A part of this post was sponsored. But it does not influence my opinion.
You can find an apartment in Taiwan by using Facebook groups, hiring a real estate agent, and other Taiwanese websites. Throughout this guide, I’ll cover these methods and help you find a place to live.
I’ve lived in Taiwan for more than 5 years and have moved to several apartments. I haven’t used these tips in the past. But I am now.
And I want to help you find a new place too.
Where Can I Find Apartments for Rent in Taiwan?
While a little limited, you have some foreigner-friendly (ish) options to help you find an apartment in Taiwan.
1. Facebook Groups
I’ve never used Facebook Groups to find an apartment. Because they usually cost a lot or are roommate requests. And I don’t like living with roommates.
That’s just me. You may find some great deals.
Here are some Facebook Groups to help you find an apartment in Taiwan:
- Rental Apartments in Taiwan
- Looking for Roommates or Apartments in Taipei and Taiwan
- Rooms For Rent – Taipei!
- Taipei Taiwan Apartment Rentals
I’ve never used any of these groups, though I am a part of them. You’ll have to apply to become a member of most of these groups. I also couldn’t find any good groups for apartments in other cities.
You’ll see a lot more listings toward the beginning of the school year (late August and early September).
2. Word of Mouth
Make friends. Ask around. See if anyone in your social circle knows of any places that have available rooms.
There’s not much else to say in this area.
3. Hire an English-Speaking Taiwan Real Estate Agent
You can offload finding a home in Taiwan to a realtor. For a fee. You’ll need to pay a ‘finding fee when hiring them.’ The amount you’ll pay will vary depending on the agency.
Once they find you a place and sign the lease, you’ll need to pay at least half a month’s rent. Depending on what real estate agent in Taiwan you use, you may have to pay other fees.
But don’t quote me on that information. Shop around. However, you don’t have too many options (especially agents who speak fluent English).
Here’s what I’ve found so far during my research:
UR HOUSE REALTY
I mentioned I didn’t know whether they were legit a while back, but I had a chance to speak with one of their managers to learn more.
He told me they charge half a month’s rent as a one-time fee. Better than what most agencies I’ve researched offer. And didn’t mention any other added costs.
Here’s what else I learned:
- They have a user-friendly website for foreigners: Functions like 591, but it’s in English.
- Easy to navigate.
- Only covers properties in Taipei & New Taipei cities.
- Displays whether costs include management fees.
- Frequently updated & can save you time navigating 591 which is often flooded with fake ads.
- Has 4 rental departments: Each focuses on expat rentals, residential, office, & commercial spaces.
- Their staff speaks fluent English: This is helpful for having the real estate communicate with the landlord for you.
- Prevents the potential for mistranslations.
- Provides lease agreements in English & Chinese: Know what you’re getting yourself into.
- Legal attorneys also verify these documents to ensure landlords don’t have shady clauses.
- Extremely helpful when you encounter repair issues or communications during your lease period.
- Exclusive listings: They have some apartments you won’t find through other agents.
- Follow up services: They will be there to assist you throughout your entire lease period.
- If you rent 2 years, they will provide services for the entire 2 years.
I received compensation for adding this section but performed deep research on their company before adding it. And I opted for this particular company because I want to bring awareness to companies that help expats in Taiwan.
My experience with them was positive; yours may vary. Check them out and see whether they can help you find something.
4. Some Schools May Help You Find an Apartment
In my experience this has never happened. But depending on your school, they may help you find an apartment. Ways they can help may involve guiding you to websites or introducing people who can help.
5. Speak to a Security Guard at an Apartment You Like
If you see an apartment you like, look for a security guard check-in area in the lobby. Walk into the lobby and ask them if you can speak to someone about renting a room. You’ll likely need a translator for this.
Best Websites To Find an Apartment in Taiwan
I didn’t care much for these websites (except for the first). But they’re additional options to help you find a place in Taiwan.
You could also check Craigslist, but I’ve never heard of anyone having a pleasant experience using Craigslist in Taiwan. So I don’t want to endorse this option.
The most well-known website for finding an apartment in Taiwan (with a caveat). It’s only in Chinese. But I have a remedy.
Use a translation extension. Download the Google Translate extension for Chromium-based browsers (e.g. Brave) or Firefox. Once downloaded, click the icon and then ‘TRANSLATE THIS PAGE.’
Once clicked, the website will translate the website for you. Then you can explore like you would any other website. You can apply various filters to find an apartment that fits your needs.
But there’s another issue.
How will you contact the landlord?
Unless you know Mandarin, you’ll need a translator to contact the landlord and to meet with them.
Rakuya is a lesser-known website for finding apartments in Taiwan. Like 591, it’s all in Chinese. So you’ll need to use the Google Translate extension to read the page in English.
It also functions exactly like 591. So sometimes, you’ll find listings from landlords. Other times, you’ll see listings from rental agencies.
You have plenty of filtering options and support for various cities throughout Taiwan. And if you want to inquire, you can fill out a contact form or call the number the listing provides.
Tealit doesn’t have many options, but it’s the best option for foreigners who don’t know Mandarin speakers. You’ll only find English posts. The landlords speak English.
