Hong Kong Apartment Renting Guide

Hong Kong Apartment Renting Guide

Renting an apartment in Hong Kong can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, especially looking for a cheap one!, But we got the tips to find the needle! We’re going to throw in everything you need to know before you make the decision, and of course, some renting tips from locals. So, buckle up, and let’s jump right in!

Table of contents: Renting in Hong Kong

Rent in Hong Kong: How Much Is the Average Rent for an Apartment in Hong Kong?

Okay, let’s dive directly into the core. The Hong Kong housing market is a tough nut to crack due to the limited space and high demand—We have sky-high rent prices. In fact, it is notorious for being the second-most expensive city to live in.

The minimum rent for a simple one-bedroom apartment located further away from the center is a whopping HK$15,000 (1,900 USD) per month. If you’re looking for a more spacious and well-equipped apartment closer to the center, expect to pay through the nose, ranging from HK$20,000­ – HK$30,000 (2,550­–3,850 USD) per month or more.

Here are some rental price references in Hong Kong:

Average Rent In Hong Kong
Apartment Type Rent
1-bedroom in city center HK$17,000
1-bedroom outside the center HK$12,000
3-bedroom in city center HK$35,000
3-bedroom outside the center HK$23,000

Rent in Hong Kong: Which District to Live?

Hong Kong offers a plethora of neighborhood options for you to consider when choosing where to settle down.

Expats’ 1st Choice—Mid-Levels and Hong Kong Island

If you’re working in the Central area, the Mid-Levels is a prime choice. Not only does it offer proximity to amenities like restaurants and shops, but it’s also known for housing some of the best bars in the zone. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are more affordable rent options along the Island Line as well.

Private School in Kowloon

For those moving to Hong Kong with a family, Ho Man Tin or Kowloon Tong are excellent choices. These areas are in close proximity to renowned schools such as ESF Kowloon Junior School and Maryknoll Convent School. Additionally, they offer a safe neighborhood with convenient transportation, with just a 40-minute drive.

Some Chilled Vibes in Hong Kong

Drone view of Sai Kung Peninsula, Hong Kong

If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere while still being close to the city, consider Sai Kung, Stanley, or Repulse Bay Discovery Bay. Sai Kung is famous for its stunning hiking trails and beaches, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. On the other hand, Discovery Bay is an excellent choice for those seeking a tranquil lifestyle away from the fast-paced city life.

The “Castaways”

If you’re looking to escape the crowded city, living on one of the islands might be just what you need. Lamma Island, for instance, is known for its relaxed vibe and vibrant arts and culture scene. On the other hand, Cheung Chau is a great choice for those who love windsurfing and seafood.

Types of Rentals in Hong Kong: Average Rental Range and Locations

Several types of rentals are available in Hong Kong. Here’s what you could expect from co-living flats, old flats, and village houses to standard departments.

Standard apartments. They are usually unfurnished or only partly furnished. You could expect the standard amenities, like air-conditioning, stoves, and water heaters, to be available when you move in. The average price ranges from HK$7,000 to HK$30,000.

Old flats. They’re also known as tenement houses (often called Tong Lau in Cantonese), which can be a steal, ranging from HK$5,000 to HK$15,000. And they’re scattered throughout the Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, and Kowloon City districts. However, you can expect there will be no elevators, and it will require a bit of legwork to reach your flat.

Sham Shui Po, Asia, China – East Asia, Hong Kong, Kowloon

Village houses. A unique option offers more space and privacy but it is often located further from the city center, maybe in Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, and some island districts. You can expect the price tag to be a bit higher, ranging from HK$16,000 to HK$60,000.

Serviced apartments. They usually come with a higher price tag, but you can enjoy hotel utilities like gyms or swimming pools. You can expect prices ranging from HK$16,000 to HK$40,000.

Comfortable bed beside the window.

Each unit is equipped with all the bells and whistles, including a private bathroom with a shower, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a fridge. On top of that, guests can enjoy a minibar, coffee machine, and electric tea pot.

Co-living flats. They are becoming increasingly popular, especially among young professionals. They’re quite new on the market. The average price ranges from HK$6,000 to HK$12,000.

Rent in Hong Kong: Where Can I Find a Place?

There are numerous ways to hunt down a rental place in Hong Kong. You could scour the web for apartments, ask a friend for recommendations, or even team up with a residential real estate agent.

Online platforms

If you decide to rent a place in Hong Kong, you can start by searching online platforms like 28Hse, House 730, Spacious, Nestpick, etc.

28 Hse

One of the most popular flat-searching platforms in Hong Kong. Looking for some local listings and real estate apartments? This website lets you easily search, filter, and browse to find the perfect fit for your needs.

House 730

House730 is the real deal when it comes to finding your dream flat. You can easily narrow down your search by district, price range, apartment size, or number of bedrooms and browse to your heart’s content.


A popular multi-agency property website has more options for serviced apartments and co-living spaces.


It’s an international flat searching platform that offers an array of housing options. Most of the choices are furnished flats. Note that the available options here are slightly more expensive than others.

Hong Kong Homes

At Hong Kong Homes, you can search, filter and browse through thousands of flats. Also, it also offers services like lease negotiation and review of legal documentation, which can be really helpful for new flat-seekers.

Squarefoot is another well-known multi-agency property website for renters featuring a relatively new VR Virtual Tour function, allowing flat-seekers to tour a home online before setting up a viewing in person to save time. Also, property and lifestyle guides are available to get a better understanding of the design trends and the current advice on popular districts.

Estate Agents

For those who are new to Hong Kong and want to avoid the hassle, just contact a licensed real estate agent like Midland or Centaline to deal with the language barriers. Before you dive in, be sure to clarify your preferences and needs, as well as the agent’s commission and payment schedule.

