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Renting an Apartment in Hong Kong: The Ultimate Guide

Whether you've decided to make the big move to Hong Kong, or are trying to avoid some of the common pitfalls that come with apartment hunting, let this guide be your compass in navigating the skyscrapers and bustling neighbourhoods you may soon call home. In a fast-paced city such as this, searching for a 'home sweet home' can be challenging, particularly when distinguishing between a hidden gem and an apartment that´s too good to be true.


Lush green and white living room

Decorated by The Editors Company


As Hong Kong locals born and raised in the city, we know the pain points of finding the perfect apartment all too well. Between us, we've lived in our fair share of flats and have been through the struggle of making each one feel like home. That's why we started The Editors Company, to democratise the home design process, making it easier and more affordable to turn your rental into more than just a temporary space, but one you can live well in.


This guide aims to cut through the noise, helping to better equip you for your first forays into how to rent an apartment in Hong Kong. It includes where you can find the top real estate agents in Hong Kong, red flags to keep an eye out for, and what to expect in terms of the costs associated with renting. Below, we've also linked to some government resources, which can help make sealing the deal much smoother. Before we dive in, let´s cover the basics.



 

Table of Contents


 


Skyline of Hong Kong

Understanding the Hong Kong Rental Market

Much like the city itself, Hong Kong's rental market is incredibly competitive. This applies whether the rental apartment is a newly renovated unit atop a high-rise in the centre of the city or a more modest unit that requires some tender loving care (TLC). Let's face it, Hong Kong isn't cheap. Even with the pandemic slowing the rise in rent, it remains one of the most expensive places to live in the world.


The market is driven by both local and international demand, and apartments tend to change hands quickly. With the standard 2-year contract format, one year fixed and one year flexible, it's not uncommon for renters to start hunting for greener pastures once their lease is up, keeping the market in constant motion


How much is rent in Hong Kong?

It goes without saying that neighbourhood, square footage, view, facilities, and all that jazz makes a big difference when it comes to your monthly rent total. For a one-bedroom apartment, approximately 450 sqft, you´ll pay an average of 14,000 HKD. In comparison, a three-bedroom apartment, approximately 900 sqft, in the centre of the city would set you back 36,000 HKD a month. Of course, as you look to rent apartments in Hong Kong, you´ll find pricing across the scale, some with a better deal and some that are priced higher to encourage negotiation. 


Busy wet market in Hong Kong

If you´re looking for a more granular look at what your expenses might look like in Hong Kong, click here.


Which district should I live in?

Choosing a district to live in will affect your day-to-day in a big way. While areas like Central and Wan Chai boast vibrant nightlife and are both business districts, this convenience comes with a higher price tag.


A stone´s throw away, you´ll find Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town, which have both become popular residential areas as of late. They offer waterfront views and more laid-back living, with streets still lined with stores that have stood there for decades. Both areas are more affordable compared to Central while still offering near-instant access to the city.


View of Hong Kong skyscrapers and mountains

For those craving the comforts of nature, look towards Sai Kung or New Territories, where there´s a greater emphasis on spacious living making it ideal for families. However, living further from the city does come with the caveat of longer commute times and transportation costs. Your chosen neighbourhood affects not only your expenses but the social and cultural experience around you. Every neighbourhood has its own quirks, charms and slice of life. But one thing´s for sure, Hong Kong has a little bit of everything - the beat of the city, the quiet of its nature trails, the calm of the seas side and boatloads of culture, so it´s all a matter of preference. 


Preparing for your Apartment Search

Beyond setting a realistic budget for your apartment, there are a few other things you´ll need to consider:


  • Deposit: The standard is two months' rent.

  • Agency fees: Often half a month's rent upon signing the rental agreement.

  • Stamp duty: A little extra for legal paperwork. Usually around 0.25% of yearly or average rent.

 


Key with Chinese style keychain resting in door

Those are the non-negotiables as part of the renting process; the rest is all down to preference and needs when it comes to finding a home. For example, how much space do you need, do you want to be close to an MTR station, do you need a pet-friendly rental or an on-site gym, and are you open to a building without a lift? It might seem like a lot, but narrowing down the things you must have vs are ´nice to have´ will go a long way in finding your perfect Hong Kong apartment.


