paying apartment rent

hello, this is my first post, I hope I am doing this correctly, I am looking to relocate; from the US, to Da Nang, I am retired, so no need to work.  I found some apartment communities on google, near My Beach, appears to be a beautiful area. My question is, if i sign a one year lease, would it be possible to pay 6 months rent in advance, and by paying six months in advance, would that give me any bargaining power? For example, six months rent is $3,600, possible to bargain down to $3,300. It's really not important, I am simply making an inquiry. Also, is it possible to pay rent with a visa card or wire transfer?  Thanks, and I hope I am posting my topic correctly.

timmy21 :

hello, this is my first post, I hope I am doing this correctly, I am looking to relocate; from the US, to Da Nang, I am retired, so no need to work.  I found some apartment communities on google, near My Beach, appears to be a beautiful area. My question is, if i sign a one year lease, would it be possible to pay 6 months rent in advance, and by paying six months in advance, would that give me any bargaining power? For example, six months rent is $3,600, possible to bargain down to $3,300. It's really not important, I am simply making an inquiry. Also, is it possible to pay rent with a visa card or wire transfer?  Thanks, and I hope I am posting my topic correctly.

Anything is possible, but I don't think it's very probable.

I would even think about going in the opposite direction:

Ask for the ability to cancel your contract in the first month if you are not happy.

Getting a discount won't help if you get stuck somewhere you don't want to live.

Just about everything is negotiable EXCEPT the price, at least that's the general rule of thumb.

Someone will probably post about their own exceptional experience.

This thread might provide information you want about paying rent via wire transfer:

Click here

I personally think, more important than you worrying about the exact way to post, the better skill in this forum is learning how to search for information before you post.

Good luck!

Also, don't even think about renting a place until you are here.  Get a hotel for a week or two then start to look.  Ads are often flat-out misleading and untrue.  You also need to see for yourself if that perfect place is right next to the all night karaoke bar.  Please, do not spend a penny until you arrive.  Trust me on this.

1-  I'm 100% against paying rent in advance, and I speak as a renter as well as a right hand person to a couple super duper landlords.

2-  The biggest problem with your scenario is that you plan to rent a place sight unseen.  That's another thing I'm 100% against.  This is not the States where Landlord-Tenant law exists to protect both parties.  There's also no law against misleading advertisements and falsified photos, so if you sign on the dotted line to rent an apartment and end up with a unit that doesn't resemble the photos, you'll have no recourse.

3-  Paying in advance doesn't give you any advantage if the area/building is top quality.  Providers of quality merchandises do not allow the price of the goods to fall lower than the value. 

Example:  My building's landlords left 4/5 of the units empty for 7 months last year instead of lowering the rent to attract new tenants.  Their reason:  good tenants will pay the relatively higher rent for quality living.

Ciambella :

1-  I'm 100% against paying rent in advance, and I speak as a renter as well as a right hand person to a couple super duper landlords.

2-  The biggest problem with your scenario is that you plan to rent a place sight unseen.  That's another thing I'm 100% against.  This is not the States where Landlord-Tenant law exists to protect both parties.  There's also no law against misleading advertisement and falsified photos, so if you sign on the dotted line to rent an apartment and end up with a unit that doesn't resemble the photos, you have no recourse.

3-  Paying in advance doesn't give you any advantage if the area/building is top quality.  Providers of quality merchandises do not allow the price of the goods to fall lower than the value. 

Example:  My building's landlords left 4/5 of the units empty for 7 months last year instead of lowering the rent to attract new tenants.  Their reason:  good tenants will pay the relatively higher rent for quality living.

Very true....

Yes, this one topic we can all agree on.  Generally, there is an abundance of accommodation both long and short-term throughout Vietnam (not sure about Ha Noi though).

More importantly, you don't mention if you have been to Vietnam previously. If not, you may decide to to leave for another country after the first week. Or, you may decide Da Nang is not the place for you.

