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Settling in cost.

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  1. #1

    Settling in cost.

    I am moving to Hk in a month and I have a HKD15k budget for a nice little place, what with my small salary and all. My main concern is cost of initial settling in. How are utilities (power, water, internet, etc...) handled there? Is everything under the landlord and I pay him/her/them monthly or do I have to visit every utilities office and open my own account before I move in? Approximately how much do I need to have/prepare for initial settling in for the first month? Any advice is much appreciated.


  2. #2

    I am guessing that your rent will probably not include utilities, so you will need to have your own accounts for water, electricity and gas. If you rent through an agent (and pay the commission which is usually half a month's rent for apartments in your budget), the agent will more often than not open the relevant accounts for you. If you rent direct from the landlord (or in cases where the agent does not provide the necessary service), you need to open the accounts yourself. This is, however, pretty easy to do. (Apart from the Water Department - their lines are constantly busy, so just leave your name and phone number and have them call you back).

    Water Supply
    Call 2824 5000
    They will require a deposit of HK$400. This amount will be included in your first bill, i.e. no need to pay them upfront. You should phone them to start an account in your name beginning on the 1st day of your tenancy term. Your deposit will be returned when you close your account.

    HK Electric (Assuming your apartment is on Hong Kong Island)
    Telephone 2887 3411
    You will need to register and connect electricity. You can do that by phone. A deposit of HK$500 is required, but this will be included in your first month's bill (i.e. you do not have to pay this deposit separately before the connection). Again, this will be refunded when you close your account.

    TownGas
    Telephone: 2880 6988
    Phone Towngas to make an appointment. The Towngas technician will need to enter the apartment to check that all gas appliances are in good working order and to make the connection. They do that for every new account. This service is free of charge. A deposit of HK$600 is required for opening a new account but is only included in your first bill - in other words you do not have to pay upfront. This amount will be refunded when you close your account.

    Insofar as Internet is concerned, if you require broadband/wifi in your apartment, you will need to phone up the various service providers to get a quote (and the quote may depend on factors such as location of your apartment etc). There are also other options such as "tethering" and using your mobile phone (with data plan) as a wifi hotspot, or buying a portable router etc. Since there are many options, and the choice depends on your usage patterns, I suggest you wait till you are in Hong Kong to explore and decide on which option you want to go with.

    Hope this helps and Welcome to Hong Kong!

    MovingIn07, jgl, wtbhotia and 5 others like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    DB
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    3,699

    I hope you've budgeted for the two-month deposit, one month's rent in advance and agent commision (if using one). Those will be the largest commitments by far.

    chingleutsch and Blossoms like this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Tuen Mun
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    And will you be relying on a prepaid sim in your smartphone for all communications, or do you want to sign up either for multiple packs or a bundled one for telecom/TV?

    Blossoms likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    129

    Unless you have a place already lined up, or have family/friends to stay with, you will most likely be staying at a hotel/serviced apt, until you find a suitable place. Remember to calculate this cost as it may be significant.

    Blossoms likes this.

  6. #6

    Thank you all so much for all your input, esp stanleyliving for the phone numbers!! I definitely did not know about the 2-mth deposit on a rental place, and yes it is a huge commitment I am not sure about my phone plan either. I am plain and simple - I do not own a smartphone yet! A portable router sounds like a good idea for internet since I do not plan to own a smartphone any time soon.

    Here's another question: If I rent a non-furnished unit, how is the furniture market there?
    I have not yet found a place specifically but I am most likely going to live on HK Island as my work place is on the NE part of the island. Still debating about commuting from Kowloon...


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Clear Water Bay (In Da Jungle)
    Posts
    9,968
    Quote Originally Posted by Blossoms:
    Thank you all so much for all your input, esp stanleyliving for the phone numbers!! I definitely did not know about the 2-mth deposit on a rental place, and yes it is a huge commitment I am not sure about my phone plan either. I am plain and simple - I do not own a smartphone yet! A portable router sounds like a good idea for internet since I do not plan to own a smartphone any time soon.

    Here's another question: If I rent a non-furnished unit, how is the furniture market there?
    I have not yet found a place specifically but I am most likely going to live on HK Island as my work place is on the NE part of the island. Still debating about commuting from Kowloon...
    If ya do rent a place you will need to stump up 3 months rent in one go. 2 months deposit and 1 months advance rent.

    Plenty of 2nd hand furniture available or you can get cheap furniture from places like DSC, Price Rite, even Ikea has specials.

    NE part of the island is very easy to get to on the MTR (underground train) and only takes up to 30 minutes of your life each way say from east kowloon, places like Kwun Tong or even from Tseung Kwan O.
    Blossoms likes this.

  8. #8

    Sublease or breaklease?

    I've been looking at sites and there are places for sublease or breaklease. Would it be a bad idea to pick one these up?


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4,821

    In either case if it's with the full agreement of the landlord then it's unlikely to be a problem, but otherwise I'd be very wary. And you need to take care with the utilities (particularly the internet/TV which is likely to come with a long term contract of its own).

    Blossoms likes this.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Gruntfuttock:
    In either case if it's with the full agreement of the landlord then it's unlikely to be a problem, but otherwise I'd be very wary. And you need to take care with the utilities (particularly the internet/TV which is likely to come with a long term contract of its own).
    Thanks. I hadnt thought about the utilities on a sublet place