Let’s say you’ve found your ideal studio apartment in Korea and you’re now ready to settle in. But what should you look after right after signing the contract? In this article, we’ll be discussing some precautions and tips for renting an apartment after signing the contract.
- Precautions after signing the contract
In order to guarantee the rights and safety of tenants in houses for rent in South Korea, the Korean government has formulated the “Housing Lease Protection Act“, but this law must have an actual action of moving in to take effect, so after signing the contract, a declaration of moving in and legal certification date are required.
Why do I need to declare when I move into my apartment?
The deposit is not a small amount. After the move-in declaration is completed, the priority of repaying the tenant can take effect. In this way, even if the house is auctioned, the refund of the deposit (amounting up to 37 million won) can be protected.
Why do I need to have a legal certification date?
If the homeowner has a financial dispute or is in debt, the homeowner should give priority to repaying the tenant’s security deposit if the legally certified date of the house lease contract has been secured.
How do I apply for a declaration of moving in and a legal certification date?
- On-site processing: Bring the house lease contract to the residential center where the residence is located to apply for the move-in declaration and legal certification date.
- Online application: Apply for the move-in declaration at “민원24”(https://www.gov.kr/portal/foreigner/en) and apply for the legal certification date from “인터넷등기소” (Online Registry).
Here are examples of issues you could encounter and what you can do to avoid these when renting an apartment in Seoul:
- Min Shuo signed a studio apartment on March 3, 2014, and lived there until February 28, 2015, preparing to move to another place. The tenant, Min Shuo, did not inform the homeowner in advance that he would not refund the deposit. What should Minshuo do? Is it the homeowner’s fault?
Answer: No, it is not the homeowner’s fault. If the homeowner is notified that the tenant wants to cancel the contract, and if there is no one to take his place within the 3 months, then the homeowner might not agree to cancel his contract. The tenant should inform the homeowner to check out a month before the expiration of the contract, otherwise, the contract will be automatically extended.
- Minying signed a one-year rental contract with the homeowner. After one year, he wanted to live for another three months but he only told the homeowner that he wanted an extension, not specifying the specific period of time. After another 3 months before checking out, the homeowner believed that the contract was automatically extended. Minying should pay the agency fee before checking out, regardless of whether a new tenant was found.
- Answer: In the case of signing a contract, the tenant informs the owner that the owner should cancel the contract within 3 months from the same day the owner checks out. Therefore, if the landlord is notified three months before moving, the tenant is not obliged to find the next tenant or pay a handling fee.
With a different belief in real estate services, ZIPTOSS helps people just like us, working hard to have a stable life, and successfully start a new beginning in a foreign land.
ZIPTOSS real estate managers, who have received professional training from Korean real estate agencies, are committed to ensuring the safety of tenants and protecting the legal rights of tenants in Seoul apartments for rent long term during contract formulation and signing.
For example, some homeowners and real estate companies, before signing a contract, only verbally say that the rent includes water, electricity, etc., but there is no written clause in the actual contract. When this guest checked out, the host deducted hundreds of thousands of won from the security deposit for failing to pay the water and electricity bills on time.
In addition, ZIPTOSS has a team of photographers who personally take pictures of each apartment. There are no false photos and every customer’s right to know is guaranteed. Providing Chinese and English services for foreign customers, and handling fees are preferred to be settled in Seoul.
In South Korea’s Residential Rental Protection Act, there are many favorable terms for tenants, but many people do not understand them. They are foreigners, and the conditions of each rental are different, which is more complicated. There are many situations in which you cannot use the law to protect yourself. When facing these legal issues, it is better to consult a professional real estate company such as ZIPTOSS to avoid being deceived.
Tips for people living alone
Although the heating fee should be “pay per use”, the actual cost and efficiency will be quite different depending on the method of use.
- Change “Hot Water (온수)” to “Low Temperature (저온) when heating
It’s best to set the heating to low temperature. Gas might be wasted when we boil water because most people tend to add cold water to make the temperature tolerable for them.
- Prevention of freezing and cracking of water pipes
The Winter season in Korea is relatively cold, and the bursting of water pipes is prone to occur at this time. For you to prevent the water pipe from freezing or cracking, it is recommended to turn on the water and power supply even if the heating is not used. Stagnant water in the pipes might freeze and damage the pipes. If the heating equipment is outdoors, keep the heating equipment and water pipes on, let the water drip to keep the water from freezing inside the pipes as the extreme temperature can cause cracks in water pipes.
