【The rented house in Shanghai is a partition】Partition Living in Shanghai: A Review of My Rented House

Shanghai is one of the most populous cities in China, with a vibrant economy and a booming real estate industry. However, with the ever-increasing demand for housing, many apartment complexes and buildings have resorted to partitioning rented houses to accommodate more tenants. This has become a common practice in the city, but it has also raised concerns regarding safety and living conditions. In this article, we will discuss the partitioned rented houses in Shanghai, their pros and cons, and the impact they have on the city’s housing market.

The Pros of Partitioned Rented Houses

One of the most significant advantages of partitioned rented houses is that they offer affordable housing options for low-income families and individuals. Due to the high cost of living in Shanghai, many people cannot afford to rent an entire apartment or house. Partitioned rented houses provide them with a more affordable option that fits within their budget. Additionally, these houses are often located in central areas of the city, making it easier for tenants to access public transportation and other amenities.

The Cons of Partitioned Rented Houses

Partitioned rented houses are often criticized for their poor living conditions. These houses are typically small, and tenants have to share common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. This can lead to issues with hygiene and sanitation, which can be a significant health hazard. Additionally, the partitions used to divide the houses are often flimsy and lack proper insulation, leading to poor soundproofing and privacy issues. The lack of space and privacy can also have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of the tenants.

The Impact on the Housing Market

The demand for partitioned rented houses has had a significant impact on the housing market in Shanghai. The high demand for affordable housing has driven up the prices of these houses, making them less affordable for low-income families and individuals. Additionally, the practice of partitioning rented houses has led to a shortage of available rental properties, further exacerbating the housing crisis in the city. This has prompted the government to introduce new regulations to improve the living conditions of tenants in partitioned rented houses and provide more affordable housing options for low-income families and individuals.

One of the biggest challenges that expats in Shanghai face is finding affordable housing. While there are plenty of options available, many of them come with a hefty price tag. As a result, many expats opt for rented houses which are relatively affordable. However, the rented house in Shanghai is often a partition, which can be a big adjustment for those used to spacious homes or apartments.

What is a Partition?

A partition, also known as a “lane house,” is a type of housing in Shanghai that is commonly rented out to expats. These are typically small homes or apartments that have been divided into multiple units. Each unit is usually small and consists of a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette. The units are separated by thin walls or curtains, which means that noise can be a big issue. Additionally, many partitions do not have windows, which can make them feel dark and claustrophobic.

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Shanghai Municipality Property Lease

Full article: The Shaping of Housing Histories in Shanghai

Pros and Cons of Living in a Partition

Living in a partition has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages is the price. Partitions are much more affordable than other types of housing in Shanghai, which can help expats save money. Additionally, many partitions are located in convenient areas of the city, which can be a big plus for those who want to be close to work or other attractions.

On the other hand, living in a partition can be challenging. As mentioned earlier, noise can be a big issue, as the walls are often thin and there may be multiple units in the same building. Additionally, many partitions do not have windows, which can make them feel cramped and dark. Finally, because partitions are often located in old buildings, they may not be well-maintained, which can lead to issues with pests or other problems.

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An unforgettable old Shanghai style lane house apartment

Rental housing markets in Chinese megacities

Tips for Living in a Partition

If you do decide to rent a partition in Shanghai, there are a few tips that can help make the experience more enjoyable. First, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out noise. Second, decorate the space to make it feel more like home. Finally, be prepared to deal with any maintenance issues that may arise, as the landlord may not be as responsive as you would like.


Overall, the rented house in Shanghai is often a partition, which can be a big adjustment for expats. While living in a partition has its advantages and disadvantages, it can be a good option for those who are looking for affordable housing in a convenient location. By following a few tips, expats can make the most of their partition living experience in Shanghai.

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