Renters Stories in Shenzhen – “I moved for about 16 times in 2 Years”

According to the statistics, there are around 80% of people who live in Shenzhen are renting the place, that’s accounted for around 15 millions of people.

Here are stories shared by different renters across Shenzhen.


“I have been living with my boyfriend in a one-bed-room apartment in Bai Shi Zhou(白石洲) for two years. I get depressed from time to time because of the poor living condition, there is a couple and young lad who live in the next door at a 10 square meter place, they live on Bunk beds.”


“I came to Shenzhen last year,and already moved for about 5 times, there is a period that I was unemployed and got lot of stress, my boyfriend who lives in other part of China wants me to come home and get marry. However, I really don’t want to leave Shenzhen, so I decide to break up with my boyfriend.”


“In 2009 a few of us renting a 3 bed room apartment, my boyfriend nearly ran away with the girl that are in the place.”


During my 6 years living in Shenzhen, I moved for about 4 times. I got cheated by the rental agent when i first started renting the apartment. On my second time renting, I can smell very strange stuff in the air, later, the security
guard told me that, there had been person passed away under my floor, and I got really scared,and the following day I decided to  move out of the place.

On my third time renting experience, the building I stayed in there are lots of people involve in prostitution, at first I didn’t know about it, and the security guard mistake me as a client of the prostitute. And he kept asking me how do you feel? And I was very puzzled by that until I learnt about the truth.


“I am a graduate of industrial design, I have been in Shenzhen for three years. In the last two years I moved for about 16 times. The reason include: frequency of job changes, bad landlord, couldn’t get alone well with my flatmates. In my third year, I decided to find a place to live on my own, and it’s quite stable and I lived here for nearly a  year now.

If I have a girlfriend, I am afraid she may not want me renting the place all the time. I do want to buy an apartment here in Shenzhen, but the price is just way too high. I could have choosen to take the mortgage, but I would encounter lots of debt and that would decrease my life quality significantly.”

Edited and translated by: Philip Caruso