In South Korea, you need to buy special garbage bags when you throw out garbage.
These garbage bags can be bought in convenience stores or supermarkets near your home. If you are living alone, it is not recommended to buy a garbage bag with a large capacity, as the accumulation of garbage will give off a smell.
Food waste bags can be placed in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator, which will neither smell nor attract insects. Note that if you put food waste into the toilet, it may cause the sewer to be clogged.
General garbage: meat and seafood bones and shells, eggshells, herbal and tea residue, nutshells, fruit and vegetable skin and seeds, and spices are easy to confuse with food waste, but these are all classified as general waste.
Non-recyclable garbage: Broken glass, ceramics, floor glue, shoes, and items with the plastic film should be placed in general garbage bags or special large bags before discarding.
-For any types of jars, glass bottles, or plastic bags that have space should be flattened to prevent small waste like cigarette butts or candy wrappers from entering them. In addition to this, labels and stickers from bottles and jars should also be removed and segregated properly.
Bottles: Pour out the contents of bottles into the drain(when pure liquid) or into the general trash bag, rinse them with water, and flatten them. Also, remove foreign objects such as plastic caps. Gas bottles and pesticide bottles should be opened first, empty contents, and put in the general trash bag before discarding the bottles.
Paper: Paper garbage should be bundled and discarded. If there are any non-paper materials, take them out and put them in a general garbage bag. If it is mixed with foreign objects such as plastic-coated flyers or notebook springs, it cannot be recycled. If it is a carton, please unfold and compress it to minimize the volume of trash in your bag.
Polystyrene, plastic: After completely removing foreign objects and attached labels, tie them up and throw them away. If there are a lot of foreign objects or other material labels, please put them in a general trash bag before throwing them away.
Fluorescent lamps and dry batteries: Throw them separately into the garbage separation bins set up near the house, or around the residential area, such as residential centers, nursing homes, or supermarkets, but please keep them in a state where they are not damaged.
You can buy high-quality and inexpensive daily necessities online. Products such as ramen noodles, canned tuna, mineral water, instant rice, etc. that are not easy to expire or deteriorate can be purchased online, which is more convenient and economical. However, if there are nearby supermarkets around, you don’t need to shop online. Although it can be more convenient to buy heavier daily necessities such as mineral water or items in bulk online.
Room cleaning 101
- The drain of the sink: put 3-5 pieces of 10 won coins to make the sink antibacterial and to prevent odor.
- To remove hidden dirt on cutting boards, sprinkle with coarse salt. Let it sit there for three minutes and rinse it after.
- Cleaning burnt pots and pans. Mix equal parts of vinegar, flour, and hot water to remove grease, stain, and odor on burnt pots and pans.
- Microwave oven: Put two tablespoons of vinegar, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and two cups of water in the microwave oven, then run for three minutes. Once done, wipe the inside of the microwave oven with a dry cloth. You can also use some toothpaste to remove grease.
- Cleaning your dishcloth. Mix a 2:1 ratio of tap water and vinegar in a sealed zipper bag, dip the dishcloth in the mixture to sterilize.
Mirror: Dip conditioner on a dry cloth, and use it to wipe the mirror to clean it and to prevent it from fogging.
Bathroom tiles: Rub the tiles using potatoes and wipe with a rag or cloth. This way, the mold on the tiles will be easier to remove.
Toilet: Use cola to remove toilet stains. Cola contains citric acid which helps remove tough stains and odors. Pour the coke into the toilet and rinse after one hour.
Faucet: Wrap the faucet with vinegar or toothpaste using a paper towel, and clean it off with a toothbrush after 5 minutes to remove dirt and grime.
Fan/Exhaust: Sprinkle flour on the cover and wings of the fan, and clean them carefully using a clean cloth after three minutes.
All-around cleaner: Mix brown sugar and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio to make a natural detergent. This can be used for cleaning surfaces in your bathroom.
Wire organizing: Use the core of a paper towel to organize complicated wires such as hair dryers, chargers, and electric irons.
Dust on the bed: Use a roll of sticky paper to collect dust and dirt on fabrics.