Anyone familar with

anyone use there site I am thinking about it but wanted to know if anyone actualy has been to and what they thought of there service and prices are they low average above average etc etc…

Their fee is high! A friend told me it’s two months rent!

I have dealt with Master Realty and their fee is one month (local standard).
They are very professional but cater mostly for Japanese and other expatriates, so expect that the apartments are more on the expensive side.
You can view a sheet with detailed information (including layout), pictures and prices at their office to narrow down your choice before actually visiting any place.
Even though the prices appear high you can bargain and possibly get a discount of 10-15% (subject to the landlords approval).

I could be wrong, but I believe local standard to be more like two weeks, if the fee is one month, I’d consider it a little extortionate. Perhaps their service justifies it somewhat, but personally I’d steer clear. Agents are generally unwilling to bargain on your behalf as any rent reduction equates to a reduction in their fees. 10% would be expected if you are renting as an individual, MR deals with a lot of corporate clients who will claim a tax deduction on rent paid, the landlord adds 10% to cover his tax liability. If you agree not to claim rent as a deduction when filing taxes you get an instant 10% off the rent.

what do you recommend I do I am arrving in the last week in June and have not secured a place to live I will be there at least 3 months if not longer and I dont know chinese either is there another site that you all would recommend getting kinda worried cause I still dont have a place to live :frowning:

If you are only staying for about three months renting an apartment is not really what you should be looking at, in general landlords will require you to sign a one year contract. You could try a serviced apartment (search the boards, I believe someone supplied contact information in a previous post), I believe they cater for short to medium length stays. Locals hotels will also cut you a very favourable deal on a 3 month stay. A third option is to rent a room in an apartment, again check the boards regularly or post an ad, people off need short term lodgers. I’d also respectfully suggest that you use capitals, fullstops and commas in your posts, it would make it them much easier to read.

Yep, you are right - it’s half month. I was thinking of the entire fee (landlord + tenant). :blush:

Might be true in some cases but MR did get the price lowered for my first apartment (around 10%) even it was a corporate contract. Though I have to say that my boss’ wife (who handles our admin and finance) did the bargaining with MR.
Actually MR usually list two prices for each apartment, one for private and one for corporate contracts, so I would expect that both allow a discount on the actual rent.

The last agent I dealt with got me a 20% discount and furniture even though the landlord wanted to rent out unfurnished for the full price. :smiley:

I am using them right now but so far, no luck. I am looking for a commercial space for a small gym in Tienmu. If you know of any good realtor for business, please let me know.

I just go there 2 months ago and now living in Taipei city.


Landlords, real estate agents, rents, deposits and agency fees

Let me see if I can help make things clearer, or just mess things up some more.

1. When renting an apartment in Taiwan, the landlord usually requires a deposit equal to two (2) months rent.
This deposit is usually payable at the time you sign the lease.
However, he or she may let you pay in installments, i.e. half at the time of signing and half with the second month’s rent.

2. The landlord will usually expect to be paid the first month’s rent at the time you sign the lease or on the first day that you actually start renting the place i.e. your “occupation date.”
This means that you could end up paying the equivalent of three (3) month’s rent up front.

3. If you use a (real) estate agent to help you find an apartment there will be a fee. Usually his/her fee is the equivalent of one (1) month’s rent.

Usually the agent’s fee will be shared equally by the landlord and the tenant. I.e. You will pay half and the landlord will pay half.
However, some landlords will say they do not want to pay half of the agent’s fee.
(They will say something like: The rent is already cheap, they’re not making that much money on it, etc. so they don’t want to pay the agent’s fee.)
If this is the case, you have to decide if you really want to pay an extra half-month’s rent to get the apartment.
And if you do really want the apartment and you are willing to pay the entire agent’s fee… then remember that the agent is now working for you – not the landlord. Get the agent to negotiate better terms for you (lower rent, less money for deposit, etc.)

4. Remember that the money you pay for rent can be claimed as a tax deduction when you file your taxes in the spring. You can claim up to NT$120,000 as a deduction.
It’s one of the few deductions we ordinary wai guoren can claim.
So it’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your lease and copies of the transaction slips to prove that you actually did pay the rent to said landlord.
[Note: Only the person/persons who sign(s) the lease can claim this deduction. Roommates and other fellow travellers cannot.]

4a Since rental income is taxable, many landlords will not want you to claim your rent as a tax deduction; because as soon as you declare it as a tax deduction, they will have to declare it as income.

Actually, only 60 percent of your rent is considered taxable income for the landlord.

Still many landlords will do whatever they can to prevent you declaring it and help themselves avoid paying tax on it.

4b Some will make an informal deal with you: If you don’t declare it, they will lower the rent.
If you get such an offer, you have to decide if the lower rent is actually worth missing out on that tax deduction. Do the math before deciding – you can bet the landlord already has.

