1) Only a handful of websites post apartments for rent IN ENGLISH.
the most popular ones…
– craigslist Beijing ( http://beijing.craigslist.com.cn/)
– cityweekend Beijing (http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/classifieds/housing/housing-for-rent/)
– theBeijinger (http://www.thebeijinger.com/classifieds/housing/Apartments-for-Rent)
These websites more often than not post real pictures of apartments and the agent will speak decent English, BUT they tend to list only apartments on the upper end and scare away foreigners that are looking for budget housing.
For e.g. recently there has been multiple posts of the SOHO apartments in Sanlitun. These apartments are very very nice, but they’re also around 9000 RMB for a 1BR. Appropriate for some, but definitely not all.
So，what do the locals do?
The most popular website for apartment search is (rent.soufun.com). The website’s entirely in Chinese and most if not all apartment ads are posted by real estate agents that only speak Chinese. But if you get a Chinese friend to help you with basic words, you might be able to get by.
Here’s a start.
IMPORTANT: More often than not, the pictures of apartments shown on this site are not of the actual apartment unit that is available for rent. The site limits the number of photos each agent can post which is why they get recycled. So make sure you see it for yourself!
If after this, you’re still feeling paranoid about your housesearch, feel free to contact us :
(WE DON’T CHARGE FOR HELP LIKE THIS!!!! WE LOVE GIVING GREAT ADVICE.)