Anyway, as others mention, it's best to stay loose and commitment-free until you're here.

thanks for the advise everyone, I really appreciate it!

timmy21 :

Also, is it possible to pay rent with a visa card or wire transfer?

No, expect to pay rent in cash with Vietnamese đồng. Use your US ATM card, the ATM machine will convert currency rate and expel đồng.

There are lots of banking tip threads, search forum for "banking" .
Forum search page

timmy21 :

Also, is it possible to pay rent with a visa card or wire transfer?  Thanks, and I hope I am posting my topic correctly.

As Gobot said above, most landlords expect cash, but in large buildings owned by a corporation or small buildings owned by individuals who report all their business income, bank transfer is an option. 

In the small building where we live, all tenants whose accommodations are paid by the employer as part of their employment contract use bank transfer.

If a place accepts bank transfer, you'll see the landlord's banking information printed clearly at the bottom of the contract. 

No one accepts credit card for the rent, however.

I'd only ever pay one month in advance...negotiate a 1 month deposit for a 12 month lease if that is what you want.

panda7 :

I'd only ever pay one month in advance...negotiate a 1 month deposit for a 12 month lease if that is what you want.

One month deposit is the norm for any length of lease.  If any landlord asks for more than one month, say "Thanks, but no thanks", and walk.

Ciambella :
panda7 :

I'd only ever pay one month in advance...negotiate a 1 month deposit for a 12 month lease if that is what you want.

One month deposit is the norm for any length of lease.  If any landlord asks for more than one month, say "Thanks, but no thanks", and walk.

I have noticed of late many agents asking for 2-3 months deposit. One month is all that needs to be paid.

colinoscapee :

I have noticed of late many agents asking for 2-3 months deposit. One month is all that needs to be paid.

Agents who ask for 2-3 month deposit do that so they can receive their commission (equal one month rent) immediately without the landlords feeling the pinch. 

That practice started after a good number of landlords (mine included) decided to pay the agents 1/12 of the commission every month for the life of the contract (and the next one if a renewal is in the picture), just in case the tenant broke contract early. 

My landlords always returned the deposit in full when tenants broke contract, so they used to end up losing the rent after they already paid the agent full commission for less than 12 month lease.

Once I rent my place, I paid six months in advance, and I get one month free as a discount. The landlord agreed for that because I did not go through the agent. So anyway it's ok with them, as they don't have to pay to the agent. The best way should negotiate directly with the landlord.

Contem talk :

Once I rent my place, I paid six months in advance, and I get one month free as a discount. The landlord agreed for that because I did not go through the agent. So anyway it's ok with them, as they don't have to pay to the agent. The best way should negotiate directly with the landlord.

Many places the owner wont do it, they prefer a broker to deal with the hassles. Going through the owner is the best for sure.

Depending on the length of your Visa but you can open a Timo bank account. You can transfer or deposit money into the account and use that to pay the landlord.
I believe there's a location in Da Nang.

yes qnbui, I would say this is an excellent option.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ-uTiJQcAE

My few comments:

1. There are lots of apartments in Ha Noi. I have rented there for more than 2 years.  Very easy.

2. Never rent until you visit - of course.  Advice on staying in a hotel (apartment style very easy to find) for a few weeks while you look around is very good advice. 

3. Banking is fairly easy and payment bank to bank is super easy here online.  I would not use a foreign ATM card or remote banking here.  Expensive and not necessary.

4. Da Nang is pretty "hot". I have rented in 4 cities now, and this one is the hottest. 

5. If you really like a place, paying a few months in advance might be the difference between getting the place and not getting it.  Also, I was able to negotiate a substantial discount by paying in advance.  As mentioned in the stream here, I would not do that of course if you do not know the place and have quite a bit of experience here.  Your views can change pretty fast once you spend a little time on the ground. 

Hope that helps.

You certainly need to see the apartment, surroundings, amenities, and also WIFI speed.  The best way to convert money from USD to VND is to go to a bank like VietcomBank and use a US debit or bank card to get VND.  The rate is 3% and with the right US banks, there is no US bank fee.

