Monday, April 30, 2012

[Living] Living Comfortably in Daegu (1)

1.    Housing

Types of residence

-Apartment: In residential complex with 5 stories or higher, Janitor and manager on duty,
Stores & amenities, Public parking lot
-Single-family House (individual House): Stand-alone structure on one's own lot, Garden or yard,
Gas supplied
-Villa: Western-style condominium, more spacious and less crowded than apartment complex, 4 stories or lower, Janitor and manager on duty
-Studio Apartment: One-room layout, Gas supplied, Low building, No janitor or manager on duty, Public parking lot
-Officetel(Office + Hotel): Office and apartment compound layout, Office or residential purpose, Janitor and manager available, Public parking lot
-Multi-family House: Small-sized apartments, Low building, No janitor or manager on duty, Public parking lot

Rental type

-Jeonse(key money deposit)
Renter is required to pay a deposit after contracting for one or two years.
Deposit should be refunded at termination of the contract.
Deposit is ordinarily 10 to 20 times the monthly payment.
Renter should pay 10% of the deposit upon signing the contract.
Renter should pay the remainder of the deposit before or upon occupancy.
-Wolse 1 (Monthly payment + key money deposit)
Renter is required to make monthly payments after providing a deposit (one or two year contract).
Deposit is ordinarily 10 to 20 times the monthly payment.
Renter should pay 10% of the deposit upon signing the contract.
Renter should pay the remainder of the deposit and provide the first monthly payment upon occupancy.
The deposit will be refunded upon termination of the contract
-Wolse 2 (Advance payment of total monthly rent)
Renter should pay all monthly payments in advance upon signing a one or two year contract.
Renter should pay 10% of the total monthly payment upon contract signing.
Renter should pay the remaining amount upon occupancy.
Accommodations which are provided by a company to its foreign employees, or by a school to its foreign students
Certain types of visa sponsorship may come with this arrangement, such as:
Industrial trainees(D-3); Employed trainees(E-8); nonprofessional employment(E-9) (Companies and schools are not legally obliged to provide dormitories to employees)

Housing rental & contracts

When entering a contract for renting a house, be sure to check the ownership of the house and make a contract directly with the house owner. The owner of the house is easy to see from the certified copy of real estate register. The contract period, amount of deposit, and monthly rent, etc. should be specified on the contract. It is also important to agree on the method of paying your rent, maintenance costs, repair costs, etc after talking things over with your landlord. The monthly utility fees for electricity, tap water and gas are paid one month after the contract date.
Therefore you need to determine the cost of utilities in the time period that the residence was not used by you. The contract can be renewed every two years; and the rent may be raised with the renewal. If you plan to move during the contract term you should inform the landlord at least a month before. Otherwise, you might have to pay the extra rent.

Real Estate Agents

A real estate agent will provide comprehensive services including the transfer and registration of ownership. The following agents provide legal service, packaging services, and/or general services regarding the purchase and/or rent of offices, and/or compiling contracts.
*Terms and conditions which should be specified on the rental contract
- Address of house(address on the certified copy of real estate register and on the contract should be the same)
- Amount of contract(deposit & monthly rent)
- Payment period and amount of contract fee, middle payment, and balance(Generally, the contract fee is about 10% of the deposit)
- Contract period
- Signature or thumb mark(seal with thumb) of owner and tenant


To avoid any inconveniences, you need to talk to the owner of the house about moving one or two months before. Then, he or she will have enough time to return your key money deposit before or right after your move. For the move itself, it is convenient to contact a moving company. You can choose either the moving service only or packing and moving. Packing and moving takes care of the entire moving process. It is more expensive, but quite convenient. Contact several moving companies and ask for their estimates and check out all of the moving details.
*Please observe the following legal requirements before moving
- Telephone transfer: You should report to the regional telephone service office three days before you move out.
- Foreigner registration: Within 14 days after moving into your new house, you should report to your new "Dong" Office.
- Car registration: The change of address on your driver's license and car registration should be done at the new "Dong" Office within 14 days after moving in, along with the foreign registration.

2.    Electricity

Connection and Disconnection

Public utility services provide electricity and tap water for the residence which are supplied on a continuous basis, except in special cases.


Monthly use is calculated from the regular checking day of the prior month to the same day of the current month. Electricity charges are composed of a basic rate and usage rate. In Korea, the electricity bill is paid together with the TV fee.

You can pay electricity bills at most commercial banks, post offices, or convenience stores. Payment can also be made directly from your bank account if you have set up an automatic transfer of payments at your bank or through their website.

For questions about electrical problems, just dial 123.

