Paying bills in China: An introduction





No matter where you live, you’ll have various utility and service bills to take care of. These may vary slightly, and your landlord might handle some of them for you (ask before you sign that contract), but here’s a quick look at what you might be dealing with.

The table below shows a list of bills that the tenant will typically need to cough up the money for (even if the landlord handles the actual act of paying the bills and factors the money into the rent), along with a guide to how often these generally need to be dealt with.

Tenant typically pays for

How often

Water 

Monthly

Sewage disposal

Monthly

Electricity

Monthly

Natural gas

Monthly

Cable

Monthly/annually

Internet

Monthly/annually

Phone

Monthly

Heating (north China only)

Every November 

Trash pickup

Monthly

Property Management (wu ye)

Monthly/quarterly

 

A few things that the tenant should never pay for include: 

  • Property tax
  • Building insurance
  • Ongoing maintenance of property

 

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