Finding a good house for rent in Hanoi is a difficult matter if you don’t know how to because there are so many houses for rent, to the point that if you just google “Houses for rent in Hanoi”, you will be lost in the maze of information without any idea where and what to find.
You still have to do it any way but it will be way easier if you know exactly what you need and where to look for the information you need. I will show you how, my friend, and welcome to Hanoi.
It is easier to have a list before doing anything, including finding a house for rent. Looking for a house that consists of many elements to be suitable, without knowing what you need precisely, is pointless, exhausting, and time-consuming. After years of finding a house, my most important experience is making a list, like the one below:
After making this list, it will be clearer. It cannot cover everything, but at least at this point, you have some preparation to hit the market and see what it can provide you with.
“Google is your friend”. For this, Google is really helpful; however, you can be frustrated by too much information and you have to narrow it down to find your perfect match (I mean, house). It will be like this:
From my personal experience, searching for information can come from various sources: alphahousing.vn (It has English, and it presents information in a good, clear manner), or batdongsan.com.vn (only Vietnamese, the price range is large), or go directly and ask on Hanoimassive or another expat group in Hanoi. Locations will concern you most because the price is really dependent on them. Central areas tend to have a higher price.
After scouting and choosing 3-4 houses that may be suitable for you, it’s time to meet the landlord. Again, you should find some trustworthy local to go with you to avoid frustration, mostly because of the language barrier. A student who is eager to practise his/her English is good, and if you are lucky, he/she may have experience in renting a house. Meeting with the landlord is not that big of a deal I may say, but you have to check the house very carefully. Here are the things that you must check:
You can check the furniture and decoration also, but they are not as important as what listed above. If everything is fine, now it’s the time for bargaining. If not, meet other landlords. In the worst-case scenario, go to step 2, again.
You have gone this far. Congratulations! But this is the hardest step of them all especially if you are a foreigner. Vietnamese people tend to take advantage of those who don’t have enough information, regardless of their nationality (local or foreign). It is pretty embarrassing to talk about, but I don’t want to neglect this fact. So you should be carefully prepared. My tactic is: do not approach the landlord directly (well, everything in Vietnam cannot be approached directly most of the time just so you know).
Meet, and ask the people living there. They know, and if you show some good manner, they may tell you things that the landlord won’t tell you. Please remember my friend: never go right into a bargain without preparation, especially with Vietnamese.
If the price is too high compared with what other people around tell you, just shake your head and tell them: I think this price (what others tell you) is more reasonable. The landlord will think: He knows! And now you are in a comfortable position. One more thing, never show your intention of renting the house no matter how great it is. Hide your emotion, or else you will have to pay a sky-high price. If everything is clear, go to the final step.
Now you are very close to your perfect house, but don’t be happy too early. The contract is the final part of the deal, and you should do it with caution as well. Read it carefully, and be familiar with general terms such as 3 months in advance plus 1-month deposit, pay the electric and water bill by yourself, don’t fix the house without the permission of the landlord, etc.
In short, pay some extra attention to payment and usage terms. Tada, now you have the perfect house to live a wonderful life in Hanoi. See the lease contract template here: https://alphahousing.vn/lease-contract/