Typically landlords would expect rent 3 months at a time.

RCrash :

3. Banking is fairly easy and payment bank to bank is super easy here online.  I would not use a foreign ATM card or remote banking here.  Expensive and not necessary.

Not necessarily true.  Depends on your home country, there are banks that reimburse ATM fees while giving very good exchange rate, making using foreign ATM cards to withdraw money a preferred choice for many expats.  Same goes for remote (online) banking.

joenam :

You certainly need to see the apartment, surroundings, amenities, and also WIFI speed.  The best way to convert money from USD to VND is to go to a bank like VietcomBank and use a US debit or bank card to get VND.  The rate is 3% and with the right US banks, there is no US bank fee.

Typically landlords would expect rent 3 months at a time.

In 12 years living here I have never been asked to pay rent in 3-month intervals as you say.

colinoscapee :
joenam :

You certainly need to see the apartment, surroundings, amenities, and also WIFI speed.  The best way to convert money from USD to VND is to go to a bank like VietcomBank and use a US debit or bank card to get VND.  The rate is 3% and with the right US banks, there is no US bank fee.

Typically landlords would expect rent 3 months at a time.

In 12 years living here I have never been asked to pay rent in 3-month intervals as you say.

In a little over a year, neither have I.

However, I do know two different Vietnamese citizens who pay their rent this way.

Both in Đà Nẵng, FWIW

Yea, as many say, look for the appartment once you come here.

Many times I was offered a discount if I pay year in advance. But, you never know what will happen so, I would not recommend it.

Also, as someone mentioned before, it is a very good idea to negotiate 1 month trial. It takes time to find out that there are ants, or cockroaches, or noisy morning, night, neighbors etc.

None of this you will see when you check the appartment for the first time.

Ciambella :
RCrash :

3. Banking is fairly easy and payment bank to bank is super easy here online.  I would not use a foreign ATM card or remote banking here.  Expensive and not necessary.

Not necessarily true.  Depends on your home country, there are banks that reimburse ATM fees while giving very good exchange rate, making using foreign ATM cards to withdraw money a preferred choice for many expats.  Same goes for remote (online) banking.

[at]Ciambella you might be very right.  I have not used foreign bank accounts for ATM here.  However, I suggest you check carefully the exchange rate.  If there is a foreign bank that converts at less than a 5 - 8% hit to your cash, I have never seen it.  The benefit of local bank is you can wire it in in US$, then convert at almost the exact xe.com mid-market rate from your local USD account to your VND account.  So I pay $0 in conversion costs, $0 in monthly bank fees, and $0 to withdraw any amount.  I do not know how to beat those numbers with a foreign account. 

PS - new rules for foreigners just came into effect.  Not able to deposit at machine (Timo/VP Bank) any longer, and if you use a teller, you must have paperwork to prove source of cash.  Makes it basically impossible to deposit locally.  All advice welcome on this topic!

RCrash :
Ciambella :
RCrash :

3. Banking is fairly easy and payment bank to bank is super easy here online.  I would not use a foreign ATM card or remote banking here.  Expensive and not necessary.

Not necessarily true.  Depends on your home country, there are banks that reimburse ATM fees while giving very good exchange rate, making using foreign ATM cards to withdraw money a preferred choice for many expats.  Same goes for remote (online) banking.

[at]Ciambella you might be very right.  I have not used foreign bank accounts for ATM here.  However, I suggest you check carefully the exchange rate.  If there is a foreign bank that converts at less than a 5 - 8% hit to your cash, I have never seen it.  The benefit of local bank is you can wire it in in US$, then convert at almost the exact xe.com mid-market rate from your local USD account to your VND account.  So I pay $0 in conversion costs, $0 in monthly bank fees, and $0 to withdraw any amount.  I do not know how to beat those numbers with a foreign account. 

PS - new rules for foreigners just came into effect.  Not able to deposit at machine (Timo/VP Bank) any longer, and if you use a teller, you must have paperwork to prove source of cash.  Makes it basically impossible to deposit locally.  All advice welcome on this topic!

