Most expats find it difficult to find a real estate agent for their rental needs. If you do not yet know a reliable agent, you can contact Saigon Expat Services and we can help give you advice or pass you on to reputable business. We work closely with a number of trusted agents. Our main real estate partners are Move In Saigon and Hoozing.
What are the main expat areas in Ho Chi Minh City?
The main expat areas are in District 2 and District 7. However, some people prefer to live in different areas around the city. What is most important is choosing a home close to your work or children’s schools, as traffic jams can get quite bad at peak times. Some districts in the suburbs such as Nha Be are becoming popular as they offer premium apartments at affordable prices.
What’s the typical cost of an apartment or house?
The cost of renting accommodation in Saigon ranges from very cheap to very expensive. For a 1 bed apartment in the city centre, you should expect to pay around $600-1500, move into say District 2 or 7 and your will get a luxury 2 bed apartment for around $600-$800 a month, you can also rent a room from $200-$400 a month in a shared house.
If you would like a house with a swimming pool in a secure compound, expect to pay $3500 ++.
There are many options available to you for property and something that fits all budgets.
Are utility bills expensive?
Sadly we all need to pay the bills, and in Vietnam you’ll find that your electricity, heating, water, internet and local management charges are very reasonable, usually under $200 depending on usage.
If you are a heavy user of air conditioning, you will find your bill is quite high each month, we suggest getting some fans fitted to the walls and using only the air conditioning when it is absolutely necessary.
What’s the minimum term to rent a property?
The minimum contract period is usually 12 months, some landlords in Saigon will sign a 6 month contract but they prefer to sign 1 or 2 year terms.
Furnished or Unfurnished?
Both are available, but the majority of apartments in HCMC are fully furnished. If there’s something you don’t want in the apartment then inform your agent before you sign the contract. The owner might be less willing to take it back after you have moved in, so please discuss any surplus furniture before signing the contract.
How much deposit do I need to put down?
The normal amount is 2 months deposit for apartments, houses and villas. Some owners will accept 1 month deposit however these owners are few and far between.
What happens if I need to break my contract early? For example I need to go back to my country.
Generally, the renter will lose their 2 months deposit. However, contact your agent as soon as you know you might need to break the contract. There may be something they can do to help. If you know you won’t be able to stay for the full 12 months then it might be better to consider other types of accommodation such as shared rooms or shared apartments.
Is the contract between the renter and owner legal?
Yes, it is 100% legal following the laws of Vietnam. This is why both parties must make sure that everything that has been discussed is in the contract. Neither make assumptions nor make agreements with a handshake. Read the contract very carefully before signing and ensure it lists everything.
I’ve heard about owners refusing to give deposits back after the contract has expired. Will I get mine back?
It’s in the contract that you will receive the deposit back after all bills and any damage has been subtracted. If the owner refuses to give you the deposit then your agent will try their best to solve the issue as quickly as possible. If you are unable to resolve it then this will become a legal matter between the owner and tenant. For more information, you can view our article about How to get your deposit back from a landlord.
What if the furniture was already damaged?
The renter and agent must check the apartment for any damage to doors or appliances before paying the deposit. If you see a problem then you must make the owner aware of it. If the owner hasn’t seen it, then they might take it out of the deposit at the end of the contract.
Who pays my utility bills?
The renter is responsible for paying the bills. Your agent will instruct you how and where to pay them and some agents also offer bill paying services.
What happens if I forget to pay the utilities?
If you are late on paying the bills then the local providers will likely turn your electricity, water or internet off. Sometimes the companies do this very late at night so always try to pay on time, it will cost more money to turn these things back on. If you have any problems then speak to our agents immediately.
Do I have to pay the agent any fees for helping me?
No. The owner pays the agent a fee for introducing you to their home. You do not need to pay anything to the agent at all.
Will the owner register me at the property? I need the documents for my work permit.
The owner by law should register the tenants at the address. Sometimes this can take a bit of time, but if you have not received it after 1 month then contact the agent.