Types of housing
|Multi-unit housing||Apartment||Buildings with 5 floors or more used for residential purposes.|
|Residential–commercial complex||Buildings with the 2nd to 4th floors used for commercial purposes, and the 5th or higher floors used for residential purposes.|
|Tenement house||Residential buildings with 4 floors or less, and a total floor area of over 660㎡.|
|Multi-family house||Residential buildings with 4 floors or less, and a total floor area of 660㎡ or less.|
|Villa||Low-rise residential buildings similar to Western-style condominiums that have a spacious interior, although smaller than most apartments in compound size.|
|Officetel||Relatively small residential establishments that can be used as both an office and living space, equiped with essential furnitures and convenience facilities.|
|One-room||Housing units consisting of one large room designed for use as bedroom, living room, kitchen and dining room, etc., with a separate bathroom. Popular in areas near universities for rents lower than officetels.|
|Single, detached houses||Residential buildings with freestanding walls surrouding each dwelling and built on a separate lot.|
Rental facilities providing hotel-style services for long-term business residents.
Recently gaining popularity among foreigners reluctant to buy furniture for a relatively short stay.
- The Act on Reporting Real Estate Transactions, Etc., and the Real Estate Registration Act.
- In Korea, it is customary not to sell or purchase land and buildings separately.
Residential housing purchases
- Before hiring a licensed realtor, check his/her credit and experiences.
- When hiring a licensed realtor, all procedures including title transfer registration shall be handled by the licensed realtor’s office.
- Contract may be filled out in English.
Before entering into a contract, one must check the real estate register (certified copy).
(When visiting the relevant registry office, one has to carry his/her alien registration card and passport.)
Jeonse (leasing by year with security deposit)
Jeonse is a real property lease system unique to Korea. Instead of paying the landlord a monthly rent, a significant amount (usually 30%–60% of the price of house) is entrusted to the landlord as a security deposit during the term specified in the lease. The security deposit is returned in full when the lease expires.
- After signing a 1–2-year lease (generally for 2 years), the securit deposit is paid in advance.
- When the contract expires, the landlod shall return the security deposit in full.
At the time of contract, 10% of the security deposit is paid as down payment.
(The remaining amount is paid at the time of move-in.)
- Tenant shall maintain the state of the residential unit as it had been at the time of move-in.
- After signing a 1–2-year lease contract, the agreed-to security deposit and monthly rent shall be paid.
- The amount of security deposit is about 10 to 20 times that of the monthly rent.
- The higher the amount of security deposit, the lower that of the monthly rent.
- At the time of contract, 10% of the security deposit shall be paid as down payment.
- At the time of move-in, balance payment and one-month rent shall be paid in advance.
Security deposit shall be returned in full after contract expiry in principle; however, in special circumstances
(e.g., tenant failing to pay rent), such amount shall be subtracted from security deposit and the balance shall be returned.
Type of lease wherein rent for a certain period is prepaid (lump-sum) without security deposit for officetels or commercial properties, with the term of lease being 1–2 months for shorter ones and up to 1 year for longer ones. Also, this method is mainly used by students living in college neighborhoods who have vacations and no intent of a long-term use.
Payment of bills before moving out
Korea City Gas Association (070-8282-8300)
-To make an inquiry to your local gas company, contact the Association.
|Power||Korea Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO (123)||Website|
|Water||The Office of Waterworks, Seoul Metropolitan Government (120)||Website|
|Incheon Metropolitan City Waterworks HQ (032-720-2114)||Website|
|Daegu Metropolitan City Waterworks HQ (121)||Website|
|Busan Metropolitan City Waterworks HQ (121)||Website|
|Gwangju Metropolitan City Waterworks HQ (121)||Website|
|Phone or Internet||KT (100)||Website|
|SK Broadband (080-8282-106)||Website|
|LG Uplus (1544-0010)||Website|
|Postal Service||Internet post office (1588-1300)||Website|
Lease contract procedure
In review of the terms of contract, the following must be checked.
① Check the relevant information on the real estate register (certified copy).
② To avoid disputes, check security deposit, rent payment method, real property brokerage fee, moving date, term of contract, etc.
③ When the landlord and tenant reach agreement on the terms of contract, they shall execute a contract and each keep one (1) copy thereof.
④ Prepare moving expenses in advance. (Moving fees and other expenses to be paid on the date of moving)
⑤ Within 14 days of moving, visit the district (gu) office’s service center or immigrations office and report change of residence.
⑥ Visit the relevant registry office or dong resident center, and have a fixed date stated on the contract.
⑦ It is safe to remit down payment, intermediate payment, and balance payment by account transfer to the bankbook under the name of house owner entering into the contract.
※ What is a fixed date?
- The date proving the existence of a lease contract.
- After seal by a reputable agency is affixed on the lease contract, the number entered in the fixed date register shall be stated on the contract.
- It can be deemed an official document enabling return of security deposit through right to priority payment.
※ Why is it important to be issued a fixed date?
- When the leased house is sold through auction, disposition on tax default, etc., the lease shall end. In this case, the fixed date is a “must” to receive, in priority, jeonse money and security deposit.