Real estate in Danang seems to finally be catching up with Ho Chi Minh City, by that I mean the prices are starting to rise so much that finding house for one person which is affordable is becoming a challenge. Even just finding a nice house for rent in Danang and dealing with landlords and contracts can be difficult enough.
Here I will share with you a few tips on finding housing in Danang, dealing with landlords, checking contracts and generally how to avoid being ripped off in the process of renting a house. If you visit the CVR Website you will see an up to date listing of houses or apartments currently available in Danang.
Finding A House In Danang:
For those of you who are new to Danang, I recommend CVR, which is a foreign owned and run real estate agent for the Danang area. It is run by an expat for expats and best of all the real estate service is free of charge for tenants. Another tip for the best way to find houses for rent is to let as many people as possible know that you are looking, tell foreigners, locals, students, xe om drivers, anyone you have contact with, the wider your net the more chance you will catch what you are looking for.
When you find a real estate agent in Danang, it is important to give them details about what you want, location, how many rooms, how many floors, how many people will be living there, furniture, parking space, etc… The more specific you are the less time you will waste looking at places that don’t meet your needs. Be careful when it comes to price, set a limit a little less than what you really want to pay. For example: if your limit is 6 million VND a month, tell everybody you can’t pay more than 5 million VND, a strange thing will happen, every house you see will be 5 million VND even if it is a dirty little windowless room for rent.
Patience is key when finding the right house, it may take weeks or months or you may get lucky tomorrow. You may need to compromise on your original specifications and keep in mind this is Vietnam not every house is catered to foreigners, what you like probably seems completely odd to Vietnamese, keep an open mind.
Dealing With A Landlord:
Hopefully the biggest problem you will have with your landlord will be the language barrier, cultural differences will probably be a part of your relationship as well. Landlords in Vietnam tend to be much more hands on the landlords back home, often doing maintenance, collecting the rent or paying random visits themselves.
If your landlord can’t speak much English (and assuming your Vietnamese isn’t so good) you will need to establish a middleman, someone to call when there is a problem. When you see a house you need to establish what is included, how much for a deposit, what furniture is included, when you can move in and contract length. All of the previous things should be included on the contract, check it carefully, for a contract to be legal it must be in Vietnamese and English. One thing that most people don’t consider is the prayer room, some landlords insist on access to the prayer room in the house for monthly cleaning and maintenance.
It is not uncommon for landlords to ask for the amount of rent on the contract to be considerably less than the amount you actually pay, this is for tax reasons. Landlords are required to pay foreigner tax if hey rent to a non Vietnamese citizen, this is one example of the foreigner tax being a government requirement. I believe the tax is about 22% so it can be quite a considerable amount on top of the legitimate price for the house.
Moving Into A New House:
When you move into a new house you will need to be registered with the local police, your landlord should do this, ask for proof that you have been registered. This official registration is very down the road if you want to apply for work permits, marriage certificate or temporary residence card.
Actually moving your stuff into a house should be fairly easy and cheap. Taxi Tais, small trucks for rent are easily available though you may need a Vietnamese friend to effectively communicate your new address to the driver. A taxi tai will go to your old house, load everything into the truck, drive the new house and unload everything where you want it, you don’t have to lift a finger. Friend recently moved 10 kilometers with a fully loaded taxi tai and it only cost 90,000 VND, tipping is optional but recommended if they give you a fair price to begin with.
Contracts And Deposits:
In general most contracts are for 12 months, some landlords may accept 6 months. Considering that prices usually go up after a contract has finished it may be wise to opt for a longer contract. Of course you want to be sure that you like the house and that it doesn’t have any unseen issues eg: leaky roof in the rainy season or a cockroach infestation, once you sign the contract and pay the deposit you are locked in.
Deposits can be anything from 1 to 3 months rent, most landlord will accept 1 month if you ask nicely. It seems to me that landlords are trying to start a new trend of tenants paying 6 months rent at a time, they can be quite insistent but I don’t think they would let a paying tenant get away if you insisted on one month at a time. The advantage of paying for 6 or even just 3 months at a time is that you will see your landlord less.