The major cities of Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung offer a good supply of expat-style accommodations. Prices will be higher than local housing, but even that varies between the cities.
Not surprising, the highest priced properties are located in Taipei. The closer to the center of Taipei, the more likely the apartment will be small and the more challenging it becomes to find a “deal.” Housing in Taichung is slightly less-expensive than that found in Taipei and the apartments tend to be slightly larger as well. A number of new housing developments and a wide range of rental prices to fit any budget make locating suitable properties less stressful. Compared to both cities, Kaohsiung offers larger properties at a more moderate price. It does have the same challenges as Taipei that the closer to the city center, the smaller space lessees get for the money.
When to search
The best time to plan a home search is between 4 – 6 weeks prior to the desired start date for the lease. Performing a home finding earlier or later will reduce the number of options available.
Lease Terms and Fees
When looking for a lease it’s important to know the typical terms that will often apply. The typical lease term will run for 24 months. Rent is paid either monthly or quarterly and the security deposit typically equals 2 months rent. Some landlords will require a 3 months rent equivalent security deposit.
Real estate agents play an important role in the home search process. In Taiwan, they do charge a brokerage fee which is equal to one months rent and payment is the responsibility of the tenant.
Furnishings and Serviced Apartments
Most apartments in Taiwan come unfurnished and if furnished apartments are found, they are most likely studio or one bedroom units. Unfurnished typically means that only light fixtures and large kitchen appliances are supplied by the landlord. It isn’t a challenge to buy second-hand furniture and appliances. They are readily available from returning expatriates. Rental companies also exist to fill the need.
One of the biggest challenges in Taiwan happens at the beginning. Short term accommodations are few and far-between in all cities. Taipei has only 2 serviced apartment options, the most well-known in called Jasper Villa. Shorter term assignees typically choose to stay in hotels.