Like most people, you´ll probably have an agent to help broker your rental agreement and help make the search a little easier. They will likely ask you the same questions, so you can´t be too prepared!


 

Sophisticated japandi style home

Decorated by The Editors Company


 

Ready to transform your living space? Whether you're sprucing up your current home or setting up a brand-new apartment, we're here to bring your vision to life! Click this link to schedule a 15-minute consultation, no strings attached, where we'll explore your style preferences and discuss what would make your space truly feel like home. 

 

Where to Search for Rental Apartments in Hong Kong 

When it comes to looking at apartments for rent, the hunt usually begins online. There are several reputable sites you rely on. While you may come across that dream home online, it's important to remember that in 99% of cases, you'll be working with a property agent to rent an apartment, who will guide you through the viewing and navigate the contract process. Agents are not just middlemen; they can be an important asset in this fast-paced market to rent apartments in Hong Kong. They understand the legalities, negotiate terms on your behalf, and can often point out details you might miss. So where to start?


Local Websites With Apartments for Rent


28Hse: 28Hse is a famous Hong Kong-based real estate platform and app offering a wealth of listings for both buyers and renters. Known for its user-friendly interface, it provides updated information on the Hong Kong Property indices, makes it easy to search for the newest complexes on the market and is also a hub for furnishing sales, making it a pretty handy, all-in-one tool.


Hong Kong property rental website


Squarefoot: Squarefoot is one of the largest apartment rental hubs in Hong Kong, known for its extensive collection of property listings, straightforward search tools, and ability to connect you with the relevant property agents quickly. It's an important starting point for anyone looking to rent properties in Hong Kong.


Apartments for rent on Hong Kong website

Start searching with Squarefoot: https://www.squarefoot.com.hk/en/


Okay.com: Don't let the name fool you; Okay.com does a little more than okay as a vast database of rental and sale property listings. You can easily search by district, read detailed property descriptions, scroll using their map tool, and instantly connect with their in-house agents.


Apartment rental website in Hong Kong


Spacious: With minimalist design and advanced search features, Spacious helps users quickly find properties for rent in the city. The platform stands out with innovative graphs that help you better understand the rental market at a glance. Plus, you can easily sign up for an account to keep track of apartments you're interested in.


Hong Kong property renting site


House 730: House 730 is a real estate platform that can help you find apartments, car parks and even commercial spaces for rent. What's even more impressive is that certain listings allow you to view the apartments in 3D, allowing you to get a real sense of the space. It also offers an AI decorator feature- helping you to imagine your potential future home decked out in different styles.


Home rental website in Hong Kong


Property.hk: A key resource to rent an apartment in Hong Kong, Property.hk's no-fuss interface makes searching efficient and allows you to filter properties based on owners and agency if you want to skip those agency fees. Whether you're looking for a cosy studio or a spacious family home, Property.hk has something for everyone looking to rent apartments in Hong Kong.


Website showing apartments for rent in Hong Kong


Rentola: Rentola is an international rental property platform that includes listings in Hong Kong. It allows you to view pictures within the listing before you even click into it and displays monthly rent in your local currency.


Homes for rent in Hong Kong


Property852: To empower renters and save on agency fees, Property852 features listings created by the property owners themselves. While this means there may be fewer listings than on other sites, if you find your dream apartment, you and your potential landlord will save a hunk of change!



Site with rental apartments in Hong Kong



One Day: Find your next apartment on One Day, a Hong Kong-based real estate platform that offers helpful additional information like the closest MTR stop, bus lines, hospitals, schools and food stores nearby. With Google Streetview integrated right into the website, you can get an even better sense of the apartment's surrounding area.


Apartments for rent in Hong Kong


Asiaxpat: Asiaxpat has long been a resource for those moving abroad and has been a staple in Hong Kong since 1999. As a forum, classifieds, apartment listing hub and magazine all rolled into one, it's an excellent starting point for seeking advice and narrowing down your apartment search.