And you can set up everything yourself.
These luxuries come at a cost. You’ll have to pay more for your rent. I used Tealit when first moving to Taiwan and found a decent apartment.
I only found options for apartments in Taipei. If you’re moving to a different city, try it out, anyway. You may find a new listing.
Spacious is a Hong Kong-based company that only helps you find apartments in Taipei (and New Taipei). It has a great user interface (UI) and stellar user experience (UX). But that’s it.
Apartments aren’t affordable. It’s a site that seems to target foreigners with high prices. But I still recommend checking it out. You may find an affordable listing.
What To Do as a Student Looking for a Place in Taiwan?
Finding an apartment as a student in Taiwan isn’t much different than other methods of finding a place. But I’ll still cover any possible avenues.
Before exploring these options, check whether your university offers on-campus dormitories. You MAY save money on rent by going this route.
1. My Room Abroad
My Room Abroad works like any other apartment-searching website. But it makes things easier for students by showing all apartments by certain universities. Let’s use National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) as an example.
On the home page, you’ll click ‘NTNU’ and have a page filled with apartments near the campus.
The website does have an English translation. You can also sign up for contracts in English. Since you’re using a site that targets foreigners, you’re paying premium prices for rent.
When looking through the apartments by NTNU, the cheapest I could find was NT$12,000 ($403). If you got a scholarship, that’s fine. Otherwise, you may want to save money and try other options.
2. Share a Home
You can use one of the Facebook groups I mentioned earlier and find a roommate. Or you can go with a host family.
When going this route, you’d live with a Taiwanese family for a duration. Expenses will depend on what program you find your host family through. I’ve never done this, so I can’t offer any first-hand experience.
Staying with a host family is the best way to immerse yourself in Taiwanese culture. Whether you want to learn the language. Or want to see how typical Taiwanese people live.
You can try the Taiwan Hostfamily Program. You don’t have to pay fees for this. But you can only stay with a host family for a few weeks max.
If things go well with your host family, you could talk to them and see whether they’ll let you stay longer.
Then there’s Homestay. It’s just like the host family program, but it charges money. Think of it as Airbnb.
You can select the number of days you want to stay with a particular family. You can stay with multiple families to see various perspectives when going this route. So if you want a cultural experience, I’d suggest this route.
You may save money versus renting an apartment. It depends on when and where you choose to stay.
What To Expect When Searching for an Apartment in Taiwan
When apartment hunting in Taiwan for the first time, I missed a lot of information. Here’s some of what I learned to prevent you from making similar mistakes.
1. Deposit Amount for Apartments in Taiwan
Almost all Taiwanese landlords will require a 2-month deposit to pay for your apartment.
2. How You’ll Pay for Rent
Based on my experience, I’ve had to pay landlords money through bank transfers. They’ll give you a bank account to send money to each month. Take that number to the bank and tell the staff you want to send money to the account number you have.
Sometimes you’ll have to use specific banks, which I can’t help you with. Landlords often make it so you can pay your bill at any post office. They’ll give you a post office account so you can send money to.
Walk into your post office and tell them you want to send money to someone. They won’t always have an English-speaking staff member, so prepare a translation app.
The staff will hand you a yellow piece of paper. You’ll enter your landlord’s name, account number, and the amount you owe. Hand the postal staff the filled form and the cash you owe for rent.
You’ll then get a copy of the paper. Take a picture of it and send it to your landlord. That’s at least what I did.
3. Wet Bathrooms
While most bathrooms will have western-style toilets, they won’t have Western showers. Instead, in most older apartments, you’ll find a shower head attached to the corner wall of your bathroom.
No shower stalls. That means you’ll spray water everywhere when you shower, which can lead to mold. I’ve experienced A LOT of mold when using wet bathrooms.
Unless you keep a dehumidifier in your bathroom, you’ll likely always encounter mold. Here are some tips to help you deal with this fate:
- Don’t use vinegar: it can erode grout (the stuff between tiles)
- Avoid using bleach: it doesn’t work on porous surfaces (grout is porous)
- Clean your grout once a week: prevents mold buildup
- I found that Astonish mold cleaner (non-affiliate link) works great: wear a mask when using it; it’s strong
- Squeegees kind of help
Don’t neglect mold. It can lead to various symptoms and potential ailments .
Average Rent per City in Taiwan
I’m not going to list every city in Taiwan, but here’s the what you’ll pay on average for a 1 bedroom inace in a city center :
|Rental Price Per Month (NT$)
|New Taipei City
The source I linked to doesn’t seem to have any trustworthy links on how they sourced their information. I wouldn’t take these prices too seriously. Rent prices will vary and change frequently.
How Well Do Buildings Resist Earthquakes in Taiwan?
Taiwan’s prone to earthquakes. And you likely don’t want your roof to collapse on you. So you’ll want to find apartments that can resist frequent quakes.
Inspectors and project managers have inspected almost every building in Taiwan to ensure they won’t collapse during an earthquake [3, 4]. And the Taiwanese government’s strict on ensuring buildings upgrade to satisfy earthquake safety requirements.
