Taiwan Renter's Law


Hello fellow itinerants,

A buddy of mine who was here this past semester studying law at Taida was talking to one of his professors about renting here in Taiwan.

His professor said that even though one’s lease has run out (i.e. the year is up), the rentee does not have to leave. So long as you keep paying rent and do not trash the place, you can stay. The prof. says it goes back to old feudal days of yon. Since it is an inconvenience for someone to have to find a new place to live, one cannot be put out on the street.

I am not a lawyer, nor a frequent visitor to these boards and do not know if this topic has been addressed in the past. If it has I apologize. If it hasn’t, does anyone know anything about this?

Part of me thinks this professor was taking the piss out of my buddy, but another part thinks that in this great, crazy place we live, it may just be the case.

Thanks in advance for your help.


I hope this fuedal sytem can stop the landlord phoning up some of his/her friends and the guys arriving at your door with baseball bats


I thought the lease was just like a minimum period you were committing to. Am I wrong? I’m in my last month now and my landlord said mothing about haing to leave ro renew the lease. I hope I’m not going to be homeless in a few weeks.



I know that you can stay for some time after the lease is up even if it is not renewed, though not for how long.

A friend of mine let his apartment to a family that simply wouldn’t move when the lease was up, even though my friend didn’t renew it.

In the end he got rid of them because they didn’t pay the rent, they tore the place apart, and they abused some of the neighbors during their loud late-night drinking sessions.

Even so, it still took him several months to get the legal right to kick them out the door, and after that he was stuck with a worn-down apartment to fix up.


My lease ran out something like two years ago, but my landlord never bothered with another, and everyone’s happy the way things are (although I’d appreciate more water pressure).

Some landlords don’t like foreigners renting their places, presumably because they’ve either experienced or heard about the kind of foreign tennant mentioned above. In the past I’ve talked extensively with some landlords over the phone, but when I went to meet them in person, they would say “Oh, sorry, no foreigners.” Even though technically I’m not a foreigner, there’s not much you can do if they don’t want you living there. It’s their place, after all.

Originally posted by Poagao: Some landlords don't like foreigners renting their places, presumably because they've either experienced or heard about the kind of foreign tennant mentioned above.


just to set things straight: my friend is as Taiwanese as they come, and so was the tenant family he couldn’t get rid of. This kind of person exists anywhere, everywhere. Taiwan, as on so many other occasions, is not that different from other places in this world.

It’s true, though, that some landlords don’t like to let their aparments to foreigners. The landlord at the first place we got after we came back 5 or 6 years ago all of a sudden wanted 3 months deposit when he saw my white face, instead of the 1 he first mentioned, even though my Taiwanese wife was with me. But then again, her hair is almost always turqoise or yellow or bright red or some other interesting colour, so he probably thought she was a foreigner as well or that she had gone and become all yanghua. After bringing a manager (Taiwanese, of course) from my company at the time, we settled for the customary 2 months.


My experience has been a little different. Moved 3 times in 4 years in Taipei, and each time I was to discover that the landlords I met preferred renting to foreigners over locals for two reasons.

One was because they felt that foreigners took better care of their property than local renters, and two because they could get away with charging more. Guess it just depends.


My experience in general has been very good. Since coming back in 1996, we have had 5 different addresses (what can I say, moving around becomes a habit after a while), and even though some landlords don’t like foreigners, most are very nice and many indeed do prefer foreigners. Our previous landlord had his apartment empty for over a year after a couple of bad experiences with Taiwanese tenants, and he was very pleased to find a foreigner to let to.

I’ve never felt overcharged, either. Go through an agency and you get the standard conditions, be you Taiwanese or foreigner. In fact, we even had one landlord cut the rent from 45k to 28k per month (to the dismay of the broker who saw his commission diminish rapidly and significantly) because he liked us and wanted us to stay in his place. That’s quite an exceptional experience (to avoid any quips about 28 being the actual rent, let me just say that after some research we found that everyone else in the building paid 40-45).

But this whole post seems to be slightly off-topic, sorry about that.



I’d agree with Christine. My experience here has always been that landlords seem to prefer foreigners – for our current place, there were two or three people interested, all local. My wife was handling it, and wasn’t until she dragged me over there to meet the landlord that he decided to let to us. He said he feels its just “less trouble” to rent to a foreigner.

He also actually dropped the rent for us.


[i]I have to brag a little and say that my current landlord is such an anomaly… when we first saw the place, he had a photocopy of a hand-written document he had written up himself, listing the top 20 reasons why one should move in (good feng shui, all his kids were healthy, turned out to be successful doctors, good lighting, etc.), I could barely keep from busting out laughing when I was translating it to my housemate at the time.

And after we moved in, he put his copy of the house keys into an envelope, sealed it, and had us sign the outside to show that he would never enter our place unless we ask him to. We signed the contract (they can be purchased at any convenience store), and each month when we pay rent (in person, he doesn’t like to use ATM transfer), he always gives us SOMETHING.

For the first few months, he gave us chopsticks, rice bowls, glasses, etc. We couldn’t decide if he was taking pity on us or what. Since then, three years later, he still gives us things each month, usually fruit, but sometimes See’s Candies, cookie boxes, calendars (gifts that he receives from his clients I think), etc.

The whole relationship is rather comical but you gotta love the guy. I think we have the nicest landlord in all of Taiwan.[/i]

But I digress… in the past, I’ve gotten kicked out of a place before my contract was through, because the landlord wanted to sell the place. There was nothing I could do but move out.

So I’m not sure whether it matters if a contract is renewed or not because even with one, it seems that landlords will do whatever they need to do (but the option goes both ways). At least I know that if I ever got kicked out, my landlord will probably give me a bag of fruits to take with me!


Last time my lease was up, I balked on renewing it. I guess the landlord took that to mean I no longer wished to rent.

They concocted a story about children returning from overseas and needing the place back. They gave us one month to move out, but they felt rather bad about inconveniencing us so they said no rent was necessary the final month.

I put a 20k deposit down on another place before the original landlord came around again to say that it was ok if we stayed. They knocked the 20k off our next months rent to reimburse the loss and the trouble.

They said they preferred foreigners cuz we were more respectful, did some home repairs, and kept the place looking respectable.

Still don’t know what bug crawled up their ass when they asked us to leave. They weren’t forthcoming with that.