Lease and Rental Agreements

Understand what to expect from the tenancy agreement when renting property in South Korea...

In South Korea, the exact terms of a rental agreement are negotiated between the tenant and the landlord. An estate agent can be really helpful in this process. A rental agreement should include the following information:

  • Amount of key money paid
  • Monthly rent and payment method
  • Amount of estate agent commission
  • Start date of the agreement, when a tenant can move in
  • Duration of the contract

It is typical for tenancy periods to last between one and three years. It is usual for contracts to allow tenants to end a contract if they are more than half way through. A penalty may need to be paid for terminating early if a good reason is not given. A contract should outline acceptable reasons for terminating the contract early. It is normal for notice periods of termination to be around two to three months.

All details and terms of a rental agreement should be discussed before the contract is written. It is important to check that all copies of the contract, for the tenant, the landlord and the estate agent (if used), are the same. This is important because the tenant is responsible for the contents of a contract once it is signed. Individuals should also confirm the "fixed date". This is the date a contract was signed. It is stamped by an authorised organisation to prove that a contract exists. The date can be confirmed at a Ministry of Justice Registry office by taking a copy of the contract and proof of residence.

Identification, such as a passport and proof of residency, is usually needed by foreigners to sign a rental agreement in South Korea.

When moving out of a rental property, tenants should make sure that it is left in good condition, at least to the same standard as when they moved in. This will help make sure that the key money is returned in full.

Further Information

  • The Seoul Global Centre information on housing: Click here (and scroll down the "Living" option in the blue bar across the top of the page and click on "Housing")