Leasing an apartment in Ho Chi Minh city can be a daunting task. Now you’ve caught up on what life in Saigon is like, and where the best places to live are… The next step is to take the plunge and find yourself a flat.
Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be out of your old and into your new place in no time – (almost) stress-free!

  1. When Should I Start Looking?

If you’re coming from abroad, it’s a good idea to look a little earlier in advance (one month in advance). However, most landlords find people that can move in immediately or within 2 weeks – that’s why things go so quickly.
Usually, the landlords will not hold apartment for more than 1 month even with a security deposit, you can start arrange viewing appointment one month in advance before your moving date. Don’t try to request viewing a property that you plan to move 6 months later. Looking around, looking for info, ask agents but don’t ask to schedule viewing.

  1. Decide on your budget

Compared to other cities in Vienam, flats in Saigon are expensive. They can vary a lot, however, depending on your requirements. Perhaps the biggest decision you’ll need to make is – do you want your own flat, or are you happy sharing with friends/strangers?
If you want your own place in an older Saigon compound in the city, prices start at around 12.000.000 VND (500USD) – but anything from 16.000.000 (700USD+) is much more realistic. Price also largely depends on how long you wish to stay. Landlords may be more obliged to give the rent cheaper if it’s for a year or more. Generally, landlords will do 6/12 month rentals – however, there is an abundance of other shorter term rentals.
Please Note: It should also be noted that landlords usually require 2 month deposit before you move in, as well as the 6 months rent. This is important to note, since it can be a fair load of money you have to spend as soon as you get to HCMC city.
The most common form of payment is monthly. In essence this means when you move you’ll have to shell out three months rent immediately. If this is an issue, speak to your company, they maybe able to assist you in some circumstances. Although it’s a big early outgoing, it means for the next three months, you don’t have to worry about any rental costs.

  1. Where Should I Live?

HCMC is massive and made up of a number of different districts, each providing their own pros & cons. There are a few main expat areas that most foreigners tend to live in due to good location and available bars and restaurants around.
These include the district 1, District 3 district 2 (Thao Dien), and district 7. For a more in-depth insight on where to live in HCMC check out part of the blog post

  1. Flat size/Requirements

This largely depends on your budget in truth. Do you need a flat fully furnished? Do you need or want western amenities? Do you need a lift to climb those 5 flights of stairs or are you happy with an older Saigon style flat where you climb to the top? Do you want a flat complex with garden or a busy life? These are all questions you should consider and ask yourself. The answers to these questions will define what you can afford and what area you should move into. The best thing to do is to take a look online. HousingSgn.com is a great website to use with a whole host of flats all across HCMC. You can filter by location, budget and a number of other criteria.

5. Find an agent/Check out forums etc
When renting a flat in Ho Chi Minh, the most common way to find a flat is to go through an agent. This particularly applies if you’re already in the city/country.
The easiest way to find an communicate with agents is through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger . You can find English speaking agents, as well as flats themselves. This is an invaluable resource, not just for finding flats or agents – but also for general Ho Chi Minh life! This resource is especially useful if you’re only Searching one room, or a couple of rooms in a shared flat.
What if I don’t want to pay an Agent fee?
Yeah, good news. You don’t have to pay any agent fee when renting an apartment in Saigon. Landlord will cover it all.

6. Move in!
Once you’ve gone through all of these steps on leasing an apartment in Ho Chi Minh city, you should be ready to move into your new place and start your life in HCMC! Good luck!