Steps for moving to Taiwan, renting apartment, getting bank account

Cash rules. As said, landlords here avoid paying taxes.

Maybe you can agree on some kind of record as a reminder.

There is a standard renting contract people get at 711.

The law says the maximum deposit a landlord can ask is two months. So legal top you’d have to pay for a place is 3 months rent- first month up front, two months as deposit. All cash, usually.

Normally, they do not ask for references or a warrantor to rent a place here, like in Japan. However, as said, a local or another witness is a wise move.

Going through a local real estate agent is also recommended. Most will ask for the equivalent of a month’s rent as payment for their service but in my experience they have quite nicer places. Just make sure your budget is crystal clear. If you say 30k, refuse to see a 50k place, for example.


The number issued by the NIA isn’t temporary - it’s essentially an ARC number for someone who doesn’t have an ARC, and if they later get an ARC that will become their ARC number (that’s how it was with me, because I’d gotten the ID number a couple of years earlier).

It’s pretty much useless these days for opening bank accounts anyway. Most banks don’t accept it anymore and want to see an ARC, and I think the only real option with that piece of paper is a limited account with the post office. It’s been like that for the last 4-5 years. (Since about 1 week before I got the piece of paper, apparently. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:)

Though it seems that OP already has an ARC/gold card and just needs to collect it, in which case they don’t need the number and should just collect their ARC first, which would make everything else a lot easier.


Agencies charge 2 weeks from the landlord and 2 weeks from the tenant.

Thank you everyone!

Check out sites like tealight for monthly rentals. This is a great foot-in-the-door…There are landlords there that will not have a problem in renting a room to short term renters or “freelance” foreign renters with maybe an intent to extend their stay. This is because as an ARC holder or Taiwanese, you can negotiate either you or the landlord take the tax credit. In this case, they would un-negotiably take the tax credit. They will accept cash for this, usually 1 or 2 months in advance depending on the length of your stay. Some longer because, Landlords. See below for bank stuff.
After finding a place to stay (anywhere):
Go to the NIA office and apply for a “foreign national UI number”. This is something I wish I learned many years ago. Go to the office and apply and same day - walk out with a Taiwan UI number. The “UI number” will allow you to open a bank account at almost everywhere except Cathay. Cathay will only accept “arc holders”. Hua Nan is a great place to go but it all depends on if you want an easy card attached to your bank card. The “new” UI numbers are similar to those issued to Taiwanese citizens with even / odd based on gender ID’s and will allow you to add your “Chinese Name” and lists older issued UI numbers. JUST DON’T LOSE IT. They don’t expire but if you lose the paper you need to have a new new number re-issued… To make life easier, sign up for internet service at somewhere like CWT and then go for mobile phone service. this will verify you have an address and in turn make life easier.
I can’t help with gold card stuff but i imagine its much more difficult…


Our local agent was fantastic, showed us 6 places in one day and the first one was exactly what we wanted.


How did you find your apt locator?

Enter real estate agent office and ask.

LOL. They can’t sue you for that. You can’t sue someone for damages from something that’s illegal in the first place.

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I’d suggest you do two different Airbnbs in the city. One month each. Get a feel for each neighborhood.


Thanks! Do you know if I can use the Airbnb’s address as my address for my gold card?

If so, I actually really like this idea; it’s easy to book an Airbnb (compared to finding an apartment), and I can stay in an Airbnb short term + pay for it online, get my address registered, and set up a bank account before finding an apartment to rent.

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Yes, gold card address is just for mail so that’s fine. They allow you to update your address, which you can do if/when you find an apartment. (There may be a fee for each address change, I’m not sure)

I used a hotel address on mine haha. Just had to get a paper from the hotel saying I was staying there. I hope they didn’t send me any important mail :upside_down_face:

I’ve heard that agents here only show you listings they represent, unlike the US where every agent is working from the same database of places. So picking a good agent seems much more important here, if this is correct

I looked on 591 and everything is garbage, even when I set the budget as high as what I’ve been paying for airbnbs

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I can take a look for you too. Please list your requirements


Good call - this is what I am doing. In fact, I’m doing 3 months: 1 month Songshan, 1 Daan, 1 Zhongzheng. Both to find my fav long term location but also get immersed in all areas of Taipei.


I guess I’m mainly looking for quality (I know that’s vague…). Layout, location, sq footage, things like that aren’t hard to find, it’s just a quality problem. Here are some nice Airbnbs I’ve stayed in for comparison:
(nice view)
(lots of space)

I know part of why they’re nice tho is the level of furnishings and the like. I would like to find a furnished place tho ideally (since that seems common here) – and not furnished with cheap junk.

More specifically

  • 1+ bedroom (no studios)
  • very close to an MRT stop on the red line (blue isn’t bad). Xinyi Anhe, Daan, or some other good 'hood.
  • washer/dryer
  • I don’t want to hear neighbors through the walls, but I dunno how to check for this…
  • budget: 60k, obv lower is better. The Airbnbs were like 80k but everyone tells me I’m paying double what it’d be otherwise. Looking at 591, I find that hard to believe.

This looks like a great unit. See if you can negotiate a long-term lease with the owner.

I loved the location there too. I did end up paying her off-app and stayed like three months. But at the same price (just minus Airbnb fees).

Any thoughts on the normal market rates vs Airbnb rates?

This is way over, even in Xinyi. 35k, maybe 50tops, even full service apartments. And a swimming pool.

80k is way too ridiculous. It is more than twice market value.

One thing: Taipei is more about the building itself rather than the neighborhood. Look, even in Xinyi, you will have a modern building next to a small orchard and a dilapidated house. So it is not about “good neighborhoods”.

Of course, the places around the metro will be more expensive. But seriously, show us the links to the places you are looking for.

One more time: what you want is convenience here. That your place will be convenient to get to work, buy food, get around

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