You found the perfect apartment. It’s in the perfect neighborhood, near where you work, not far from your favorite eateries. It’s clean, modern, looks comfortable and has an incredible view. And most importantly, the price of it all is just right… But wait a minute! Are you sure that price will not be suddenly inflated by some obscure overcharge? Some fee you never thought about? This could lead to you being unable to afford that wonderful apartment or worse, having to cut in your expenses elsewhere. And you surely don’t want that!
Vietnam is infamous for housing scams and hidden fees have somehow become the norm. But as long as you know about them, you’ll be able to take preemptive action and still be able to enjoy that second ca phe sua da in the morning!
With taxes recently lifted on the prices of new cars, we are seeing more and more of them on every street of Ho Chi Minh City. Parking for both cars and motorbikes is getting tight in this city. So, if you do own a vehicle, it’s important to know if there is a reserved spot for it and that it is mentioned in the lease. But more particularly how much it costs. In Ho Chi Minh City, it’s usually free for your first car or motorbike, but you’ll probably end up paying extra for any additional vehicles. While it is common for it to be free, you do still need to ask your landlord so you can be sure you know your obligations before signing the contract.
We are not talking about the day to day use of an elevator if you live in an upper-level unit. That’s always included in the rent. We are talking about the use of the elevator on moving day. In Saigon, most places will let you move in for free, or include the price in the management fee. Some of the biggest serviced apartment buildings have a service elevator that you will need to reserve for the occasion. And in that case, prices vary from $10 to $100. If you think it’s too costly, then this could be a good point of negotiation with your landlord.
Dogs, cats, birds… They are great to have around, but sometimes they can be a little hard to live around! While many apartments, especially serviced apartments, won’t allow any pets (particularly dogs, as they are believed to cause more problems than cats), you still can find plenty of options that are pet friendly in Vietnam. However, this privilege comes with a cost. Landlords will usually require a pet deposit in addition to the security deposit, as well as a nonrefundable pet fee and a possible “pet rent.” Make sure that you ask for confirmation from both landlord and management board to see whether they allow pets to use the elevator and move around the building, as sometimes they share different opinions.
4. Water and utilities
Sometimes landlords offer “complimentary” drinking water bottles. Make sure the price of these water bottles is specifically stated in the lease.
If there aren’t any fees, have it recorded in the contract. Otherwise, the rules of the renting game could change.
Last but not least, management fees should be included in the lease. The contract must clearly iterate which party pays for it. The fee should be around $100 per month. Many landlords lease their properties with the management fee included in the rental price, but this is not always the case.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed
The old saying still holds true now more than ever. And we sincerely hope that with our help, you will be able to get a better deal on that dream apartment in this incredible city that is Ho Chi Minh. Be sure to download our FREE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO HOUSING IN SAIGON. It contains valuable information you should be aware of when looking for a place to live in Vietnam’s busiest city.