Vietnamese have a very particular culture and mindset that some may find it difficult to understand when you first come to Vietnam. This article will put the landlord — tenant relationship in context and outline what should you be aware to establish a positive and healthy relationship with the owners of your rental place, which can go a long way in helping you live in the best conditions possible, getting you the fastest responses to maintenance requests, and keeping your rental rates reasonable.
1. Language Barrier
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
This pieces of advice is one of many words of wisdom left behind by Nelson Mandela, and you can just follow it to earn some good impression in the first meeting with the landlord. Simple words like “xin chào” or “cảm on” do not only break the ice but also give you chance of receiving better rental terms compared to other tenants.
2) Negotiate only when you really want to rent the house
One of the unwritten rules in rental market is that the negotiation on price, services or furniture only starts when you really want to rent the house. The landlord generally will feel very annoyed if people back out after the negotiation is done. This act is also considered to be unprofessional and impolite in the housing market.
3) Miscommunication is common
Mis-communication is usually the cause for all the problems. Try to be on the same page with landlords when you get into an verbal agreement like how clean the house should be when you move in and move out, how the services will be done if it is provided with the rent.
4) Flexibility on contract terms
Some landlords do not follow 100% contract terms even after it is signed and they have received deposit from tenants. Even though being very uncommon, the issue would be one of the most irritating things ever happened to you when you suddenly realize that the landlord change her minds and does not want to remove that old dirty sofa in the living room, for example. This is not a signal of disrespect, it’s just that they think it’s okay to do so and ask for your agreement later. So do stay calm and talk things out when you feel the contract terms must all be followed exactly.
5) Selective on race and religious
Usually, your religion will not affect your rent as much as where you come from. Interestingly, Vietnamese landlord don’t refer Vietnamese tenant for many reasons and the list is second by some nations like China, Taiwan, India, Korea. In contrast, Japanese is very much favored by most of landlord in Vietnam. My advise is that you should not take this point personally. This perspective comes from their personal experience and media influence.
6) They can be your good friends in Vietnam
Alisher — one of our customers — once told us that the landlord occasionally gave him Thai Nguyen tea as he knew Alisher was a tea lover. This indicates that the relationship between landlord and tenant does not always need to be formal and benefit-based. Having a Vietnamese friend that can help you to understand better the culture and lifestyles of the city is not a bad idea.