How to Find Short-Term Rental Housing in Seoul

Gwanak Short-term housing

If you browse housing in Korea you will quickly realise that not many realtors will be willing to work with you if you want a contract under one year. Sometimes it’s even hard to find a contract under two years!

However, there are a lot of people who want shorter contracts. Exchange students are a great example – how can you find housing for only six months or a year?

I’m here to say that finding a short-term rental in Seoul is actually surprisingly easy! You just need to know where to look.

Types of Housing

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A short-term rental property in Gwanak, Seoul.

If you are looking for short-term housing you have two main options. You can either opt for an apartment or a goshiwon.

Goshiwons are small rooms that have everything you need within them. They are cheap and can easily be found for less than $400 per month. The downside is that they are quite small and can be quite cramped.

While a goshiwon is a great option if you are on a budget (or don’t mind living in a tight space), they definitely aren’t for everyone. This is especially true if you need to be able to cook, or if you are traveling with more than one person.

If that’s the case, you will need to find an apartment. Luckily, finding an apartment for short-term rental in Seoul is possible before you even set foot in the country.

There are a few different types of apartments within Seoul – one rooms (usually in villas or officetels), and apartments (which usually are for families). If you want to learn more about the types of housing in Seoul, please refer to student housing in Seoul.

Why Is It so Hard to Find Short-Term Housing in Seoul?

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Short-term rental property in Mapo-Gu.

If you have never looked for housing in Seoul, you may not know this. However, finding short-term housing in Korea is very hard. Why is this?

It generally comes down to two main reasons, both of which involve costs to the landlord. When it comes to short-term housing, the landlords are expected to pay the realtor every time the tenant changes – if you go through a few tenants every year, this price can quickly add up.

Secondly, there are costs the landlords incur between every tenant. Cleaning is required, and often maintenance also – this means that going through multiple short-term rentals is not only an inconvenience for them, but also costly.

It is for these reasons that most landlords won’t even allow you to move in if it’s for shorter than a year (or two). For short-term properties, you really have two options – to use a goshiwon, or to find a realtor/service that specialises in short-term rentals. That is where Ziptoss comes in!

Finding Short-Term Housing

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Gangnam short-term rental.

I recently wrote an article about the best English Realtor in Seoul, and I am going to mention them again here. Ziptoss is an English housing service based in Seoul that is perhaps the best housing service for foreigners in Korea.

I wrote a full review of Ziptoss. However, if you don’t want to read it, I will give you a brief description.

I recommend Ziptoss because of a few reasons:

  • They are similarly priced to a local realtor at 200,000KRW. This price includes everything from finding a suitable short-term apartment to helping with the contract. They will even assist you if you have any issues after signing the contract! Most realtors will charge 150,000+ and they won’t speak English or assist you after you have signed the contract.
  • Ziptoss has a massive variety of housing options. They have thousands of options and hundreds for shorter periods.
  • They are fast and efficient. They will usually get back to you with some housing options in a couple of days (max!).
  • Unlike most realtors in Seoul, Ziptoss are happy to work with you before you land. If you want to sort out housing before coming to Seoul, then they are one of your few options.

After experiencing their services myself I can say that they are the most organised and efficient housing service I have experienced in Seoul.

To find short-term housing using their website simply navigate to the map. From there, you will get a pop-up asking whether you are looking for short-term or long term rentals. Click short-term and you are ready to go!

Short-Term Housing Cost

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Housing costs start from as low as $250 per month!

They have houses for any budget. Really. I browsed through the housing and was able to find over 70 apartments with 0-$500 deposits. There are also options that require no deposit!

I then changed the filters and searched for apartments with $20,000+ deposits. There were more than a few!

What I’m trying to say is that you can really find nearly any kind of short-term rental on Ziptoss.

In regards to rent, there are options as low as $250 per month. These can go nearly as high as you want. For both students and families alike, there are options available.

Currently Ziptoss is only available in Seoul, however, they are looking to expand to other cities soon if possible.

Within Seoul, apartments are available all over the city. Some areas will have limited options if you have strict requirements for your housing, but generally, all of the popular areas will still have many options to choose from.

Housing Process

The housing process is straightforward and can be begun before you are even in Korea. On their website, use the contact button and fill out the short questionnaire.

The form will ask what requirements you have for housing as well as your budget. Finally, they will ask for your contact details and who referred you (Seoulinspired!). Now, you just have to wait.

Within a few days Ziptoss will get back to you with some apartments which fit your requirements and location. From these options you can either visit the apartments yourself, or they can send you photos/videos if you aren’t in Korea.

From there, it’s simply a matter of signing the contract and you are good to go! You now have a short-term rental apartment in Seoul.

Housing Furnishing

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Most apartments in Seoul will come fully furnished.

Most apartments in Korea will come either partly or fully furnished. While it depends on the apartment in question, it is standard that you won’t need to bring any of your own furniture. This makes short-term rentals in Seoul ideal for someone who won’t be living in Korea for long.

You can expect that the housing will come with all of the necessary appliances (washing machine, AC, and possibly also a dryer/dishwasher depending on the housing type) and furniture (bed, desk, chairs, etc).

Typically you will only need to purchase small items such as coat hangers, plates, cups, etc. Luckily, these can usually be found cheaply at Daiso if they aren’t provided.

Other options

Of course, there are other options also for apartment hunting. Ziptoss isn’t the only service in Korea, and there are a variety of other sites and services.

However, I am unable to vouch for them myself and I do recommend caution. Housing images in Korea can be deceiving and often the images will make rooms appear much larger than they are in reality.

Some other great options for finding rental properties for short periods of time are:

Conclusion

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Short-term housing in Seoul can be both cheap and easy!

Finding short-term housing in Seoul can be very hard to find if you don’t know where to look. For the reasons described above, many landlords and realtors will refuse to even consider you if you can’t sign a long contract.

However, that doesn’t mean that there are no options. Luckily, there are a few! If you are a student, then a goshiwon might work for you. But if you need more space, you’ll have to look towards an apartment.

No matter what kind of apartment you are looking for – one room all the way to a three bedroom apartment, I recommend Ziptoss. I have had a great time using their services and I can happily recommend them to others.

If you have any further questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me at Ethan@seoulinspired.com or with the comment form below! I will reply as soon as I am able to.

Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by Ziptoss. However, all opinions expressed here are my honest opinions after using their service.

Why Is It so Hard to Find Short-Term Housing in Korea?

It generally comes down to two main reasons, both of which involve costs to the landlord. When it comes to short-term housing, the landlords are expected to pay the realtor every time the tenant changes – if you go through a few tenants every year, this price can quickly add up.

Secondly, there are costs the landlords incur between every tenant. Cleaning is required, and often maintenance also – this means that going through multiple short-term rentals is not only an inconvenience for them, but also costly.

How Much Does Short-Term Housing Cost?

Short-term housing in Korea has a wide range of costs. However, it can be found as low as $300 per month (with no deposit) and can go as high as you can want.

What’s the Minimum Rental Period?

Usually short-term rentals are 6 months or 3 months. Although very short term rentals can be hard to find, they are out there. There are places that will let you stay for as little as one month.

Where Can I Find Short Term Rentals in Seoul?

There are a few different websites and services which can be used to find short-term rentals. However, I recommend Ziptoss. Not only do they have fantastic service, all in English, but they have thousands of properties listed. They can find something to fit your needs.

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