Foreigners, expats and natives visiting destinations in Vietnam for longer periods and staying in one place, are best to rent an apartment or room somewhere. You can find available units by browsing certain local websites, Facebook expat groups, or just walking/driving the streets and looking for “for-rent”(chung cư/phòng trọ thuê) signs. Expect to commit to at least 6 months lease or pay a lot more for month-to-month.
Longterm Apartment Rentals in Vietnam
Most leases are like anywhere else, and preferred for a year, though sometimes 6 months is okay for the same rate. This provides the best price and are more favorable than short-term vacation rentals; as long as you plan to stick around for the area for least 3 to 6 months. Otherwise you can find greater flexibility in vacation rentals for anything less.
Guide to Renting an Apartment in Vietnam
Foreigners, expats, and students looking to stay in Vietnam for an extended amount of time will have to find some long-term living accommodations. Options can vary from city to city, small to large, and cheap to luxurious.
The apartments up for lease usually come with at least a small studio space for bed, kitchen and private bath (sometimes a wet bath). More money per month will get you a bedroom, better kitchen and cooler amenities, sometimes a pool and gym. On the opposite end of the spectrum you can seek out a single room in a larger abode too, or like-minded roommates to share a house or apartment.
Upscale units may have a washing machine, usually on a balcony with hang dry, or one for the building. Otherwise, cleaning services are readily available and affordable around town. Dishwashing machines aren’t likely to be seen, and ovens are typically only found in upper end apartments. Most cooking is done on the stove top.
Many apartment buildings were built in the 1970s and 1980s, while others are more modern and constructed within the last decade. Depending on where you want to reside, you will have to consider the age and type of apartments available.
Based on the location of the apartment you choose, most places have a rent cost of $200-$1,000 per month. The majority of landlords require a minimum lease of six months, although others would prefer a 12-month contract. Single rooms could be found for as little as $50 per month.
When searching for an apartment, something else to consider is how far it is from your work, grocery store, or public transportation. Bigger cities in Vietnam are designed to accommodate pedestrians, so think how far away the things you need are within walking distances.
It’s also essential to consider how the areas you’re looking in are affected by monsoon weather, which can cause some significant flooding in the streets and limit mobility during storms. And chances are you’ll be parking your motorbike, so be sure to inquire if you have covered garage parking or what.
“For Rent” Signs and Websites to Find Apartment Leases
The best way to find an apartment vacancy is to walk the streets and search for the “for rent” signs. These in Vietnamese could look like this:
- Chung cư = Apartment/studio
- Chung cư mini = Small studio
- Phòng trọ = room to rent
- Thuê = rent
There are also websites that advertise properties available for rent, such as:
Another place to look for apartments to rent is social media, where it’s common to advertise and find new tenants. Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram might be helpful in communicating with the property owner with any questions you might have about the area before seeing the apartment. Join a Facebook Expat group for the lowdown on cool spots to dwell and leases coming up for rent.
Vacation Rentals for Long-term Stays
This can be an affordable option compared to other sites, especially if you’re looking for specific amenities or features or a need something for less than six months and would prefer to be lease-less. Some vacation rentals are shared homes with the owners, so this can be a decent option for those who don’t want to live abroad alone.
If you find an unbeatable Airbnb that you just love after your stay, and want to reserve it longterm, ask the owner if you can pay for a little cheaper off the website, cash instead of credit. This way you save money and they make more money. But it’s usually reserved for an Airbnb owner/host that have developed trust after an already longer stay.
For reference, after a week or so at an Airbnb I rented on Cach Mang Thang Tam in Saigon, I acquired the same apartment on a month-to-month basis for $20 a night, instead of the $25 I had been paying through Airbnb. Because the owner asked me if I wanted to pay offline. This was for an alright furnished studio in a convenient part of District 1 HCMC.
Finding an apartment in Vietnam shouldn’t be too hard, and overall, it’s better than renting a hotel or short-term property for long stays. Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of ways to house hunt for accommodations in Vietnam.