Accommodation in Taiwan
Expats moving to Taiwan can expect to find plenty of accommodation options available to them. Although accommodation in Taiwan can be relatively expensive, there is so much on offer that with a little patience and ingenuity expats are sure to find a comfortable, reasonably priced place to rent while in the country.
Renting property in Taiwan
Most expats tend to live in apartments, as houses are not very common in Taiwan. The most commonly available type of apartment is the small, studio-style variety. Larger apartments are available, but expats generally share these, as rent is considerably higher. Rental prices in Taipei City are much higher than places further out from the city centre, so those looking for more space at an affordable price should consider renting in Taipei County.
Some Taiwanese employers will provide an expat with a housing allowance over and above their basic salary, while other companies may provide free accommodation. Considering the high costs, it is worth trying to negotiate this as part of an expat package, especially if moving there as part of a corporate relocation.
Accommodation in Taipei is relatively expensive compared to the rest of the country, but it varies according to the area. Sometimes rental prices will include utilities such as building maintenance and garbage disposal. Tenants must pay their own water and electricity bills, but these are relatively low.
Most apartments have air conditioners installed (Taiwan is very hot in summer), but central heating is not common. It is possible to find apartment blocks with indoor swimming pools and gyms, but these are very expensive.
The process of finding an apartment in Taiwan can be difficult, especially if one doesn't speak Mandarin. If going through an agent, however, expect to pay an agent’s fee of at least one month's rent. Additionally, most landlords will charge one or two months' rent as a deposit, refundable at the end of one year. Expats can try to negotiate a discount on these extra costs.
Most apartments in Taiwan will come furnished. However, it is also relatively easy to buy second-hand furniture and appliances from the expat community.
Taiwan is a very safe society, and expats can rest assured that home security will not be an issue during their time in the country. Some apartment blocks do employ security guards in the foyers (a cost which is included in the rent).