4c Some landlords will stipulate in the lease that you cannot declare your rent as a tax deduction. They may not even offer you a real break on the rent. The lease will just say “You can’t claim it for a tax deduction.” It will also say that if you do claim a tax deduction, you are breaking the lease and can be evicted.
This kind of clause is, to the best of my knowledge, illegal.
I wouldn’t sign such a lease. And I wouldn’t trust an agent who asked me to sign such a lease.
If you decide to sign such a lease: a) You’ve signed your name to an illegal agreement. b) You’ve helped them to avoid taxes without giving yourself any break on taxes or rent. ("The rich get richer…)

5. There are legal grounds for getting out of a lease, both before and after you’ve moved into the apartment.
For example, if there is a serious flaw in the apartment – a safety problem, a health hazzard etc. – and the landlord didn’t tell you about it, you have the legal right to break the lease, get out of the apartment and get your deposit back.

The Last Word

a) If you use an agent, get a reputable agent. Of all the agents I’ve encountered, Mimi Pao is the one I trust.
She speaks good English and Chinese. She’s Singaporean. She can get you a lease in English and Chinese.
She looks like singing star Kelly Chen. :slight_smile:
Her cell phone number is 0939 252 790

b) Use your head, but trust your feelings. If you get a bad feeling about an apartment, an agent or a landlord, get out – FAST!

Hope this helps.

Our service is free for the people looking for a apart
in Kaohsiung. Why?
The landlord will pay for filling the apartment and we
charge the one side only.

Our service is free for the people looking for a apart
in Kaohsiung (Gaoxiong). Why?
The landlord will pay for filling the apartment and we
charge the one side only.[/quote]

If you are suggesting that you only collect a half month commission for your work then good for you I suppose, but you are selling yourself short.

Assuming that you are offering a free service to clients by collecting the full commission from the landlord, I would have to say that there are several problems with the way that this works.

  1. Some landlords, often the ones with the best places, won’t agree to pay a full month to you as the industry standard is a share arrangement with the tenant. This would mean that you would have to remove these possibilities from your ‘viewing list’, which is reasonable from your perspective but means that the tenant only sees certain selected properties.

  2. As someone has alluded to above, if the landlord is covering the full cost of your service then you are pretty much working for them. Although you may have the best of intentions towards your clients, when it comes down to it you need to side with the landlord as s/he is the one paying the bill. Lets assume that someone is keen on a place but wants a washing machine or dryer included. The landlord says fine, but the cost will be deducted from your commission as he is paying the full commission when in fact he should really only be paying half. My bet is that you go back to the client and say ‘Sorry but the landlord didn’t agree’. That’s fair enough, but it is certainly not in the best interests of the client, and is certainly an unknown downside to the ‘free service’ that you offer.

  3. As the amount of your commission is dependant upon the amount of the rental, it is highly likely that there will be a temptation on your part to protect your fee by not negotiating the lowest rental. Once again the landlord may agree to a small rent reduction, but at the expense of a cut in your commission. My best guess is that sometimes this might be cool, but in others you would go back to the client and say ‘Sorry but the landlord is holding out for the higher rental’.

  4. You the agent need to be cagey to protect yourself. You could be sure that the landlord would cut you out of the deal if he could, and therefore you need to maintain a position as a buffer between the parties. I guess that this holds true no matter who pays the commission, but I think that in a case where the landlord could potentially save himself NTD20,000 and up by cutting you out as he has the burden of the full rental, you can be pretty sure that they would cut you out given the chance. Because of this you would need to limit visits to the property and any potential contact between the landlord and the client.

  5. Finally, after the client has moved into the place and a conflict arises, you will be obligated to side with the landlord as he is the one that paid for your service, and the one that would need to pay again once the current tenant moved out. Forced to make a decision it would more economical to cut the client loose rather than lose your landlord, particularly if it is a good property. Afterall, it is the landlord and the property that you make your money from, and the clients are just a way for you to close the deal.

I am not trying to suggest that you are in anyway unscrupulous. I have had no dealings with you and am sure that you all above board. The things I mentioned above are not dishonest practices in my mind, but moral decisions that are weighted with economical concerns. My point is that ‘free services’ under these situations may not cost money directly for the client, but that there can be losses in the long term.

My suggestion is for clients to committ to one agent and pay the full agency fee on the condition that the agent won’t collect anything from the landlord. Agree to a payment regardless of the rental amount and maybe offer a small bonus if the agent can get the price down for you. It would be far better to pay the agent a NTD5-10,000 bonus for getting NTD2-3,000 per month knocked off your rental, than pay the full rental. Make it worth your agents time to deal with you and offer them bonuses for quality properties or good negotiations. Only then can you be sure that you are getting the best service. Agents are just like anyone and just want to be paid for their work.

we have used master for getting our first flat and we found out after few months that they charge too much. for example if master can offer a flat for 50k for the same quality as their other competitors offer the price from others would be cheaper. we got our 2nd flat from their competitor and we are very happy with them than we were with master because for the quality we got right now i bet master would offer the same flat at 35% higher.

go for united housing instead of master.

We just signed a lease yesterday through Master Realty. They were head and shoulders above the others. Master Realty seemed to have a lot of experience with higher budget rentals to customers with high standards. They worked hard and earned their commission.

I checked with many other realtors and they mostly wasted my time, whereas Master Realty kept showing me places that were excellent. They had many agents that spoke English as well.