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Tips for a New Arrival

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4 Things to Do Before Starting Your House Hunt in Hong Kong as a New Arrival

If you are planning to relocate to Hong Kong or have recently arrived, finding a new place to live is probably a top priority. Apart from searching for properties online or asking friends for advice, completing the following four tasks can help you smoothly navigate the process of getting a home.


1. Keep your employment contract easily accessible

If you only have a digital copy of your employment contract, consider printing it out. You need to present it to the landlord as proof of your work and income. Some landlords might request to look at the original document.

2. Apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID)

You can use either your passport or HKID to sign a tenancy agreement, but it is easier to take up the utilities using your HKID. Even the temporary HKID (paper form) is valid. For more information, please visit

3. Obtain a local mobile phone number from a telecommunications services provider

A local mobile phone number is also necessary for opening your utility accounts. You can get information about the telecommunications services providers from the Office of the Communications Authority and find their shops in most populated areas or major shopping malls.

4. Open a local bank account

If you do not have a residential address in Hong Kong, you may need to provide a reference letter from your employer when opening a bank account. Upon signing a provisional tenancy agreement, you will be required to pay an initial deposit to the landlord in cash or by cheque. The deposit is usually equivalent to one month's rent. Two more months (the balance of the two-month deposit and the first month's rent in advance) is required upon signing the formal contract and receiving the keys. Money matters!

Note: It usually takes a couple of days for the bank to process the application. For citizens of certain countries, such as the USA, the process may take several weeks.

For more information and tips on house hunting, please read this eBook:

SMART Home Hunting: The Key to Renting Your Perfect Place in Hong Kong

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