Finding Housing as an Expat in Taiwan

1. What are the typical housing options available to expats in Taiwan?

1. As an expat in Taiwan, you will typically have several housing options available to you. Some common choices include:
– Apartment Rentals: Renting an apartment is a popular choice for expats in Taiwan. Apartments can vary in size, location, and amenities, so you can find one that fits your needs and budget.
– Serviced Apartments: These are fully furnished apartments that come with amenities such as cleaning services, security, and sometimes even meals. They are a convenient option for expats who want a hassle-free living experience.
– Shared Housing: Some expats choose to live in shared housing arrangements, such as co-living spaces or shared apartments. This can be a cost-effective option and a great way to make friends in a new country.
– Buying Property: While less common among expats, some may choose to buy property in Taiwan. This option requires careful consideration of local laws and regulations, as well as a significant financial commitment.

Overall, the housing market in Taiwan is competitive, especially in major cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung. It’s recommended to work with a reputable real estate agent or housing service to navigate the process and find a suitable place to live. Online platforms and expat communities can also be valuable resources for finding housing options that cater to the needs of foreigners living in Taiwan.

2. What are the best neighborhoods for expats to live in Taiwan?

When looking for housing as an expat in Taiwan, some of the best neighborhoods to consider are:

1. Da’an District in Taipei: Known for its vibrant expat community, Da’an District offers a wide range of housing options, from modern apartments to traditional townhouses. The area is also home to many international schools, making it a popular choice for expat families.

2. Tianmu in Taipei: Tianmu is another popular neighborhood among expats, thanks to its green spaces, international schools, and easy access to shopping and amenities. The area is known for its mix of modern high-rise apartments and spacious family homes.

3. Tamsui in New Taipei City: Located along the waterfront, Tamsui offers a more relaxed pace of life compared to the bustling city center. Expats are drawn to the area for its scenic views, historic charm, and affordable housing options.

4. Zhongshan District in Taipei: With its central location and diverse dining and shopping options, Zhongshan District is a favorite among expats looking for convenience and a lively atmosphere. The area is well-connected by public transportation, making it easy to explore the rest of the city.

When choosing a neighborhood in Taiwan, consider factors such as proximity to amenities, public transportation options, safety, and your personal preferences for urban or suburban living. Ultimately, the best neighborhood for you will depend on your individual needs and lifestyle preferences.

3. What is the average cost of renting an apartment in Taiwan as an expat?

The average cost of renting an apartment in Taiwan as an expat can vary depending on the location, size, and type of accommodation you are looking for. Generally, in cities like Taipei, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment can range from NT$15,000 to NT$30,000 (approximately $500 to $1,000 USD). However, in more desirable areas or larger cities, the prices can be higher. Factors such as proximity to public transportation, amenities, and the condition of the apartment can also influence the cost. It’s recommended to research the specific area you are interested in and compare prices to get a better understanding of the housing market in Taiwan.

4. Are there any specific legal requirements or restrictions for expats renting housing in Taiwan?

Yes, there are specific legal requirements and restrictions for expats renting housing in Taiwan. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Work Visa: To rent a property in Taiwan as an expat, you are typically required to have a valid work visa. Landlords may request proof of your visa status before signing a lease agreement.

2. Rental Contracts: It’s important to carefully review and understand the terms of your rental contract. Make sure to clarify details such as rental duration, payment terms, and responsibilities for repairs and maintenance.

3. Deposit and Fees: Landlords in Taiwan often require a security deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent, along with the first month’s rent upfront. Be prepared to budget for these expenses when looking for housing.

4. Property Ownership Restrictions: As an expat in Taiwan, you may face restrictions on purchasing property. However, renting is a viable option and there are plenty of rental properties available to suit different budgets and preferences.

Overall, while there are legal requirements and restrictions for expats renting housing in Taiwan, with proper documentation and understanding of the rental process, you can find a suitable place to live during your time in the country.

5. How can expats find housing listings in Taiwan, particularly if they do not speak Chinese?

Expats in Taiwan can find housing listings even if they do not speak Chinese through various avenues:

1. Online platforms: Websites like,, and even international platforms like Airbnb can provide housing listings in English or other languages popular among expats.

2. Real estate agents: Engaging with a bilingual real estate agent can greatly facilitate the process as they can navigate the local market on your behalf and communicate with landlords effectively.

3. Expat communities: Joining expat groups on social media platforms or attending expat events can help in getting referrals for housing options that cater to foreigners.

