How to save on rents while being away from China


“Little did I know back then that my Chinese New Year 1 week holidays may turn into a more than 6 months exile out of China.


Now that China has shut down its borders for a period of time that will probably be equal to the time it will take for countries outside of China to be safe and healthy, I won’t be able to return home before another few months.


And here comes the question… so what now?

One of my concern is the rent that I still need to pay in China and how can I cut down on this expense?”


This is unfortunately the situation thousands of foreigners are in at the moment due to the Covid-19 crisis in China.

And so, here is what you could do to save money on your monthly rental expense:


1- Contact your landlord and see if he can grant a big discount based on how special the current situation is;


2- If your landlord doesn’t agree or if the discount is too small, see if you can break the contract and how much it would cost (between nothing and the amount of the deposit plus what you may have paid in advance – know that in practice, depending on the landlord of course, the longer you’ve lived in your apartment, the more difficult it is to get back the full amount of the deposit);


3- If breaking the contract is an option, you can then contact us (SAE) to come and have a look at what you need to move (see “Case Study: How to move without the presence of the owner” on how we can help to move your home without your presence). We would then come back to you with our service offer.


In average, a full move (packing, moving into our storage, moving out of our storage, redelivering and setting up your new home) would cost close to one month rent for a non-furnished apartment. The monthly storage fee should be close to 10% of the monthly rental fee.


4- So if you expect to be out of the country for another 3 months or so, having us to pack and move your home into our storage should help in saving a consequential amount of money from your monthly rental expense.

Note that if you decide in the middle that you would prefer to ship back your home to your country, this would be possible as everything would have been already packed according to international transit standards.

We sincerely hope that this article will help during these difficult times.

If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Stay safe!

The SAE Asia team.