The lease on my apartment expires on 4th July and my landlord said he had no problem with me paying for an extra month and staying there. The semester finishes mid July, so this would work out really well for me, and would save the hassle of moving everything as I am really busy at the moment.
However my landlord has changed his mind.
He’s upset that I won’t be staying here (in his apartment for another year) and believes that I have tricked him. Infact I never told him that I would stay in his apartment for another year, he assumed this himself.
I told him about 8 weeks ago that I was not going to extend the lease for another year, and he didn’t take this well. He started to get into a frenzy about how I have ‘ruined’ his apartment and that he only bought a new washing machine because he thought I was going to continue to stay in his place. Of course I haven’t ruined his apartment, and he only bought a new washing machine after 3 months of hassling him to do it.
When I viewed the apartment and signed the lease there was a washing machine, I made sure this was put into the contract, but when I came to move in the washing machine was gone. No washing machine, he had taken it. This schoolboy trick upset me, but he said he was going to buy a new one ‘tomorrow’ so I believed him. He seemed like a straight man, one of those ex-army types, direct and to the point. This was a year ago, before all of my troubles and at the time I didn’t really understand how things work here. Now I know, this is a common dodge used by some Chinese – to tell someone what they want to hear, and have no intention whatsoever of following up with actions.
Last July I foolishly agreed to give a 3000元 deposit as a cover for broken things in the apartment. This is silly money, and I should have agreed to only giving one months rent – but at the time I was desperate for somewhere to live and didn’t know any better. At the end of April I managed to negotiate this down to 900元 by giving the landlord less than he was expecting, and saying that at this time I don’t have the funds – but really because by paying in full, I would be throwing away my deposit.
Anyway, this is just one of a long list of things that have gone wrong with the apartment. I wouldn’t care if the apartment was free, but i’m paying good money for the place and so I expect more; but this is what one can expect renting from the private sector in any place.
Here’s a list of things that have gone wrong over the year –
Broken toilet– has a crack in it and when flushed scum seeps out onto the floor- I repaired it myself.
Gas leak – under the sink the gas pipe fractured. The handle for the shut-off valve has been removed (or probably was never fitted – costsaving measure no doubt), had to improvise with a kitchen knife – potential to destroy building.
Water Pipe burst, bathroom sink pipe exploded spraying very high pressure water everywhere (the stop cock was inside a locked cupboard outside the apartment (luckily I knew this), which I forced open with a claw hammer, destroying the door in the process!
Bed collapsed,- I sat on it one day and one of the legs snapped in two!
Wardrobe concertinaed in on itself – This is not a joke! I opened both doors and it fell apart like something from a cartoon- reminds me of this film
Drains stink – Not the landlords’ fault, they stink in all the apartments here, generally a China problem – there’s a market for u-bend pipes…
Black flies – come out of the bathroom sink, probably fly up from the cess pit below.
On the plus side, there hasn’t been a power cut here all year and I had them frequently at my old place. Also, I only recall one day when the water was off, and I remember not having running water for days at a time where I was last year.