Lesson Four Apartment Hunting (3)

Updated 2014-05-12 16:52:41

Lesson Four Apartment Hunting (3)

CRI reporter: Lance Crayon

Lance: You should be able to negotiate to pay three to six months upfront.  If you do decide to pay for six to twelve months as a security deposit, then you may be able to ask your landlord for 100-200 yuan off your monthly rent. 

GRAPHIC FLASH: 能交半年的房租吗?能 can or could, 交 to pay, 半年half a year, 房租 rent, 吗 a particle coming at the end of the sentence, suggesting this is a question, 能交半年的房租吗?Can I pay the rent for half of a year?

Lance: Before you sign the contract or 合同, make sure you understand everything, such as what happens if you break the lease, sublet, move out early, or what is and is not included. The contract that you sign should be in English. If the contract you are looking at is not in English, then ask for one.

(Caption: 主持人蓝天(Lance)向房东索要英文合同。Lance asks the landlord for a contract in English.)

Lance: 你能给我一份英文的合同吗?
Landlord: 可以。
Lance: 谢谢。

GRAPHIC FLASH: 你能给我一份英文的合同吗?合同 contract, 英文的 English, 一份 one, 份 here is a measure word for contract, 给 to give, 能 can or could, 你 you, 你能给我一份英文的合同吗? Can you offer me the same contract in English?

Lance: At the end of the process, a fee or 中介费 will be owed to the realtor.  Usually, if the rent is below 4,000 RMB, you need to cover the entire cost of the fee, or you may be able to speak to the landlord. If the rent is above 4,000 RMB, the landlord may cover the entire cost. Usually, the fee amount is the same amount as one month's rent. Now once you move in you will need to register with the local police department. Failure to do will result in a fine or perhaps something worse, so make sure you ask your landlord about this before you sign anything. Now let's review what we've learned.


需要租个几居室的(房子)?What kind of apartment do you need?

这儿交通方便吗?Is transportation convenient here?

能交半年的房租吗?Can I pay the rent for half of a year?

你能给我一份英文的合同吗?Can you offer me the same contract in English?

Lance: A good deal of luck and patience will help you find an apartment in Beijing. Once you get settled in, all you'll need to do is spruce it up, and throw a housewarming party. For Living Chinese, I'm Lance Crayon. 


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