How to Find an Apartment in Taipei if you Can’t Speak Chinese

Here’s our updated guide on how to find an apartment in Taipei even when you can’t speak the local language.

Xiangshan District Park

At first, you may think it’s near impossible to find a suitable apartment when you’ve just moved to a foreign land where you don’t speak the local language. The good news is, there are many options available to you if you know where to look.

Here are all your options organized and explained below:

Table of Contents

1. Immediate Accommodation
2. Local Facebook Groups
3. Search for Best Websites
4. My Room Abroad
5. The Spacious App
6. UR HOUSE Realty
7. Make Local Friends


If you don’t have any pre-arranged accommodation before you arrive then it’s worth having something booked for when arrive and start searching for an apartment.

Airbnb banner

Book a room on Airbnb

Airbnb is in Taipei, and it’s a popular choice for those looking for short-term rentals upon arrival. Airbnb has many decent listings jotted all over Taipei. From the time of writing this, prices started from around NT$513 per night.

Stay at a hostel

Staying at a hostel is another popular and inexpensive choice while finding something more long-term. As it’s fairly cheap, many expats initially lodge at a hostel while searching for their apartment. Most hostels in Taipei are foreign-friendly with English-speaking staff at the reception.

Here are some recommended and low-cost hostels in Taipei – (Prices as of May 2021)

Meander Taipei – Locations in Ximen & Taipei Main Station.
NT$500 per night – Tripadvisor reviews

Fun Inn Taipei – Located in Zhongzheng District.
NT$534 per night – Tripadvisor reviews

Lucky One Hostel – Located in Datong District.
NT$534 per night – Tripadvisor reviews

Hotels in Taipei

If booking with Airbnb or at a Hostel isn’t your thing then there’s always a luxuriously comfortable stay at a hotel. The hotels in Taipei typically include bars and lounges with prices varying from around NT$1,300 and upwards a night (taxes & fees included).

Here are a few popular hotel comparison sites that will find the best current offers within the heart of Taipei. Just enter your dates of arrival and search the listings based on pricing, star ratings, and reviews:

Booking.com, Agoda.com, and Trip.com.


Now that you’re ready to find an apartment in Taipei…

Join the local Facebook groups

You can find many posted listings of available apartments to rent within the Taipei Facebook groups. They usually include the location, a description of the rent, the utilities, and photographs of the rooms.

One of the most popular apartment rental groups for Taipei is the Taipei Taiwan Apartment Rentals, which have over 10 posts a day.

Apartment Rentals Facebook group

The other recommended groups for apartment hunting in Taipei are:

These groups are pretty active and have more than 20,000 members with daily postings. These groups are predominantly foreigners as all their listings are posted in English.

These groups are so active that it’s common to see listings get answered and snapped up within the first few hours of posting. Therefore it’s advisable to frequently check for posted updates within these groups as often as possible while searching for an apartment. If you find a listing that you’re interested in, send a private message to arrange a viewing as soon as possible.


Search for the best websites

1. The Rent591 Website

The Rent 591 website is one of Taiwan’s most popular accommodation search sites, unfortunately, it’s all in Chinese, but don’t panic – it can be translated effortlessly:

Translating Rent 591 Website

The best way around this language barrier is by using the automatic translation feature in the Google Chrome browser (ideally on a laptop). To enable this feature in Chrome, go to the browser settings and scroll down to the ‘languages‘ heading. Switch on the button for ‘Offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language you read‘ and restart Chrome. The translation should give you a reasonable idea of what you’re searching for as you apply filters and navigate through their endless listing results.

Rent591 search screen

Once you find a listing that interests you, go ahead and contact them by their phone number in the sidebar or at the bottom of the listing page. You’ll likely be contacting a landlord that doesn’t speak any English, so your messages should be written in Chinese. If you don’t have anyone around to help you, such as a local or a friend that can speak and write in Chinese, then the next best method would be to try your chances with Google Translate.

It’s best to initiate a conversation by stating that you’re a foreigner and that you would like to view their listing as soon as possible. To help you make a good start, we’ve translated that for you!

You can simply copy and paste the following Chinese into your first message:

您好,我是外國人,我對您房屋出租的介紹很有興趣,希望能夠盡快和您預約時間參觀房子。

“Hello, I am a foreigner. I am very interested in the introduction of your house rental. I want to make an appointment with you to visit the apartment as soon as possible.”