4. Local classifieds: Expats can also check English-language publications such as Taiwan News or Taipei Times for housing listings catered to foreigners.

5. Language apps: Utilizing translation apps or services like Google Translate can help expats to understand rental listings in Chinese and communicate with landlords or agents effectively.

6. What are some reputable real estate agencies or websites for expats looking for housing in Taiwan?

When it comes to finding housing as an expat in Taiwan, there are several reputable real estate agencies and websites that cater to the needs of foreigners. Some of the top options include:

1. This is one of the largest property websites in Taiwan, offering a wide range of rental and sales listings in various cities across the country. They have a dedicated section for expats where you can find English listings and assistance.

2. Taiwan Apartment: This agency specializes in assisting expats in finding suitable accommodation in Taiwan. They provide personalized services and have a good reputation for helping foreigners navigate the local rental market.

3. My Room Abroad: This platform focuses on helping international students and young professionals find accommodation in Taiwan. They offer a variety of options including shared apartments, studios, and homestays.

4. Tealit: While not a real estate agency, Tealit is a popular online community for expats in Taiwan where you can find housing listings, roommates, and useful tips for living in the country.

5. Airbnb: For short-term stays or temporary accommodation, Airbnb is a convenient option with a wide range of properties available for rent in Taiwan.

These platforms and agencies cater to the unique needs of expats in Taiwan, providing valuable resources and services to help you find the perfect housing option during your stay in the country.

7. Are there any cultural considerations expats should be aware of when finding housing in Taiwan?

Yes, there are several cultural considerations expats should be aware of when finding housing in Taiwan:

1. Face: The concept of “face” is very important in Taiwanese culture. Maintaining good relationships and showing respect to others is crucial. When searching for housing, it is important to approach negotiations with a respectful and tactful attitude to avoid causing any loss of face for both parties involved.

2. Feng Shui: Many Taiwanese people believe in the principles of Feng Shui, which dictate the arrangement and orientation of furniture in a space to promote positive energy flow. Some landlords may be particular about the Feng Shui of their properties, so it’s important to be respectful of their beliefs.

3. Noise: Taiwan is a densely populated country, and noise levels can be higher than what some expats may be accustomed to. Before committing to a rental property, it’s essential to visit the neighborhood at different times of the day to assess the noise levels and determine if it aligns with your preferences.

4. Privacy: Taiwanese culture values privacy, and landlords may be more involved in their tenants’ lives compared to what some expats are used to. Be prepared for potential visits from landlords or maintenance workers, and establish boundaries early on to ensure a comfortable living situation.

5. Contracts: Rental agreements in Taiwan can be complex, and it’s essential to review and understand the terms before signing anything. Consider seeking assistance from a local interpreter or legal advisor to navigate any language barriers and ensure you fully comprehend the conditions of the contract.

By being mindful of these cultural considerations and approaching the housing search process with respect and openness, expats can navigate the rental market in Taiwan more successfully and avoid misunderstandings or conflicts.

8. What amenities are typically included in expat housing in Taiwan?

Expat housing in Taiwan typically includes several amenities to cater to the needs and preferences of expatriates living in the country. Some of the amenities commonly found in expat housing in Taiwan include:

1. Fully furnished apartments or houses: Expat housing in Taiwan often comes fully furnished, which includes essential furniture items such as beds, sofas, dining tables, and kitchen appliances.
2. Internet and cable TV services: Many expat accommodations include internet and cable TV services as part of the rental package, ensuring that expatriates can stay connected and entertained.
3. Air conditioning and heating systems: Given Taiwan’s humid climate, air conditioning is a must-have in expat housing, especially during the hot and humid summers. Some accommodations also provide heating for the cooler winter months.
4. Gym and fitness facilities: Some upscale expat housing complexes in Taiwan offer on-site gym and fitness facilities for residents to stay active and healthy.
5. Security services: Most expat housing in Taiwan provides security services, such as 24/7 security guards or surveillance cameras, to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.
6. Parking facilities: For expats who own vehicles, expat housing in Taiwan often includes parking spaces or access to nearby parking facilities.
7. Cleaning services: Some expat accommodations may offer cleaning services, either included in the rental price or available for an additional fee, to help residents maintain a clean and tidy living environment.
8. Access to amenities such as swimming pools, green spaces, and communal areas: Many expat housing complexes in Taiwan offer additional amenities such as swimming pools, gardens, and communal areas for residents to relax and socialize.

