The landlord may be a real estate developing company or a private owner. The advantages of having a private landlord are the price is often relatively low and more choices are available. However, you need to be cautious about private landlords in China. Keep in mind that it could be the first time that the landlord has rented to a foreigner or even rented an apartment. Make sure that the contract agreed is clear with regard to repairing obligations, standards and quantities of appliances provided, obligations of issuance of official receipts, settlements of disputes, etc.
Always ensure that you can obtain a copy of the ownership certificate for the property and attach it to your tenancy agreement. This ensures that the "landlord" signing the agreement and renting the property is legally entitled to do this.