So you started your flat hunting and had a look at several properties in Taiwan? Great!
What are the last traps and pitfalls to avoid before making your final decision?
Taipei’s apartments are particular. They have many unexpected differences which might surprise inexperienced renters in this city.
Make sure that you verified all the items in this checklist to make an educated decision.
Inside or Outside Windows?
Outside windows (windows facing outside), are not standard in Taipei. Many apartments have bedrooms with inside windows (windows facing the common areas of the apartment) or no windows at all.
This is because windows mean more heat in the summer. And many people would rather keep their bedrooms cool and fresh. Rooms with outside windows can easily reach 35 degrees Celsius on a hot summer day in Taipei.
However, many young Taiwanese and westerners still prefer having their outside windows. They prefer having the sunlight in the morning and during the day.
If outside windows are important for you, you should absolutely check whether the bedroom you are looking at has outside windows.
What is the minimum contract length?
Traditionally, landlords in Taiwan only accept minimum contract durations of 12 months rent. This means that you either can’t rent the apartments for a shorter period of time, or that you have to find someone to take over your lease. This is still common practice in 2020.
Before we started My Room Abroad, we have seen hundreds of foreigners losing their deposits because they couldn’t find the next tenant. The reason why it can be hard to find the next tenant is timing. There are 2 big waves of arrivals and of people moving in Taiwan: in February (after Chinese New Year) and in September. If you need to leave your apartment in Taiwan at a different time, you might not find a replacement and lose your entire deposit.
If you don’t stay for 12 months, you are in luck. Since 2015, we have been relentlessly trying to convince landlords to accept shorter term rentals. With success! Most of the landlords on My Room Abroad accept mid-term rentals (3-5 months). And several even accept monthly rentals.
Bathrooms: How many bathrooms? Are they Wet or Dry?
- Wet bathrooms have no separation between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. This can be surprising at first. This is the most common bathroom type in Taiwan.
- Dry bathrooms have a shower curtain or real separation between the shower and the rest of the bathroom.
Most of the apartments in Taiwan have wet bathrooms. This can be surprising at first. However, you quickly get used to it and it comes with its advantages. Most wet bathrooms end up remaining very clean, because you can quickly and regularly rinse the entire bathroom at the end of each shower.
If however you prefer to stick to dry bathrooms, make sure to verify the bathroom type before booking your room.
Picture/gif: Verify the bathroom type on the listing you like
Picture/gif: Search property by bathroom type
Video Testimonial: wet bathroom is not too bad (track if pple actually read until here)
Does it have a REAL kitchen?
Another major difference with western flats is that kitchens are not standard in Taipei’s apartments.
- Most people eat outside in the many restaurants and night markets of the city.
- In addition, Taipei is a very dense metropolis. Therefore, most apartments have privileged space for bedrooms rather than including a kitchen.
Nowadays, this explains the popularity of food delivery services in Taipei. Both the food and the service are very cheap, because their market is huge. So many people don’t have kitchens.
Several landlords of apartments and studios have been trying to find their way around the lack of kitchen by including basic cooking facilities in the common areas:
- microwave ovens
- portable electric stoves
- a rice cooker
- a fridge
If cooking is important for you and you really want a kitchen, make sure to verify that the listing has a REAL kitchen. If you chat with Taiwanese landlords, they will call a microwave a kitchen. This is why we explicitly differentiate both basic cooking facilities and real kitchens on My Room Abroad.
Studio: Is it a 100% private or does it have a common area?
Taiwanese landlords often don’t make the difference between:
- a room with a private bathroom in a shared apartment
- and a studio apartment.
Taipei also has several apartments with a shared front door and a shared hallway, but only private studios inside. It is not uncommon to find a few shared washing machines in these hallways.
And of course, Taipei also has regular studio apartments too. Double check your listings and the pictures to make sure which type of studio you are renting. Don’t hesitate to contact our staff if you have doubts about the type of studio from the listing you are about to rent.
Verifying all the points on this checklist:
The rental apartments in Taipei can be very different from what you are used to. Use the checklist in this article
- To verify these subtle traits of Taipei’s properties
- And to avoid the last traps and pitfalls before making your final decision
It might be a hassle to verify all the information mentioned in this checklist. Especially through traditional rental channels. You might need the help of a local friend to communicate with the landlord. Usually, most local landlords prefer to be contacted by phone and in Chinese.
If you don’t have local friends to do this for you, the My Room Abroad website is the best option at your disposal. Our website has successfully helped hundreds of foreigners through the rental process in Taipei. All the information you need to make an educated decision is already integrated into the website’s listings.
Going through this checklist on My Room Abroad can be done in less than 2 minutes.
If you already found an interesting property on My Room Abroad, you can quickly verify all these checklist items in the room details page.
Congratulations if the property still fits your requirements! You avoided the main pitfalls of finding housing in Taipei.
Pro tip: The rooms can get booked quickly on our website. Most of the rooms get booked 30 days to 6 months in advance. Don’t wait too long to request the property if you found the one you like. Book Now
If you are still looking for an apartment to rent, you can visit My Room Abroad and use the filters to filter the listings:
- Property type
- Minimum contract length
- Kitchen type
- Window type
If you read the entire article up to this point, you must be serious about finding a property in Taipei. The My Room Abroad Team is at your disposal right now to help you find the perfect apartment.
You can contact us now by email. Or browse over 3000 properties for rent in Taipei by yourself.