Overall, expat housing in Taiwan aims to provide a comfortable and convenient living experience for expatriates, with a focus on meeting their specific needs and lifestyle preferences.

9. How does the rental process work in Taiwan for expats?

In Taiwan, the rental process for expats typically follows certain steps:

1. Property Search: Expats can start their search for rental properties through online platforms, real estate agencies, or through personal contacts. It’s advisable to look for properties in areas that are convenient in terms of proximity to work, amenities, and public transportation.

2. Viewing Properties: Once a suitable property is identified, expats can schedule viewings either directly with the landlord or through a real estate agent. It’s important to inspect the property thoroughly during the viewing to ensure it meets the desired requirements.

3. Making an Offer: After finding a property, expats need to make an offer to the landlord or real estate agent. Negotiations on rental price, lease terms, and any included furnishings or utilities may take place during this stage.

4. Lease Agreement: Once both parties agree on the terms, a lease agreement is drafted. This document typically includes details such as the rental price, lease duration, deposit amount, and any other conditions agreed upon.

5. Initial Payment: Expats are required to pay an initial deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent, upon signing the lease agreement. This deposit is refundable at the end of the tenancy, subject to the property’s condition.

6. Utility Setup: Expats are responsible for setting up utility services such as water, electricity, gas, and internet in their name. This usually involves visiting the relevant offices and providing necessary documentation.

7. Move-In Inspection: Before moving in, it’s recommended to conduct a thorough inspection of the property alongside the landlord or agent to document any existing damages or issues. This can help avoid disputes concerning the security deposit at the end of the tenancy.

8. Rent Payment: Rent is typically paid monthly in Taiwan, either directly to the landlord or through a bank transfer. Ensure to pay on time to maintain a good relationship with the landlord.

9. Ending the Tenancy: When the lease term is nearing its end, expats need to notify the landlord in advance if they wish to renew or terminate the lease. Properly cleaning the property and settling any outstanding bills are essential before vacating the premises to ensure a smooth departure.

Overall, the rental process for expats in Taiwan involves thorough research, effective communication with landlords or real estate agents, and adherence to legal requirements outlined in the lease agreement. Being well-informed and proactive throughout the process can help expats secure suitable accommodation that meets their needs during their stay in Taiwan.

10. Are furnished apartments common for expats in Taiwan, and are they a good option?

Furnished apartments are quite common and popular among expatriates in Taiwan. They offer convenience and ease of transition for those who are moving to the country for a short or medium-term stay. Here are a few reasons why furnished apartments can be a good option for expats in Taiwan:

1. Convenience: Furnished apartments come equipped with essential furniture, appliances, and sometimes even kitchenware, making it easier for expats to move in without the hassle of buying and transporting household items.

2. Cost-effective: While furnished apartments may have a slightly higher rent compared to unfurnished ones, they can actually save expats money in the long run as they don’t have to spend on buying and then potentially selling furniture when they leave.

3. Flexibility: Expats who may not plan to stay in Taiwan long-term can benefit from the flexibility of a furnished apartment, as they can easily move out without the stress of dealing with furniture arrangements.

Overall, furnished apartments are a practical and popular choice for expats in Taiwan, offering convenience, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility for their living arrangements.

11. Are utilities typically included in the rent for expat housing in Taiwan?

Utilities are generally not included in the rent for expat housing in Taiwan. When renting a property in Taiwan, expats should budget separately for utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet. These costs can vary based on usage and the type of property, so it is advisable to clarify with the landlord or real estate agent what utilities are the responsibility of the tenant. Understanding and budgeting for these additional expenses is crucial when considering the overall affordability of a rental property in Taiwan.

12. What should expats budget for in terms of housing expenses in Taiwan?

Expats in Taiwan should budget for several housing expenses to ensure they have a smooth and comfortable living experience. These expenses typically include:

1. Rent: The largest portion of your housing budget will likely go towards rent. Rental prices in Taiwan vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. In major cities like Taipei, expect to pay higher rents compared to smaller towns.

2. Deposit: Landlords in Taiwan usually require a deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent. This is a standard practice to protect the landlord against any damages or missed payments.

3. Utilities: Monthly utility costs for water, electricity, gas, and internet should also be factored into your budget. These expenses can vary based on your usage habits and the season.

4. Maintenance fees: If you choose to live in a serviced apartment or a building with shared amenities, you may need to pay monthly maintenance fees to cover the upkeep of common areas.

