Renting an apartment in one of China's major cities is becoming easier. Sometimes it can be done with only a few touches on a mobile phone.
In April, 26-year-old Liu Yun rented an apartment without any deposit or brokerage fee in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province.
Liu selected an apartment, placed an order, signed the contract, and prepaid the rent all through an official housing rental account on Wechat. Afterward, she received a password to unlock her apartment.
Amid China's campaign to push forward the development of the home rental market in large and medium cities to address rising demand, more and more young people are choosing to rent through new mobile platforms for housing rental.
"Tenants with higher credit points can even rent apartments without paying deposit or brokerage fee," Liu said.
The traditional rental mode in China requires tenants to pay a three month's deposit plus one month's rent in advance, and brokerage fee equivalent to a half to one month's rent. "Which would be a large amount of money for me," Liu said.
Moreover, what impressed her most is the living experience. When renting the traditional way, if any furniture is broken or electric appliances break down, the tenant will have to contact the landlord to get them fixed. Now, Liu can leave everything to her "rental housekeeper," employed by the rental platform to look after the apartments like a janitor.
"The landlord is often hard to reach. Once I had a broken water faucet, and after several failed contact attempts, I fixed it myself," said Yan Hongmei who moved to Nanchang after graduation in 2012.
Xie Danqing, director of the Zhizhu Rental Platform, said the traditional way of renting often increases conflicts between landlords and tenants. While tenants worry about rising rent and slow maintenance, landlords complain about the careless use of their furniture and appliances.
"The rental housekeeper serves as a buffer. We have insurance for every property to protect the rights of both the tenants and landlords," said Xie.
Hu Wenjuan, 24, is one of Zhizhu's housekeepers and is in charge of over 50 properties in the high tech district of Nanchang.
"Most of the guests are young people like me, and it's easy to make friends," said Hu. The housekeeper can coordinate and provide services including housekeeping and maintenance.
The Zhizhu Rental Platform now has over 3,000 properties in Nanchang, most of which have been rented out and over 90 percent of the renters are people under 30 years old.
"Our target customers are young people, " said Xie, "so our management and decoration style is designed to attract them." For example, each apartment has an intelligent lock, and the electric appliances are all intelligent.
Inside Yan's apartment, a smart controller on the wall can easily adjust the music, curtains, and electric appliances.
"It's comfortable and feels like home," Yan said.
For many young people in China, living a comfortable life with dignity has become more and more important, even if they have to rent and share an apartment with others at the early years of their career life.
"Easing the pressure of renting and lowering the renting threshold for college graduates is the key to retaining talent," said Liu Shengyin, an official with Nanchang Housing Bureau.
The city now has over 10 registered new mobile housing rental companies, and the government is making new policies to support their development, according to Liu.