Saturday, 8 August 2009


an example of a **keys in office** property.

for the last month, heng and i have been on a bit of an adventure (downer) as we've been going head to head with the fierce rental market. it's been interesting (but mostly soul crushing) and we've had some laughs (between fits of tearing our hair out).

here's a run down of some rental language we've learned...
  • **keys in office now** is code for 'this place is a complete dump'.
  • cosy means small and claustrophobic.
  • low maintenance garden means smothered in gray cement.
  • close to public transport means so close that the house rattles every time a train goes past.
  • position, position, position means there's nothing positive to say about the house.
  • a very smiley and helpful land agent should sound alarm bells as it's extremely likely he's clocked you as a couple of suckers and will attempt to offload problematic properties onto you.

    allow me to elaborate...
we found an absolutely stunning and spacious 50s house that won our hearts immediately. our application was approved by the super friendly land agent who appeared to bend over backwards for us. the final hurdle before signing, was to meet with the owner... who turned out to be a bitter old tyrant with an enourmous chip on his shoulder. his outrageous and non-negotiable 'conditions' included his coming over every weekend to mow the lawn and to throw away any of our stuff that he thought looked untidy. he was insistent that he'd kick us out if anyone else came to live in the house and we were required to call him every time we had visitors. he made a point of warning us that he'd enlisted the neighbours to spy on us. we ran a mile!


Jennie said...

Good lord! I'm glad you were in a position to turn him down, rather than put up with that shit. Our landlord mows our lawn once a month (in theory), but he knocks on the front door first to check it's okay, and lets himself round the back if there's no-one home. We usually don't notice he's done it until a few days later!

gretchenmist said...

i laugh reading this because i completely know what you are talking about minus that dreadful landlord.
it's so depressing ~ we have been half-heartedly looking around and i've found that horrible dumpy 2 brm houses are now costing almost what i was earning when i was working full-time!
there was one that has a balcony that wobbles when you step on it that is up for rent again at $110 pwk more than last time we looked {less than 2 yrs ago} and is now totally unaffordable and still unlivable.... aaaaggghh!
a tip {probably obvious} ~ never waste time looking if there are no photos of the inside in the ad!
hope you find something good :)

myf said...

thanks, i think we'll land one, eventually. there are a few gems to be found if you are persistent and lucky. Also some well meaning landlords- we found a house that was perfect in every way and really affordable. we were quite gutted when we didn't get it but the real estate agent explained there was nothing wrong with our application, just the owner thought it best to give the place to a family. it must be so much harder with kids.

angela said...

OMG!! What a nutcase, glad you saw these little warning bells!! It's a shame such a cute little house was ruled by him.

I'm sooooo Happy to hear your going to Japan!!! Woooohooooo! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!

I'm at my desk tonight working away on my soon to be released Tokyo shopping e-zine, hopefully it will be finished before the end of the week.

Yippeee for Japan holidays!!

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