We Got Thrown Out Of Our Beijing Apartment!

Blue sky in the morning, Beijing
Blue sky in the morning, Beijing


Followers on my Instagram or Twitter accounts might have seen my recent news: after just a couple of months of living in (and loving!) our 26th floor Beijing apartment, we were asked to move out! I won’t share all the details but basically the landlady would like the apartment back for herself to live in, so we need to go!

Quick peek at the living room
Quick peek at the living room- we enjoyed it for about 2 months!

In China, these kinds of incidences are not uncommon. There is very little protection for tenants, especially expats. I have had friends find out they need to move when an agent turns up with prospective house buyers! Others have lost huge amounts of their deposit for “repairs” that were nothing to do with them. There’s no deposit protection scheme here like in the UK.

Whilst some people manage to get the landlord to pay them a penalty when a housing contract is terminated early, we sadly did not have that clause in our contract. As the rent is paid in advance in three months instalments, I will also be losing about a months worth from my housing allowance. Again, it wouldn’t be right to share all the gory details (yet!) but we are basically being screwed over! That’s not to mention the money we paid to fix the AC units, door lock, double removal van fees and a year’s internet contract!


Modern Beijing
Modern Beijing

I have been feeling really upset about the situation. We love our apartment and we were excited to live in this fun neighbourhood for a year (we did not enjoy suburban living last year!). Losing a lot of money when we don’t even want to move is a really hard thing to accept. House hunting in Beijing is not fun- most places are overpriced and you have to endure viewing a lot of not very nice apartments. But, there may be a silver lining. We think we have found a gorgeous little place in a very different (but one of our favourite!) neighbourhoods! Once we sign the contract next week I’ll reveal where it is. Can anyone guess where it might be?

Has this ever happened to you or anyone you know? Any advice on getting my money back? Where do you think we’ll move to?

Click here to find out where we moved to.

37 thoughts on “We Got Thrown Out Of Our Beijing Apartment!

  1. Oh god. I’ve heard these stories and it always pisses me off. There is little anyone can do but expats can get so screwed on these things. I’m sorry, it did seem like such a great apartment. Are you guys moving into the hutongs? Hopefully it works out and ends up better then what you had before!

  2. Oh, wow!! How terrible! So sorry you guys have to go through this, and good luck with the house hunt (again)… ugh!

  3. Oh my gosh, that’s so lame and it looks like such a nice apartment! We never had problems like that when we were living in Taiwan… The Taiwanese are all too kind I think! :p I hope you guys find another lovely place, and I guess you just have to look at it as an exciting opportunity to change homes.

  4. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear you were forced to out of your apartment, Joella. That’s too bad! I hope, you will like your new place as well. Let me just guess where it might be: Chaoyang, Sanlitun or are you going to move near one of the lovely Hutongs of Beijing? However, all the best for move and that you won’t need to move again afterwards.

  5. Wow, that’s horrible! We had some friends in China who signed a 3-year lease and were told by their landlord that they had to move out after only the first year of their lease. So much mah fan!

    I hope your new place turns out to be just as good (if not better than) as your old place! Moving definitely isn’t fun, but turning an apartment into a home is always a really rewarding process. 🙂

  6. One time the roof of my friend’s apartment was so damaged that during a rain storm it started raining in his room (!!). The landlady had someone check it out, and it was obviously unfit for anyone to live there. He had already paid rent for 3 months, and she didn’t want to give him his money back. Thankfully the real estate agent he used argued her into giving him another apartment, which was nicer than the original one while his room was under construction. She was not happy!

  7. sorry to hear that,but you should check your contract first.
    no compensation clause in a contract is ridiculous. actually you can sue him if he didn’t pay the penalty,but I guess that would be inconvenient for foreigners

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