Expat forum with apartments for rent


Geoexpat: What started as a community forum, Geoexpat is now a comprehensive platform for expatriates in Hong Kong, offering rental apartment listings, along with a few city survival guides. This includes both commission-free listings from owners and more traditional listings from estate agents.


Classifieds for Hong Kong apartments for rent


Expat.com: Catering specifically to the expatriate community, Expat.com takes the guesswork out of moving abroad. The site offers properties for rent or sale in various countries, including Hong Kong. Beyond that, it's a resource-rich site that can help you make the transition a little less daunting.


Website with rentals in Hong Kong



Hong Kong Real Estate Agents

Given the number of choices and available apartments, working with a property agent can make your apartment hunt more efficient. Of course, convenience does come at a cost! Whether you want to look for an agent first or start digging through listings online before getting in touch, here are some of the major agencies that can help you rent an apartment in Hong Kong.


Top Real Estate Agents in Hong Kong


Centaline Property Agency: Centaline is a heavyweight in Hong Kong's property market, with one of the largest networks of agents in the city, if you´re looking to rent apartments, this is the place to start. They have a branch in almost every district in Hong Kong, making those in-person visits a breeze. For property enthusiasts, Centaline often publishes detailed market reports that are a goldmine of information!



Savills: This global real estate giant is a staple in the Hong Kong rental market; they combine international expertise with local market savvy. With a focus on luxury properties in the more affluent parts of the city, their agents are only ever one call away.



Midland Realty: With over 350 branches in Hong Kong, Midland Realty can help you find bargain deals below $12,000 HKD and rental apartments that offer gran amenities and wow-worthy views. Their team is easily contactable through WhatsApp, and they have all their latest listings online.



Nordic style living room

Decorated by The Editors Company


Habitat Property: Habitat stands out for its highly curated selection of lavish apartments for rent. This boutique agency is primed for those who are eyeing something a little different and place great style above all else.



Nest Property: For high-end clientele, Nest Property deals in luxury rental apartments across Hong Kong. They focus on helping those navigating the market for the very first time, ensuring they´ll be able to tick all your boxes.



HKP (Hong Kong Property): Midland Realty's sister brand, HKP, has 119 branches in Hong Kong and over 700 agents available to assist you in your rental hunt. Through their directory, you can choose who best fits your needs, including professionals who have been working for 10+ years and have earned quality service certifications.



Engel & Völkers: With a global footprint, Engel & Völkers features rental properties all over Hong Kong, including the outer islands like Lamma and Discovery Bay. Their premium services mean they have sole listings on certain properties for rent or for sale, meaning you´ll find them nowhere else.


Luxury bedroom with green wall

Decorated by The Editors Company


Ricacorp Properties: Well-established, Ricacorp has over 200 branches across various Hong Kong districts. If you´re looking to view apartments before you arrive in Hong Kong, their VR tools allow you to view the space ahead of time, allowing you to rule out any immediate no´s right then and there.


Learn more about Ricacorp.


Knight Frank: A global real estate consultancy with wealth management prowess, Knight Frank helps its clients rent and buy properties internationally. In Hong Kong, they offer a wide array of services, and with a focus on high-end apartments for rent, you can find some spacious and roomy options through their portal.


Learn more about Knight Frank.


Century 21: Another well-known name in the global market, Century 21 also operates in Hong Kong! They make it easy to reach out to any agents responsible for the rental you are interested in online and have 110 branches across Hong Kong to accommodate in-person visits.


Learn more about Century 21


 

Thinking about giving your home a makeover or starting fresh in a new apartment? We're here to help! We make decorating your home hassle-free and more fun than ever.

 

Real Estate Agent Directory by District


Property Agents in Central and Western District


Highway in Hong Kong


Engel & Völkers

Shop A, Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid Levels, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2561 3616


Habitat Property1201-05, 12/F, Yu Yuet Lai Building,

43-55 Wyndham St,

Central, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2869 9069


Living room with large paneled windows.