Appreciate that you may not get a response. Some landlords may feel apprehensive about dealing with foreign tenants due to the language barrier when collecting rent or the need to contact you for whatever reason. However, many foreigners are said to be successful with Rent 591, so it’s always worth a try!

Search for apartments in the Rent 591 listings.

 

2. The Taipei Expats Site Listings

The Taipei Expats website provides listings for available rooms to rent, shared accommodations, and roommates in Taipei. All listings are in ideal locations by certified landlords, and tenancy contracts are written in English.

What is more, the site is very community-driven as listings are posted by local expat residents as well as registered landlords, housing agencies, and local expats that have rooms free to rent out.

Search for an apartment in Taipei or roommates in the classifieds.

 

3. The TEALIT Website

TEALIT (teaching English & living in Taiwan) is a website that offers teaching resources, jobs, and apartment listings for those who wish to teach and live in Taiwan. Their classified section is easily accessible from their front page which allows you to search for apartments and roommates.

You can search through their classified listings.

My Room Abroad homepage

My Room Abroad

If you’re coming to Taiwan as a student then My Room Abroad is ideal for you. My Room Abroad is a housing platform connecting international students with certified landlords in Taipei.

My Room Abroad has formed partnerships with some of Taipei’s prestigious and prominent local universities. It has helped develop their business model to offer short-term contracts starting from 3 months!

How does My Room Abroad work?

  1. Simply go to myroomabroad.com and search for an available room or apartment in Taipei of your choice.
  2. Once you find a room you like, you can request it.
  3. MRA then contacts the landlord and gets a confirmation within 24 hours.
  4. Both, you and the landlord sign the lease contract in English, and swap contact information to discuss the arrival details.
  5. You can pay the deposit, first month’s rent, and the service fee through their platform.
  6. My Room Abroad then transfers the deposit and rent to the Landlord.

My Room Abroad Banner

The benefits of booking with My Room Abroad are that…

    • All rooms are described in a structured way to compare them based on location, price, features…
    • There is a mandatory 360° picture and video to represent each room.
    • An MRA representative visits each room to certify the description and pictures are accurate.
    • Landlords are screened, and their rooms will only be listed on the My Room Abroad site once they are marked as trustworthy landlords.
    • Landlords are required to have a basic knowledge of English to communicate with the tenants.

It’s worth noting that during the lease, you pay the monthly rent directly to the landlord. At the end of the lease, the deposit is paid back to you by the landlord.

Using the Spacious app

Spacious is an app that allows you to search for properties in Taipei on a simple, user-friendly interface in English. The app can easily switch between the map and list views, as well as select relevant filters to narrow down your desired search results.

Once you’ve found an apartment in Taipei that you’ve been looking for, you can chat to local agents and landlords directly using our in-app chat function.

Spacious app screens

The Spacious app is based in Hong Kong, but they have fully expanded their app coverage to now show listings in Taipei.

Search and download the app called ‘Spacious千居 Rent & Buy Property‘ in the iTunes Store, or on Google Play.

Contact UR HOUSE Realty

We recently discovered this expat housing rental agency and it’s already become our #1 recommendation for finding an apartment in Taipei, as the only truly foolproof method for doing so in English.

They have listings on their English-friendly website, provide free showings and car tours, draft tailored English lease agreements, conduct move-in and move-out condition inspections, and coordinate vendors for repairs.

Best of all, they only charge half a month’s rent as a service fee! If you’d prefer to arrange your apartment through an agency, UR HOUSE is the best option we have come across to date.

Find more information here, or contact Adam Yu using the info below:

UR HOUSE – (Adam)

Website: https://www.urhouse.com.tw

Phone: 0984-389-079

LINE ID: adam5659

Whatsapp: +886 984389079

Facebook: UR HOUSE 家合外商租屋管理

Email: [email protected]

Address: 6F.-1, No.7, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei City

The Taipei expat community

Make local friends

It’s easier to make friends in Taiwan than you might think. Many foreigners often share how easy it is to build and maintain local friendships in Taiwan than in many other countries.

A local friend can be a huge asset in your search for an apartment in Taipei, so don’t be afraid to reach out as locals are typically very willing to help foreigners. For instance, taking a local or a bilingual friend with you to the apartment viewings allows you to translate with the landlord. Moreover, you can communicate exactly what you want from the tenancy agreement. Fully understanding what the landlord expects will give you peace of mind.

Good luck, and happy apartment hunting!


🗓️ Updated: May 2022 – Taipei.Expats

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