Here’s what you should know about the rental process in 4 steps:

Step 1. Submit an offer through an agent

Once you’ve found your dream home, you can start the negotiation process with the landlord. But how? You’ll need to get the ball rolling by instructing your appointed agent to submit an offer on your behalf.

This is the time to hammer out the details of your tenancy agreement, which may include the following:

  • Your background, job title, and nationality
  • Expected rental price
  • The length of your stay (the standard lease term in Hong Kong is 2 years)
  • The break clause (usually a 12-month fixed term plus 1 or 2 months’ notice)
  • Who’s responsible for utilities?
  • What furniture is included?
  • Rent-free period (the time you could move in without paying any rent)
  • Special requests (e.g., cleaning, maintenance before moving in)

Leasing 101: 12-month break clause: the leasing agreement may be ended by the landlord or tenant giving at least 1 or 2 months’ notice in writing, to expire at any time after 12 months from the start of this agreement.

Step 2. Sign the provisional tenancy agreement

When the landlord accepts your offer, your agent will start working on the Provisional Tenancy Agreement—the binding legal document for all parties, including the landlord, tenant, and agent, entered into.

Before signing the agreement, the agent must provide the tenant with an updated Land Search from the Government Land Registry, which shows the registered owner of the property and any encumbrances. With the checking, you may rest assured the place you’re about to rent is free from legal issues. So don’t be shy about asking your agent to explain the information.

At this point, you will need to do some paperwork, including:

  • A copy of the passport or Hong Kong ID, and
  • An initial deposit. (The deposit, which is equivalent to one month’s rent, will act as the first month’s rent paid in advance.)
  • A valid working permit (if requested)
  • An employment letter and contract (if requested)
  • A bank account

When You will also need to confirm the date of signing the formal tenancy agreement, you’re ready to go!

Step 3. Sign the formal tenancy agreement

This is the final stage of the leasing process—signing the formal tenancy agreement. This is the agreement entered into directly between the landlord and you, outlining details of the lease like the responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant and a furniture inventory list.

Leasing Tip: To avoid all worries later, both of you should snap some pictures of the furniture and electrical appliances that come with the place as proof.

Once the agreement is signed and stamped by the Hong Kong Government’s Rating and Valuation Department, it is set in stone and cannot be changed without the agreement of all parties involved. And you can keep the stamped copies of the formal tenancy agreement.

Leasing Tip: Remember to have your leasing contract stamped to validate its legality.

The last few things to prepare are:

  • Security deposit, equivalent to two months’ rent, which the landlord will hold onto until the end of the term. If there’s no extra cost incurred from damage during the lease period, the deposit will be refunded to you within 7 days, usually once the lease terminates.
  • Agency Fee, equivalent to half a month’s rent.
  • The stamp fee, equal to 6% of the monthly rent plus an administration fee of $5, will be shared between the tenant and the landlord.

Step 4. Take the keys!

After all the hassles, it’s time to take the keys! The handover appointment usually takes place on the first day of the rent-free period or the start lease date at the property.

Be sure to carefully review the inventory list in the formal tenancy agreement on the day of transfer to confirm that all items are compliant with the contract. If there are any discrepancies, it’s important to promptly communicate with your landlord.

Lastly, you can also ask your agent to help with setting up your utility accounts (e.g., water, gas, and electricity). Then, you’re ready to go! Take your keys and start ordering furniture for your dream place.

Tips for Renting in Hong Kong

  • Get a helping hand. Although there’s plenty of information about renting a place in Hong Kong, we’re unfamiliar with local customs and the usual renting practice in Hong Kong. If something seems sketchy about a property or landlord, you can always hire an agent to do the work for you.
  • Be careful with online scams. We know that hunting down a perfect place could be frustrating, but never rush to seal the deal. Remember to do some research on the listing and always have an on-site visit at the flat before signing anything or paying a deposit.
  • Fire safety. It is a significant concern when renting in Hong Kong. Check out the following before renting:
    • No blocking of fire escape routes.
    • Check for a secondary escape route from the apartment.
    • See if there’s a central alarm/sprinkler system.
    • Check the location and availability of communal fire hose reels and extinguishers to ensure that they are readily available in case of an emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions: Renting in Hong Kong

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is a payment that legally approves a signed contract. Once a rental document is signed, it must be stamped within 30 days. Usually, the stamp duty fee is split in half between the landlord and tenant.

What are the Stamp Duty Rates?

Here are the rates based on the length of tenancy:

  • Not defined/uncertain: 0.25% of the average yearly rent.
  • Under 1 year: 0.25% of the total payable rent.
  • Between 1 and 3 years: 0.5% of the yearly or average yearly rent.
  • Over 3 years: 1% of the yearly or average yearly rent.

When calculating the yearly average rent, round it up to the nearest HK$100 (about 13 USD). For stamp duty, round up the final sum to the nearest HK$1. Duplicates of the stamp duty document cost HK$5 (about 0.5 USD).

Can I sublet my flat?

If the tenancy agreement prohibits subletting and the tenant sublets the property without the landlord’s consent, the landlord is entitled to apply to the court for an order of possession. If the tenancy agreement is breached in this way, both the tenant and subtenant may face eviction from the property.

Are Utilities Included in the renting contract?

Utilities are not always included in the rent. As a tenant, prepare to connect utility services on your own.

What if your landlord sells the property?

In the event that your landlord decides to sell the property you’re renting while you’re still residing there, there is usually no need to worry. Your tenancy agreement should remain valid, allowing you to continue living in the property under the same terms and conditions. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to start looking for alternative accommodation just to be on the safe side.

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