5. Agent fees: If you use a real estate agent to help you find a rental property, be prepared to pay a commission fee, typically equivalent to one month’s rent.

6. Insurance: Consider getting renters’ insurance to protect your belongings in case of theft, fire, or other unexpected events.

By budgeting for these housing expenses, expats can better manage their finances and enjoy a comfortable living situation in Taiwan.

13. How safe is it for expats to rent housing in Taiwan?

Renting housing in Taiwan as an expat is generally safe, as Taiwan is considered a safe country overall with low crime rates. However, it is important to take some precautions to ensure a smooth rental experience:
1. Research the neighborhood: Different areas in Taiwan have varying levels of safety and amenities, so it’s important to research and choose a neighborhood that meets your preferences and needs.
2. Use reputable real estate agents or platforms: Working with established real estate agents or reliable online platforms can help you find legitimate and safe housing options.
3. Verify the contract and payment terms: Before signing any rental agreements, make sure to carefully review the contract terms and understand the payment schedule to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.
4. Make sure the landlord is reputable: Try to find out more about the landlord and their reputation to ensure a trustworthy rental relationship.
Overall, while expats generally find renting housing in Taiwan to be safe, it is always advisable to exercise caution and due diligence when navigating the rental market.

14. Are short-term rentals common for expats in Taiwan, and how can they find them?

Short-term rentals are indeed common for expats in Taiwan, especially in major cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung where there is a sizable expat community. Expats often opt for short-term rentals when they first arrive in Taiwan before deciding on a more permanent living situation.

1. Online platforms: Expats can find short-term rentals on websites such as Airbnb,, or local platforms like These platforms offer a wide range of options from studio apartments to shared houses.

2. Real estate agents: Working with a real estate agent who specializes in serving expats can be helpful in finding short-term rental options that meet specific needs and preferences. They can also assist with negotiations and contract agreements.

3. Networking: Expats can also tap into their social networks or online expat forums to seek recommendations for short-term rentals. Often, expats who are leaving Taiwan may be looking to sublet their place for a few months.

4. Temporary housing services: Some companies in Taiwan offer temporary housing services specifically tailored for expats, providing fully-furnished apartments with flexible lease terms.

Overall, the key is to start the search early and explore different options to find a short-term rental that fits the specific needs and budget of the expat.

15. Are there any specific tips for negotiating rental prices as an expat in Taiwan?

Negotiating rental prices as an expat in Taiwan can be a common practice and here are some specific tips to consider:

1. Research Market Prices: Before entering negotiations, conduct thorough research on rental prices in the area you are interested in. This will give you a better understanding of what is a reasonable price range for the type of property you are looking for.

2. Use a Local Contact: Having a local contact or real estate agent can be extremely beneficial in negotiating rental prices. They often have a better understanding of the local market and can help you navigate negotiations effectively.

3. Timing is Key: Try to negotiate during the low season if possible, as landlords may be more willing to lower prices to secure tenants. Additionally, properties that have been on the market for longer periods may be more open to negotiation.

4. Highlight Your Long-Term Stay: Landlords may be more willing to negotiate if you can commit to a longer lease period. This shows stability and reduces their risk of having a vacant property in the future.

5. Point Out Maintenance or Renovation Needs: If you notice any maintenance issues or areas of improvement in the property, you can use this as a bargaining tool to negotiate a lower rental price or request that these issues be addressed before signing the contract.

By keeping these tips in mind and being prepared for negotiations, you can increase your chances of successfully securing a rental property at a price that works for you as an expat in Taiwan.

16. What should expats look out for in terms of hidden costs when renting housing in Taiwan?

When renting housing in Taiwan as an expat, it is crucial to be aware of potential hidden costs to avoid any financial surprises. Here are some key factors expats should look out for:

1. Agent Fees: In Taiwan, it is common for landlords to charge a commission fee to both the tenant and the landlord. Expats should clarify with the agent beforehand to understand the breakdown of these fees.

2. Management Fees: Some rental properties in Taiwan come with additional management fees for amenities such as gyms, swimming pools, or cleaning services. Expats should inquire about these fees upfront to assess the total cost of renting the property.

3. Utilities: While some rentals include utilities such as water and internet in the monthly rent, others may require tenants to pay for these separately. Expats should confirm which utilities are included and budget for any additional expenses.

4. Parking Fees: If the rental property comes with a parking space, there may be additional fees associated with it. Expats should inquire about parking fees and consider this cost in their rental budget.

