I am in the middle of negotiating my lease, so I can finally move out of my hotel/iPad (seriously, my hotel room is like living in a first generation iPod - all white laminate and silver metal). It is a fucking horrendous experience: but I have learnt a valuable lesson: in China, assume you are being screwed. And constantly threaten to walk away.
This applies with everything from a housing lease through to fruit in a market. Not speaking Mandarin is a huge downside to this technique. But so far, this tactic has seen a totally unfair lease come to include all the furniture it should, broadband internet, heating fees and satellite TV. In other words, by being a dick, I’ve actually gotten a fair deal.