#1 Ultimate Guide To Renting An Apartment In Cantonese

Busy street with advertisement and signs - Renting an apartment in Cantonese Ling app

Whether you’re thinking of moving to Hong Kong short-term or long-term, you’ll have to rent an apartment during your stay. Needless to say, renting an apartment in a new and foreign place is a daunting task, let alone renting an apartment in Cantonese! But no worries, we’ve got your back. In this article, you can find all there is to know about renting an apartment in Hong Kong, from things to look out for to easy Cantonese phrases you can use. 

How To Rent An Apartment In Hong Kong? 

Just like any other place, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to renting an apartment in Hong Kong. Moreover, it often depends on the duration of your stay and your personal preferences as well. Given the nature of the city’s competitive real estate market and diverse range of options, here are some options you can choose from.

A real estate agent and a client - Renting an apartment in Cantonese Ling app

Using A Real Estate Agent 

Renting an apartment in Hong Kong through a real estate agent is probably the most straightforward and easiest choice. After all, real estate agents are extremely familiar with the rental market in Hong Kong and will be able to advise and recommend suitable properties to you accordingly. 

Even though you’d have to pay a fee for an agent as opposed to self-sourcing, using an agent would be much more convenient and efficient, given Hong Kong’s competitive rental market, which is full of infamously small, cramped, and expensive properties.

Moreover, real estate agents offer a list of comprehensive services that include:

  • Extensive listings: Agents have access to a wide range of properties, many of which may not be listed online. This gives you more options to choose from.
  • Local expertise: Agents are familiar with the neighborhoods and can provide valuable insights into the best areas to live based on your preferences.
  • Help with negotiation: Agents can help negotiate rental terms and prices on your behalf, ensuring you get the best deal possible.
  • Convenience: They handle all the paperwork and formalities, making the process smoother for you.

To find a real estate agent, you can start with reputable real estate websites such as Squarefoot 5平方, 28Hse 香港屋網, or Spacious. These platforms also let you do your own online research, giving you a rough idea of what is on the market. 

If you’re more of a face-to-face kind of person, you can also opt to go down to the local offices of real estate agents. These can either be local companies that specialize in properties located in specific areas, such as Dream House Property and Midland Realty, or larger firms with a broad reach across more than one location, such as Century 21 and Savills.

When searching for a real estate agent, also make sure that they are officially licensed and managed by the State Agents Authority (EAA). You can easily double-check any agent you’re considering by making sure they’re listed on the EAA website. 

A landlord and a tenant

Contacting A Landlord Directly

If you prefer a more hands-on approach or want to avoid the fees that come with using an agent, you can contact landlords directly through online advertisements on websites. This allows for more flexibility and can sometimes mean lower rent since you won’t have to pay any agent fees. 

Here’s what you can do: 

  • Browse classified sites: Websites like Craigslist Hong Kong, AsiaXPAT, and GeoExpat have sections dedicated to apartment rentals. These include owner listings and tenants who are planning to break their existing lease. You can filter results based on your criteria and contact landlords directly.
  • Use social media: Join Facebook groups dedicated to finding housing in Hong Kong. Many landlords and tenants often post available rentals here, so it’s a great way to find short-term or long-term accommodations.
  • Direct negotiation: By dealing directly with landlords, you can negotiate terms that suit your needs, such as lease duration, rent, and deposit requirements.

While this method can save you some money, it’s important that you do your own due research to avoid scams and ensure the legitimacy of the rental offer. Be sure to read the fine print, and don’t blindly assume that rental agreements in Hong Kong will work exactly the same way as they do in your home country. 

An Airbnb room with a double bed

Staying In An Airbnb

If you’re looking for a short-term rental or a flexible living arrangement, Airbnb may be a good choice for you. Here’s what it offers:

  • Short-Term flexibility: Airbnb offers a wide range of short-term rentals, be it one week or up to three or more months. This is perfect if you’re in Hong Kong for a few weeks or months.
  • Variety of options: From private rooms to entire apartments, living on your own, or cohabiting with other guests, Airbnb provides various accommodation types to fit different budgets and preferences.
  • Immediate availability: You can find listings that are available immediately, making it an ideal solution for last-minute arrangements.
  • Ease of use: The app is reputable, and the platform is also user-friendly. It offers detailed descriptions, reviews, and ratings from previous guests, helping you make an informed decision.

Nevertheless, if you’re planning an extended stay, keep in mind that Airbnb rentals can be more expensive than traditional leases. You should also make sure that the rental complies with local regulations, as there are specific rules governing short-term leases in Hong Kong.

How Do You Say Rent An Apartment In Cantonese?

In Cantonese, “rent an apartment” is said as 租公寓 (pronounced zōu gūng yuh). Here’s a breakdown of the phrase: 租 (zōu) means “to rent,” and 公寓 (gūng yuh) means “apartment.” So, “rent an apartment” is 租公寓 (zōu gūng yuh).

While learning about renting an apartment in Cantonese, you might want to learn some important phrases related to this topic, or even get to know more about the Cantonese language. This will help you communicate more efficiently. Here are some basic essential phrases:

English TranslationCantonese PhrasePronunciation
I want to rent an apartment.我要租公寓。ngóh yiu jōu gūng yuh.
How much is the monthly rent?這個月租多少錢?jé go yuht jō dō sīu chín?
Is it furnished?有沒有傢俱?yáuh móuh gā geui?
I need to sign the lease.我要簽合同。ngóh yiu chīm hahm tuhng.
Can I see the apartment?可以看房子嗎?hó yíh hon fóng jí mā?

1. How Do You Say Apartment In Cantonese?

公寓 (gung1 jyu6 | gong1 yu4) means an apartment; an apartment building; an apartment house; a condominium.

2. How Much Is Rent For An Apartment In Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, renting an average one-bedroom apartment can cost around 12,000 HKD and 20,000 HKD (1,500–2,500 USD) per month or even more. Even so, most apartments meet the highest living standards.

3. Where Do People Live In Hong Kong?

People live in popular private housing estates across Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories, and also in individual buildings in older urban areas. These areas are populated with high-rise buildings, with shops and commercial activities close by.

Ready To Rent An Apartment In Cantonese?

Great! Now, you know what to expect when you rent an apartment in Hong Kong, as well as some easy Cantonese phrases that could be useful when you communicate with a real estate agent or a landlord. By the way, if you’re looking to brush up on your Cantonese before negotiating, you should totally try the Ling app! With its fun and bite-sized lessons, learning Cantonese with it will be a piece of cake. 

So, what are you waiting for? Download it from the Play Store or App Store today!

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