to one month’s rent. However, it is subject to agreement between tenant and landlord.
- Stamp Duties – this is the fee collected by the government on “stamping” the tenancy agreement. The cost is shared equally by the landlord and the tenant, and is calculated according to the rent level.
Useful information – How is stamp duty calculated on a tenancy document?
- Miscellaneous expenses – these expenses may include buying furniture and other household items when you move into a new house. It is better to include these expenses in you budget accordingly.
You may follow the example checklist below to estimate your rental cost:
Step 4: Site-visit and checking
Normally, before site visiting, the tenant has to sign a document called “Estate Agency for Leasing of Residential Properties in Hong Kong” which is about the responsibility between tenant and agent.
It is advised to verify the identity of the landlord and the property status to avoid subletting.
When site-visit, it is better to go with a friend or a relative to ensure your safety and helping out on checking the condition of the apartment. There are various aspects you may want to inspect such as: view of the apartment, renovation status, public facilities around the apartment, fire prevention facilities, furniture condition, front door, water leakages, bathroom, living room, bedroom, kitchen, etc.
Step 5: Tenancy agreement
Sharing a flat
Living off-campus alone might be challenging and costly. Hence, sharing the flat with other HKCHC classmates may be a valuable choice. Since the rent will be shared between you and your flatmate, the expenses will be reduced. For a 2 bedroom flat, you may consider to have around 2-3 flatmates. However, you shall seek agreement with the landlord about the numbers of tenants in the flat.
Before deciding to share a flat with your flat mate, you are advised to laydown agreements with your flatmate about details within the accommodation period. You may take reference of the following questions.
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