Renting a two or three-bedroom apartment can cost you on average about US $350 [NT$12,000] plus maintenance fees and utilities per month. However, most apartments are not furnished or sparsely furnished. If you find an agent to arrange housing for you then the minimum fee is half of whatever the monthly rent is. The agent will inform you the basic rent and you should find out how much the general maintenance fees are for the particular apartment. Maintenance fees for a complex are prorated according to the total size of the apartment. In addition to the maintenance fees, you will be expected to pay for gas, electricity and water. Of course, you will pay for additional monthly charges for telephone and cable TV if you have these conveniences. In Taichung, cable TV currently costs NT$450 per month. It is a worthwhile expense if you want chanels like CNN, HBO, ESPN, Discovery, National Geographic, Disney etc.
Most contracts require identification (via passport), a non-interest bearing security deposit equivalent to two months rent plus the first months rent and the agents fee. Since most of us are unable to read the contract in Chinese, you might do well have a local friend review the contract and explain any unusual stipulations within the agreement. Most lease agreements for apartments are standard off-the shelf-documents.
In the worst scenario (which is not so bad really in terms of up front expenses), you can find accommodation in a clean modest hotel. Depending on your negotiating skills, you might be able to stay in a hotel room for NT$13,000 TO $15,000 per month. At least you will get daily cleaning and fresh towels besides an icebox and cable TV!