Central home decorated by The Editors Company


Knight Frank

4/F Shui On Centre, 6-8 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2840 1177


Proway

703 Admiralty Centre Tower 1

18 Harcourt Road

Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2866 0130


Property Agents in Causeway Bay 


Busy crossing in Hong Kong


Oasis PropertyRoom 1611, 16/F, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2110 3738


Headline Property Agency

277B Gloucester Road,

 Causeway Bay, Hong Kong


Cheong Ming Property

Lee King Mansion, 83-87 Electric Rd, 

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2578 1882


Spacious living room with balcony

Causeway Bay home decorated by The Editors Company


Prominent Property Agency

14 Ming Yuen Western Street, 

Tin Hau Temple Rd, 

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 3113 8899


TY Property Agency Limited

F, No, Shop F, G, 14 Tin Hau Temple Rd, 

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2512 8111


Property Agents in Discovery Bay


Apartments buildings and sea view


Midland Realty

Hong Kong, Discovery Bay, Plaza Ln,

 8號HK 新界 大嶼山愉景廣場1樓130A舖

Telephone: +85229872888


EPS Property Consultant

Hong Kong, Room 427, 4/F, Block D, 

Discovery Bay Plaza, Lantau, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2987 2023


Century 21 Newcourt Realty

Shop 113, 1 Discovery Bay Rd, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2987 2023


Neutral toned living room with sea view

Discovery Bay home decorated by The Editors Company


Homes R US Limited

Plaza Lane Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2662 1878


Kingsland Property

Rm 423, Block D, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay City, Lantau Island, New Territories, Discovery Bay Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2987 9729


Headland Homes

513 Block B, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, NT, Hong Kong

Telephone:+852 2987 2088


Property Agents in Stanley


Pier in Hong Kong


Habitat Property

LG/F, 80 Stanley Village Road,

Stanley, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2880 9069


Ricacorp Properties

G/F, Village Court, 

No. 7 Stanley New Street, 

Stanley, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2117 2385


Large cosy couch in living room

Repulse Bay home decorated by The Editors Company


88House

Address: Shop H, G/F, Kam Fung Building,

171, Aberdeen Main Road,

Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2870 0200


Property Agents in Wan Chai 


Tram in Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Centaline Property

49, Johnston Rd,

Nam Shing Building, 

Wanchai, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2510 0888


House 730

Room 1103-04, Emperor Group Centre, 

288 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 3619 3200

Website: house730.com


OneDay

Room 1103, Dannies House, 

20 Luard Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2117 2385


Hons Union Properties

66-68 Queen's Road East, 

Queen's Rd E, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2804 2226


Property Agents in Kowloon City 


Buildings in Hong Kong


Eight Fortune

Shopping Arcade, Tak Wun Building, 

Shop 26, 1/F, 12-16 Pak Kung St, 

Hung Hom, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 9888 5286


Opulent living room with plants
Decorated by The Editor's Company

Property Agents in the Outer Islands 


Outer islands Hong Kong

Fok Ming Estate Agency

63 Yung Shue Wan Main St, Lamma Island, Hong Kong


Jackson Property Agency Co

Hong Kong, Lamma Island, Yung Shue Wan Main St, 15號號地下

Telephone: +852 2982 0606


Property Agents in Sai Kung


Night sky in Sai Kung, Hong Kong

Eastmount Property

Upper Floor, East Garden Plaza, Section A, 66 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung, New Terr

Telephone: +852 9667 7186


Sunshine Property

Shop G/F, No. 25, Sai Kung Court, Sai Kung

Telephone: +852 2866 6640


Goodland Agency

Hong Kong, Sai Kung, 鹿尾村路26號A

Telephone: +852 2719 4848  


Property Agents in Sha Tin 


Apartments and highway in Sha Tin Hong Kong

Midland Realty

Hong Kong, Sha Tin, 

85-86地舖 Fortune City One Plus

Telephone: +852 2929 4000


Castello Property Agency

G/F, 1A Tai Nam Liu Village, Shatin, New Territories

Telephone: +852 2682 1116


Other valuable resources are Facebook groups, such as 'Hong Kong Mums' and 'Expat Hong Kong.' These communities frequently share leads on available apartments and opportunities to take over existing tenancy agreements from departing tenants. 