We have been talking in this sticky thread at length about the new rules.

Also, we crunched the numbers for Schwab Bank (a foreign bank) here ---> in this thread and affirmed that there is virtually zero loss in the exchange rate (in addition to free ATM fee rebates).

I understand you are Canadian, so that info may not be helpful to you, but your statements about foreign banks are sweeping and general, so I'm replying  for the sake of the casual reader who sees your post in the future.

Also, as I've posted many times, banks here in Vietnam such as a ACB have domestic accounts and international accounts.

I cannot walking to the bank with Vietnam Đồng and deposit into my domestic payment (i.e. "checking") account.

However, I can take Vietnam Đồng into the bank and deposit it into my international account; a prepaid Visa Debit card.

Since you are able to avoid so many fees (including wire transfer fees?) would you please tell us where you do your banking?

Is it Timo?

Thanks and Cheers!

OceanBeach92107 :
RCrash :
Ciambella :


Not necessarily true.  Depends on your home country, there are banks that reimburse ATM fees while giving very good exchange rate, making using foreign ATM cards to withdraw money a preferred choice for many expats.  Same goes for remote (online) banking.

[at]Ciambella you might be very right.  I have not used foreign bank accounts for ATM here.  However, I suggest you check carefully the exchange rate.  If there is a foreign bank that converts at less than a 5 - 8% hit to your cash, I have never seen it.  The benefit of local bank is you can wire it in in US$, then convert at almost the exact xe.com mid-market rate from your local USD account to your VND account.  So I pay $0 in conversion costs, $0 in monthly bank fees, and $0 to withdraw any amount.  I do not know how to beat those numbers with a foreign account. 

PS - new rules for foreigners just came into effect.  Not able to deposit at machine (Timo/VP Bank) any longer, and if you use a teller, you must have paperwork to prove source of cash.  Makes it basically impossible to deposit locally.  All advice welcome on this topic!

We have been talking in this sticky thread at length about the new rules.

Also, we crunched the numbers for Schwab Bank (a foreign bank) here ---> in this thread and affirmed that there is virtually zero loss in the exchange rate (in addition to free ATM fee rebates).

I understand you are Canadian, so that info may not be helpful to you, but your statements about foreign banks are sweeping and general, so I'm replying  for the sake of the casual reader who sees your post in the future.

Also, as I've posted many times, banks here in Vietnam such as a ACB have domestic accounts and international accounts.

I cannot walking to the bank with Vietnam Đồng and deposit into my domestic payment (i.e. "checking") account.

However, I can take Vietnam Đồng into the bank and deposit it into my international account; a prepaid Visa Debit card.

Since you are able to avoid so many fees (including wire transfer fees?) would you please tell us where you do your banking?

Is it Timo?

Thanks and Cheers!

[at]OceanBeach92107 this is excellent, detailed information.  Much of it new to me.  I think it significantly shifts the balance in favour of using Western banks here, which I have never done.  You have more and better info on this and the members should follow those links and read the good info.

My banking here is as follows: Timo (VP Bank subsidiary), OCB (small business bank based in Saigon, very few branches around the country, but good understanding of international matters), and Vietcombank.  I have US and VND accounts with the last two, and VND only with Timo - they have no USD accounts possible. 

Banking in Canada is very consolidated into  "the Big Five" and I deal with most of them.  With BMO and Scotiabank I have both CAD and USD accounts with both and no fees for wires, etc due to the level of my banking relationship.  I am pretty sure that most people can find a way to avoid or pay an annual blanket for banking in Canada to keep costs zero or low.  I have not had to investigate that for a long time.  When I transfer I use USD account in Canada to send to USD in VN.  So there is no exchange.  A Canadian bank would hit you with about 5% for FX fee, so I never do that.  When transfer is complete to VN, I have seen that the exact amount sent is received in all cases.  Quite easy and seamless and free. 

Perhaps there are Canuckians out there that can benefit from all of the options presented in this thread and the others you thoughtfully linked - I hope so!

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