5. Renovation Costs: In some cases, landlords may require tenants to return the property in its original condition upon moving out. Expats should clarify any potential renovation costs with the landlord to avoid unexpected expenses at the end of the tenancy.

By being vigilant about these potential hidden costs and clarifying them with the landlord or agent before signing the rental agreement, expats can ensure a smoother and more transparent housing rental experience in Taiwan.

17. Is it common for expats to share accommodations in Taiwan, and how can they find roommates?

1. Yes, it is quite common for expats in Taiwan to share accommodations due to the high cost of living, especially in major cities like Taipei. Sharing a place with roommates not only helps in splitting the rent and utilities but also provides a social support system in a foreign country.

2. Expats can find roommates in Taiwan through various methods:
3. Social Media Platforms: Join expat groups on platforms like Facebook or websites like InterNations, where fellow expats often post about available rooms or look for roommates.
4. Online Housing Portals: Websites such as, Tealit, and Ziroom allow users to search for shared accommodations and connect with potential roommates.
5. Language Exchange Events: Attend language exchange meetups or expat gatherings where you can network and potentially find someone looking for a roommate.
6. Local Housing Agents: Some real estate agents specialize in helping expats find accommodations and roommates, so reaching out to them can also be beneficial.

7. It’s essential to communicate openly with potential roommates to ensure compatibility in terms of lifestyle, cleanliness habits, and schedules. Establishing clear expectations and responsibilities upfront can help avoid conflicts down the line. Additionally, be aware of local customs and regulations regarding shared accommodations in Taiwan to ensure a smooth living arrangement.

18. Are there any specific regulations or considerations for expats renting Airbnb or other short-term rentals in Taiwan?

1. As an expat renting Airbnb or other short-term rentals in Taiwan, there are several regulations and considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to note that short-term rentals are not technically legal in Taiwan unless the host has the appropriate permits and follows the regulations set by local authorities. Many Airbnb listings in Taiwan operate in a legal gray area, so expats should exercise caution when booking such accommodation.

2. It is advised to choose Airbnb listings from reputable hosts with positive reviews to minimize any potential risks. Additionally, expats should be aware of the potential language barrier when communicating with hosts, as not all hosts may speak fluent English.

3. Another consideration is the issue of safety and security. Ensure that the rental property meets your expectations in terms of safety features and amenities. It is also recommended to clarify the check-in and check-out procedures in advance to avoid any misunderstandings.

4. Finally, be prepared for the possibility of last-minute cancellations or changes to your booking, as this can sometimes happen with short-term rentals in Taiwan. Have a backup plan in place to prevent any inconvenience during your stay.

19. How can expats ensure the legality and legitimacy of a housing contract in Taiwan?

To ensure the legality and legitimacy of a housing contract in Taiwan, expats should:

1. Verify the landlord’s ownership of the property by requesting to see the property’s deed or other official ownership documents.
2. Ensure that the rental agreement includes all necessary details such as the rental amount, payment schedule, security deposit amount, and any additional fees or charges.
3. Check that the contract complies with Taiwan’s housing laws and regulations, such as the Landlord and Tenant Act.
4. Consider having the contract translated into English or their native language if they are not fluent in Mandarin to fully understand the terms.
5. If possible, seek legal advice from a local lawyer or real estate professional to review the contract before signing.
6. Be wary of any red flags such as landlords asking for cash payments only or refusing to provide a written contract.
7. Keep a copy of the signed contract for reference and future legal protection in case of any disputes.
By following these steps, expats can ensure that their housing contract in Taiwan is legal and legitimate, providing them with peace of mind during their stay.

20. What are the best resources for expats looking to buy property in Taiwan for long-term stay?

The best resources for expats looking to buy property in Taiwan for a long-term stay include:

1. Real Estate Agencies: Seeking assistance from reputable real estate agencies that specialize in working with expats can provide valuable insights and advice on the property market in Taiwan.

2. Online Property Portals: Websites like and offer a wide range of property listings across Taiwan, making it convenient for expats to browse and compare different options.

3. Expat Community Forums: Platforms such as Forumosa and Taiwan Living are great places to connect with other expats who have gone through the process of buying property in Taiwan and can offer firsthand experiences and recommendations.

4. Legal Advisors: Consulting with legal professionals who specialize in real estate transactions in Taiwan is crucial to understanding the legal aspects of buying property as an expat, ensuring a smooth and secure process.

By utilizing these resources, expats can navigate the property market in Taiwan effectively and make informed decisions when purchasing a property for long-term stay in the country.