The only factor you have to worry about bringing down an entire building is soil liquefaction (soft soil). There’s not much additional information I could find on this subject. But I recommend avoiding having a place on the first floor.
If a building were to collapse, the first couple of floors would likely go first as your building collapses like the hotel in this news article.
What Utilities You’ll Find in Taiwan
You’ll have mixed results in this area. The common utilities you’ll find include:
- Gas: if they use gas heaters and cookers
- Internet: some apartments have routers inside, while you’ll have to use Wi-Fi in others
- Cable TV
- Fitness center: mostly in modern apartments
- Apartment cleaning
Whether you’ll have to pay a separate fee depends on the apartment. Here’s an example. Some apartments will come with internet. While with others, you have to set up internet yourself.
In RARE cases, you can remove utilities to make rent a bit cheaper. With my first apartment, I managed to have the landlord disconnect cable TV to my room for a slight discount.
Internet’s pretty fast. I’ve had at least 85 Mbps download and upload speeds in every apartment I’ve been in. But if you’re a remote worker or digital nomad, find an apartment with a router in the room.
Or if you’re a gamer.
That way, you can take advantage of the LAN port and get the best speed and reliability. Concrete is one of the building materials that interfere with Wi-Fi signals the most. And almost all Taiwanese apartments use concrete.
To clarify ‘apartment cleaning’ from the list above, it’s just when landlords will send someone to ‘clean’ the halls. In my experience, they don’t clean the halls much.
If you need to sign up for optional utilities, you’ll need a Taiwanese roommate or your landlord to help you with this.
What Are Good Amenities To Search for in an Apartment in Taiwan?
Everyone has different needs. But as a freelance writer, I’ve come to find that many Taiwanese apartments (at least the older ones) will lack many of these ‘amenities.’
1. Homes With 3-Prong Adapters
Many apartments will only have 2-prong power outlets. That means you won’t have the additional ground wire. Because of this, you’ll have to buy a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter (Cheater Plug).
These are cheap but don’t ground your electrical connection. This could prove dangerous. If you have devices that require 3-prong connections, I recommend finding a place with 3-prong outlets.
2. Garbage Collection Services
No matter where you live in Taiwan, you’ll have to deal with trash collection. Unless you live in an area with iTrash. It’s a machine that you can drop your trash and some recycling off at 24/7 .
These aren’t available in many areas. So you’re stuck with one of two options: finding an apartment offering trash collecting services or catching the trash truck when it arrives.
With trash collecting services, the landlords will provide an area where you can dump your trash and recycle.
Without these services, you’ll have to learn when and where the trash and recycling trucks will stop. You can ask your landlord. Remember that these trucks will run twice a day (at least) each day (except Wednesday and Sunday).
Sometimes these trucks won’t show up on holidays.
In Taiwan, you’ll have to separate your trash, compost, and recycling. You could get in trouble if you don’t. And when dealing with garbage, you must use special government bags (unless you use iTrash).
You can buy these bags at any convenience- and grocery store.
With recycling, you can throw them in any ole bag.
3. Drinking Water Area
I’m just referring to a sink or water machine. These have water filters. That way you can save money from buying water and just refill water bottles.
4. Most of the Time, You Won’t Have a Kitchen
In a majority of apartments, you won’t have a kitchen or kitchenette. When you find apartments with kitchenettes, they’ll only have a sink, induction cooker, and fridge. In some instances, you’ll have a full-sized fridge.
While in others, you’ll have a mini-fridge.
I’ve seen kitchenettes that have dish dryers and sometimes water purifiers in a good number of apartments (between NT$17,000–25,000). Dish dryers just dry your dishes using warm air. They’re helpful if you hate waiting a bit for dishes to dry.
5. Average Ping: They Don’t Use Square Feet to Measure Rooms
Taiwan uses ping (坪) to measure apartments instead of square feet. A single ping equals 35.5 square feet or 3.3 square meters.
Rooftop Apartments in Taiwan: Beware
When searching for apartments, you’ll usually find rooftop units. These cost a lot less than typical apartments. But they’re illegal.
Why? Because they’re not built according to the city’s building codes. That means they’re vulnerable to earthquakes and typhoons.
Unexpected Costs When Renting an Apartment in Taiwan
Neither I nor any foreigner I’ve spoken to have encountered any unexpected costs when renting an apartment in Taiwan. Do your due diligence before renting. You’ll find that most contracts are in Chinese, so I recommend having someone translate everything for you.
You may find something that the landlord didn’t mention.
Don’t Forget To Test Things Before You Rent
Don’t take an apartment at face value before renting. Test things. Save yourself from having to contact the landlord later.
Turn on the air conditioner and tinker with its settings.
Bring a phone charger and plug it into each outlet. Does it charge your phone?
If you’re extreme, bring an Ethernet cable and a laptop with an Ethernet port. Test the Ethernet outlet to ensure you get internet.
Also, check these appliances throughout the apartment:
- Dish dryer
- Induction cooker
- Hot water
And don’t forget to test the light switches. You’ll thank yourself later for checking these items.