Although there are plenty of housing options in Hanoi that are suitable for all kinds of travel, seeing expats struggle to find a place to live for months is not a rare thing to me. If you have read my Where to stay in Hanoi series about 5 Best Hanoi Neighborhoods, Hanoi Top Accommodation List and Most Effective way to find a niche accommodation, then this is the post for you.
Here, I made a list of the 9 ultimate tips to find your ideal hotels or housings at insanely reasonable price while saving time. Believe me or not, you will get something out of this post as me, myself, learned it the hard way.
1. Get a confirmation number Accommodation in Hanoi
It’s a good idea to get a confirmation number and make a printout of any online booking transaction.
Online booking sites or applications are one of the fastest and most effective ways to reserve a hotel in Hanoi. However, some cheap hostels or mid-range hotels here are not one hundred percent fluent English speakers. Misunderstandings are inevitable and in some cases, lead to your inconvenience and waste of time. Therefore, I highly recommend you to always save the confirmation number on your phones or even better, make a printout of any online booking transaction so that every procedure can go smoothly without chances of miscommunication
2. Get a work permit or business visa
In most cases, you will need a work permit or a business visa to sign up an apartment in Hanoi. Although a lot of real estate agents will let you sign up using a tourist visa, keep in mind that you are taking a risk by doing so. Especially if you are working on a tourist visa as well. I have seen many expats using the tourist visa to rent accommodation in Hanoi and still carry on their lives without meeting any difficulties. However, in recent years, the Vietnamese Government has become much stricter in this aspect, as many foreigners come to Hanoi to live and work illegally. Therefore, it would be best and safest if you can get yourself a business visa.
3. Determine your budget
Most people suggest that your monthly rent should not exceed 30% of your monthly income. For example, if your income is $10,000 every month, you should spend around $2,500 to rent a house. Taking the time to review your personal budget before you start looking for apartments can not only help you figure out your price range, it can also help you identify areas in your personal finances where you can cut back if you want to spend more on a pricier apartment.
4. Consider all Transportation Costs
If you’re currently without a car, check every potential apartment’s proximity to public transportation. An apartment may be well-priced and in a great neighborhood, but if you have to spend most of your time walking or calling taxis, it might not be so attractive.
What’s more, you need to factor the cost of transportation into your budget for a realistic picture of how much an apartment really costs. Choosing an apartment that is conveniently located can make your life a lot easier. Look for a place that’s close to work, shopping, transportation, and amenities such as laundry.
5. Negotiate the price
Unless you’re special apartment hunting in a popular area with few similar apartments and little renter turnaround, many landlords are amenable to negotiating and price is reduct depend on your payment condition, VAT Tax, long or short term rent. Check out and make a comparison the rates of similar apartments with same amenities in the area and bring your research with you to get a better deal. You can also offer to pay rent for a longer chunk at a time (a landlord may lower the rate if you pay six or 12 months at a time) or choose to sign a longer lease to score a better deal overall.
6. Rental and Deposit Payment
Many landlords require a down payment, which usually includes the first 3 month’s rent and a deposit equivalent to one month rent.
Ask your landlords for plenty of options on ways to pay monthly dues.
7. Ask for Feedback from the Expat Community
The expat community is expanding at an unbelievable rate. They have a tendency to reside in the same area. It would be best for you to choose Neighborhoods with many foreigners because there are normally many Western-style cafe, restaurants, and conveniences nearby. You can ask your neighbor expats about the neighborhood. Is it safe? Does it flood in the rainy season? How is the transportation system around? They can give the most genuine and up-to-date answers to all your questions.
8. Do a final Walk-Through before signing
You should check everything out and you’re happy with the apartment, location, and landlord before you sign the lease. You should do a final walk-through before signing on the dotted line. Because previous tenants may have caused damage or maintenance issues, you need to be sure that you won’t be responsible for any issues that weren’t your fault.
9. Read Over and Sign the Lease Contract
The agent will send you a draft lease contract. Lease agreements vary depending on time frame and contract terms.
Periodic Leases Work Best for Shorter Durations. With a periodic lease, the landlord acknowledges that your situation could change from month to month and not agree to rent it, It is allowing you to pay and renew your lease monthly. However, these rents can be more expensive than the longer-term contract, and because you have to renew each month, the landlord reserves the right to raise the rent at any time.
A Fixed-Term Lease Is Most Common. Contract with your landlord to stay in the apartment for a specific period of time – six months, a year, even two years. In many cases, if you choose to move out, you’re still responsible to pay for the time left on your lease, whether you live in the apartment or not. This can mean locking in a lower rate, though, which is ideal for longer-term living situations.
Have other tips that you want to share? Tell me in the comments below!
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