Vietnam has been chosen as a popular travelling and living place recently by a lot of foreigners. More than 100,000 foreigners are living here and many of them have called Vietnam their next home. Finding a new apartment to rent in a brand new country might be challenging at the first sight, but you will see it not difficult at all with proper planning and careful consideration. Let’s go through the standard process below before taking actions.
1. Figure out your budget and your needs
You need to calculate your total monthly income to see how much you can afford for a rental. Advisors suggest that you should spend from 25 to 35 percent of your net income on monthly rent. Additionally, some landlords or building owners leave utilities fees (like water, electricity, Internet, cleaning, etc.) for tenants to pay; thus, you may add extra 500,000VND – 1,000,000VND to your budget. Once you determine the maximum amount, let it lead your hunt so that you can ensure no overspending happens.
It is important that you sketch out the ideal apartment that you want to rent. Do list down all requirements: from location, surrounding convenience, number of rooms, furnished appliances to included services like laundry or cleaning. In case not all items in your wish-list can be met, it’s better to divide them into “must-have” and “optional” so that you can narrow down prospect scope and also have a back-up plan in different situations.
2. Find a housing agent
It is the best way to find an available apartment since you don’t have to worry about language barrier which may lead to miscommunication. There are many agents supporting expats which can be found on the Internet and you can actually work with some agents at the same time. Because the landlord has to pay commission fee when the deal is signed, contacting several ones will give you more chances. Once your requirements are ready, just give them to the agents and they will revert to you with the potentials. One of the good agents is alphahousing, you can contact them for advice
3. Take a tour of proposed units
Landlords are always willing to show you their apartment to tenants in person. So, don’t hesitate to ask the agents to set an appointment for site check. Meanwhile, if there is any points need to be clarified, raise your voice with the presence of 2 other parties. And you should pay attention to the surrounding area as well since your neighbors or security status can have a big impact on your living condition.
4. Ink the deal
Once you agree to rent an apartment, you need to sign a lease contract with the landlord. The standard leasing period is at least 3 months and you are often required to make a deposit (equivalent to rent amount of 1 or 2 months) right after the contract is signed. Even when deposit is made, it can’t be taken back in case you change your mind. Make sure that you read all the terms carefully and all agreed points in verbal discussion are reflected on the paper. You may ask a Vietnamese friend help you cross-check Vietnamese part in dual language contract before you sign on the dotted line, too.
5. Arrange your settlement
Do notify the landlord 1-2 weeks before you move in so that they can clean the house and get everything ready. Besides, it’s good to check again with them about parking and elevator in the building to move things up since some have quite strict regulations on this. Last but not least, ask the owner to walk through the house with you just right before putting your stuffs. And if you notice any spoilages or damages, remember to take pictures and show the landlord, too. This later will protect you from being responsible for any damages caused by others.
The process can be demanding for first time tenants, especially foreigners. Be smart to plan as early as possible before you arrive in Vietnam to make a better decision about where to live. Hope that those instructions will help you succeed in searching a dream home in the country no matter how long you will live here.