What to Look Out For

Here are some general rules of thumb, safety tips and expectations to keep in mind when you´re renting an apartment in Hong Kong


Red Flags

Regrettably, in any transaction, there are bad actors looking to take advantage. A common scam in apartment hunting involves the use of fake photos of luxury properties paired with unbelievably low rent. Generally, if it looks like the deal of a century, caution is advised. It's important to work with a reputable agent.


In Hong Kong, all property agents must be registered with the Estate Agents Authority, and you can verify their active registration online. Be cautious of high-pressure tactics; while agents and landlords naturally aim for a quick deal due to the 'first-to-sign' nature of the market, you should never feel pressured into paying any sum before thoroughly reviewing, vetting, and signing an agreement.


Cat sitting under coffee table

Common Practices When Renting in Hong Kong:


  • Utilities: Typically, utilities like water, gas, electricity, and wifi are not included in the tenancy agreement. This means you'll need to separately register and pay for these services.

  • Lease Duration: Lease agreements usually last for 2 years. The first year is fixed, so breaking the lease will lead to a penalty. The second year offers more flexibility for lease termination, and the landlord cannot increase the rent during this period.

  • Management Fees: There's often a management fee when you rent an apartment in Hong Kong. This may or may not be included in your monthly rent and generally covers the cleaning of communal areas, trash management, and property staff.

  • Rent-Free Period: Agents often negotiate a rent-free period in the agreement, allowing you a few weeks to move in without additional rent costs.

  • Pet Policy: Pet policies can vary. The allowance of dogs or cats in the apartment may depend on both the landlord’s preference and the building management's policy.


Minimalist kitchen with view of greenery

Assessing the Condition of the Apartment.

Before committing to an apartment, it's very important to do a thorough check and ensure everything is in working order or at least meets your expectations. There are many considerations to weigh when renting an apartment in Hong Kong, use this checklist to ensure you have your bases covered. Here are some key things to inspect:


  • Air Conditioning: Let the air conditioning unit run to make sure it's functioning properly, especially with Hong Kong's brutal summers!

  • Water Pressure and Temperature: Check the taps and shower for adequate pressure, hot water supply, and if there are any leakages.

  • Appliances: If the apartment comes with appliances like a refrigerator, washing machine, or microwave, test them to make sure they're working.

  • Electrical Outlets: Plug in your charger to quickly test if all the outlets are working. 

  • Windows and Doors: Check that all the windows and doors close properly, not just because of the humidity, but for safety.

  • Mould: Speaking of humidity, check for any mildew or odours which could cause issues down the line.

  • Noise Levels: If possible, try to visit the apartment at different times during the day. This allows you to get a sense of the noise levels from traffic, neighbours, or nearby businesses.

  • Overall Condition: Look for any signs of damage or wear that might need repair, like chipping paint or a damaged cabinet. Document any pre-existing damage, which can be used to negotiate or request a fix-up before you sign; this also ensures you are not held responsible upon moving out.


Living room with dog and owners playing

Decorated by The Editors Company


Additional Resources

If you love to be overprepared like us, here are some additional resources that will make your renting experience a little less daunting and much more enjoyable.



Remember to use the internet as your ally, and tap into the wisdom of the wider Hong Kong community for tips and advice if you´re unsure about anything related to renting an apartment in Hong Kong. Expat Facebook groups are a great tool, and if you´ve had the pleasure of making a few friends in Hong Kong already, lean on them to shed a little light.


Arranging flowers at home

Decorated by The Editors Company


Once you´ve found the perfect apartment or home that ticks all your boxes, then the fun really begins! You can start visiting all the local furnishing shops around the city, and creating your personal haven. You can check out our guide of 31 Furnishing Stores We Love, Other Than Ikea, to find those unique pieces that set your home apart! If you´re ever in need of some help in styling and a friend along for the hunt for the quintessential coffee table, just reach out! Our styling service takes the tedious legwork out of designing your home, so you can focus on the fun parts of the process.


So, there you have it! To rent an apartment in Hong Kong might seem daunting at first, but with the right resources and a bit of savvy, it can be the kick-off to an exciting new chapter in your life. Remember, every step, from scrolling through rental platforms online to finally decorating your new space, is a journey towards making Hong Kong your home. We wish you the best of luck in your search and in creating a space that you'll love for years to come!

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