3.    Tap Water


The amount of water consumed is checked once a month. Water charges are composed of a basic rate and extra money for the used water. Sewage charges are also included on the water bill.


Payment can be made at banks and post offices. Direct debit from your deposit bank account is also available with through application at the bank. If you don't pay your bill within the notified period, an overdue interest charge is added.

Wintertime water usage

Sometimes, water service to a residence is disrupted because the water pipes are frozen during cold winter periods. To prevent water lines from freezing, there are several things that you need to take care of.
-Check for leakage coming from inside the protective container of the water gauge, and put insulation materials (styrofoam) around it
-To protect the outer protection cover of the water gauge with plastic or heat rays
-Set a faucet to slightly dribble water during long periods when you will not be actively using water.

4.    Urban Gas

Application for Connection & Disconnection

Let the branch office know you are moving a couple of days in advance.
They will give you all the details of urban gas and set up the device immediately. If you want to temporarily stop gas service due to a long absence, moving, etc., contact the regional office or head office. They will visit your place and stop supplying gas temporarily.
For any questions with urban gas, please contact the Daegu City Gas Co. Ltd. At 1577-1190.

Rate & Payment

The rate is calculated by checking the amount used for the month on a regular checking day. Gas charges are composed of a basic rate, the cost of gas used, plus tax. You can pay gas bills at most commercial banks, post offices, or convenience stores. Payment can also be made directly from your bank account if you have set up an automatic transfer of payments at your bank or through their website.

*Preventing gas-related accidents
Most gas accidents are related to gas leakages caused by improper maintenance. In case of gas leakage, you should take the following steps.
- Turn off both the appliance gas valve, and the valve on the gas tank or gas line.
- Open the windows and the doors for ventilation.
- Strictly avoid causing open flames, sparks, lighting cigarettes, or turning-on electrical appliances.
- Call the nearest regional Gas Utility office immediately.

5.    Telephones

Local calls

To open a new telephone line in any location within the nation, just dial 100. There is service in Korean and in English, so you can easily apply for a new account without going to the telephone company. It is convenient that you arrange for your telephone bills to be automatically transferred from your bank account. For any questions, or if you need help regarding a problem with your telephone, you can also dial 100.

Long-distance calls

In Korea the area code starts with 0. When you make a long distance call, dial the area code first and then the telephone number.
How to use:
-When calling within a province dial phone number only
-When calling to other province area code(three-digit)+phone number

International calls

For an international call, the price is more reasonable when you purchase an international telephone card on internet, at the shops for international people, or at franchise convenient stores.
How to use:
dial the international dialing service number → card number → national code + area code + telephone number of the other party, in that order.

Public telephones

To use a public telephone, you need coins or a telephone card. For a local call, the rate is 70 won per 3 minutes, and for a long distance call, the rate is 70 won per 43 seconds.

*Emergency call & collect call
Every telephone has a red button for an emergency case. Even without a card or coins, you can report a crime or fire, and ask for help by pressing this red button. You can also use the collect call service in case you don't have any coins or a card. For this service, the other party will be charged for the phone call. To use this collect call service, please dial the emergency button + 1541 + telephone number of the other party + #.

Useful telephone numbers

Information center for international people: 1345
Multi-cultural family support center: 1577-5432
Police: 112
Fire & ambulance: 119
Report of emergency: 1339
Telephone number information: 114(80 won to be charged)
Long distance phone number information: Area code+114
Telephone number information in English: 080-211-0114(free of charge)
International call information: 00794
Operator-assisted international call: 00799
Disruption of water supply: 121
Disruption of electricity supply: 123
Free legal counseling: 132
Call center for public health & welfare: 129
Hospital information & advice: 1339
National Human Rights Commission of Korea: 1331
Sexual violence, child or elder abuse: 1389, 1391
Emergency support center for migrant women in international marriage: 1577-1366
Ministry of Labor information center: 1588-1919
National health insurance information center: 1577-1000
Government call center: 110
Weather forecast center: 131
Standard time information: 116
Tourist information center: 134
Tourist information center for international people: 1330

Cell phone

Those who have an alien registration card can apply for a cell phone on their own. However, those who don't have an alien registration card usually use a pre-paid cell phone which is called 'card phones'. With card phones, you purchase a card with a certain amount of money charged. The costs of calls made from the cellphone are minused from the amount of money pre-paid to the card by entering the number printed on card. Unlike a general cell phone, there is no membership fee or monthly basic fee but the callingrate is a little more expensive than that of a usual cell phone.

* Information for subscription
SK Telecom: 080-2525-011(free of charge)
KT: 1583 or 02-2190-1180
LG U+: 080-019-7000(free of charge), 1544-0010(paid)

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