Working and Business > Teaching in Korea

House Hunting for a New Place

Once you decide you want to move, one of the first things you need to do is talk to your current landlord/landlady to let her/him know that you plan to move. Make sure to check your lease to see what conditions you have to fulfill to get your deposit money back. Even if your lease is due to expire, you are still expected to give one month advanced notice to get your deposit money back. If your lease is not due to expire, then you may also have to fulfill other obligations, as stated in the lease agreement. 

The landlord/lady will ask you to choose the day that you will move out, and then this will also be the day that you get your deposit money back. The problem is, if you do this too early, it can put undue pressure on you to find a place before this day arrives. Therefore you should start looking before making a decision on this. (Note that one of the challenges of looking early is that available units are often available now or relatively soon.)

When you have found the area you want to live in, talked to some good real estate agents - budongsan junggaesa/부동산  (Note: use more than one even if they are all in the same area they will have different places to show you), and you know generally what kind of place you are looking for, decide on a moving day with your current landlady. Be sure to keep your him/her up to date on your search. If it turns out you need more time to find a place, talk to your landlord right away to arrange a new moving day. (How well all this goes will depend a great deal on your relationship with your landlord/landlady as well as her/his personality.)

There are also some things you should be sure to ask about when you are looking. Ask whether or not the key money is negotiable. You can sometimes put down more key money and then pay less rent and vice-versa. Find out which appliances are included. If you need to, you can buy affordable used appliances from recycling centers. You should also ask whether or not there are monthly building maintenance fees that you will have to pay on top the rent. Other important considerations include things like cleanliness, ventilation, noise level, convenience of transportation, etc. Finally, if you are interested in a place, be sure to meet the landlord. Having a kind landlord, even if he/she cannot speak English well, is very important.

Remember to go to the district (gu) office to report your  change of address. You are required to do this within two weeks after you have moved.

More details on what you should do/know before signing the lease/contract, in the Housing section of Moving to Korea.

K4E Editor's Note: wants to provide the most accurate and complete information possible so if you noticed any errors or omissions on this page, please let us know at


Last Updated on 2012-06-26

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