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Types of housing

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.
Serviced residences 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.


Housing purchases

Related legislation
  • 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.)

Leasing methods

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.
Monthly lease
  • 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

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.

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