For helpful, English-speaking staff, visit Joanna Real Estate here.
Finding an apartment by yourself is so tough.
This simple element of life can cause huge problems for some expats, because of the standard, accepted way of the rental market:
Standard Apartments are Crap
You can now pay ¥8,000-10,000 a month and have an apartment with ugly furniture, dirty walls, and nothing works. Light switches, door handles, inside door locks, and so on, that don’t work.
Landlords are Crap
Not all, but many. The Shanghai housing market is in an inflated stage, meaning that landlords all want to sell their property, but no one is willing to pay ¥10,000,000 for a crap apartment.
This means that when they need extra cash, they squeeze it from their tenant.
Or, they foolishly try to kick out their tenant as they think it will be ‘easier to sell’ the place.
Also, they are difficult to deal with — to get new furniture, to fix broken things and so on.
Real Estage Agents
Will try to rip off foreigners.
The way to solve these problems is to either have a very good Chinese friend (or spouse) who can help to apartment hunt, or go for a serviced apartment in Puxi, a serviced apartment in Pudong — or, give Joanna Real Estate a try.
They are the only long-term, expat-serving agents in Shanghai.
Their pricing is clearly structed and they have built up a good reputation.