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Housing Terms

Real Estate Agent

An office that assists in the selling/buying of real estate, or leasing of property.

Rent

Paid every month, one month in advance. As such, when first moving in, you are required to pay two months worth of rent (for the current month and following month). Rent is normally paid via direct debit.

Maintenance Fees

Fees to cover the costs of maintaining facilities (stairs, corridors, etc.), electricity, and cleaning of common-areas. Paid separately from rent.

Deposit

The money given to the owner of the property when a renter first enters the contract. The sum is 1~3 months worth of rent, and is used as a security deposit in case the renter leaves without paying off his rent, or causes damage to the residence. Any remaining money is returned.

Key Money

The fee paid to the house owner to "thank" them for renting you the room. Usually 1~2 months worth of rent, and is not returned.

Mediation Fees

Fees paid to your real estate agent for their assistance. Usually around 1 month worth of rent.

Damage Insurance

Sometimes it is necessary to join an insurance plan when entering into a contract to rent the property.
Depending on the type of insurance, compensation for fires and water leakages are included.

Contract Renewal Fee

Lease contracts normally run for 2 years. If one wishes to recontract after 2 years, the house owner may sometimes request a fee of 1 month's rent to renew the contract.

Co-signer

The person who will take the responsibility of paying the rent in the event the renter is unable to.
In most cases, necessary at time of application.

Co-inhabitants

If there are other people living in the residence, the house owner must be notified upon entry of the contract. Unregistered persons living in the residence may be evicted.