What You Need To Know Before Renting an Apartment In Hong Kong

For expats and their families, Hong Kong is a wonderful haven. It has fantastic food, a vibrant culture, and endless opportunities for work and business.

When it comes to renting an apartment though, this bustling environment creates a lot of competition. But don’t fret.

In this quick guide, we take a look at key things you should know before renting in Hong Kong. Let’s get right into it!

Your wants and needs

Start by evaluating your wants and needs. These could include anything from the rental’s size to amenities and rules.

  • Does the apartment offer amenities such as a pool or gym?
  • How close is it to transportation?
  • Is it pet-friendly?

The idea behind this assessment is to ensure that you get an ideal place (or something close) based on your tastes and preferences.


As with anything, you need a clear budget before you can start your apartment hunting. A budget tells you what you can and cannot afford and is key if you are to avoid embarrassing situations down the road like getting evicted for nonpayment of rent.

The minimum monthly rent in Hong Kong is roughly HKD 5,000. Studio apartments will cost you around HKD 10,000 but that figure can rise to up to HKD 25,000 depending on the location of the house.

Finally, if looking for furnished apartments in Hong Kong, expect to pay about HKD 30,000 per month for tastefully one-bedroom rentals.


Your budget and personal preferences will determine where you live. Generally, there are 3 main locations to choose from; New Territories, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

The New Territories are suitable for anyone seeking a peaceful atmosphere away from the city’s entertainment and business sectors. The region is home to Lantau Island which hosts several beaches and vegetation, national parks, rural communities, and villa houses.

Hong Kong Island has the most expensive rentals because it is the financial and commercial center of the city.

Finally, Kowloon is less expensive than Hong Kong Island and has a more local feel, yet depending on where you live here, it can still provide rather convenient access to the city’s center.

Some of the neighborhoods to consider include;

Happy Valley, Cyberport, and Discovery Bay

These are the best upscale neighborhood places where you can have fun and raise a family.

The Peak, the Central, and the Mid-Levels

Most of Hong Kong’s rich members live in luxury mansions at the Mid-Levels and the Peak, which offer panoramic views of the Victoria Harbor.

Jordan, Mong Kok, and Yau Ma Tei

Many of Hong Kong’s working-class, elderly, and Southeast Asian immigrant population live in South Kowloon, where rent is less expensive than in other sections of the city.

Kennedy Town, Sheung Wan, and Sai Ying Pun

Coffee shops, pubs, yoga studios, and art galleries abound in these artsy districts. Rent is reasonably priced and close to the city center.

Tin Hau, Fortress Hill, and North Point

This eastern section of Hong Kong Island is less expensive than Central and Causeway Bay but offers a city feel and is easy to access from the city center.

Transportation and accessibility

Overall, Hong Kong boasts an excellent public transit system. But if you value convenience, we recommend getting an apartment near an MTR (subway) station.

Upscale residential areas are typically found uphill, away from the city’s busiest areas and regular public (and private) buses go to and from the city center, serving these areas.

Additional tips for getting an apartment in Hong Kong

  • Use social media and real estate websites to find good deals on available houses for rent in Hong Kong. You could also hire a real estate agent to help with house-hunting.
  • Most landlords will ask for a one or two-month deposit amount and a rental agreement for 12 months. Both parties are then free to terminate the lease with a notice period if such clause is included.
  • Before getting an apartment, you must present relevant documents including a copy of your HKID / passport, a valid work permit, and an employment or endorsement letter.
  • Remember to read and understand every term in any contract before signing it. You should also check for conditions stating whether you are allowed to have pets or sublet.
  • Finally, confirm with your landlord whether or not the government taxes on rental properties are included in the specified rent.


Renting an apartment in Hong Kong can be a hectic process owing to the stiff competition that exists in this fast-paced city. But with a well-thought-out strategy and some patience, you can secure a good place that’s both affordable and comfortable.

Good luck!

Mike K. Watson

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