You are renting a flat, right? Let me guess. You used an agent. You paid half a month of rent. He didn’t deserve it. Well…we both feel the same.
Hong Kong is super modern & convenient. So why the hell is the process for finding a home so arcane & frustrating?
Pain in the ass — sounds familiar?
I was simply looking for a flat in Central, Sheung Wan or SYP.
It took me 45 flat viewings walking up & down hills in the crazy city heat. I feel like I lost 3 weeks of my life.
Like most of you, I went online. I felt pumped at first when I saw pictures like:
(This is gonna be soooooo cool!!!!!)
Yes I know, I am a naive person. Of course they all turned out to be either fake or outdated. You could also call them “teasers”— dangled in front of me by predator agents to attract poor lambs like me.
The fun really starts once you filter out the fakes:
- Andy Warhol-like photographic masterpieces…
- Thrilling flat descriptions à la J.K. Rowling…
(OMG! A shower curtain! I need this flat!)
- Mind-blowing flat designs with special features like “the shower …in the kitchen!”…
But all joking aside, after 3 weeks and 45 viewings, you feel like shit.
In the end, I actually managed to find a home. Can’t complain. Cool street. Clean. Reasonable rent.
But I felt empty, tired, frustrated.
My last agent on the other side was smiling. He had shown me only 4 of the 45 flats. Lucky guy.
Once I made my decision, he (obviously) only thought about the cash. He came fully unprepared to sign the tenancy agreement. It took an hour as he wrote like this:
Great customer service: no greeting, no smile, no thank you. Maybe my rent was too low to deserve such luxury treatment?
He gave me the rest: “That’s a 15,000 HKD commission!”.
Of course I knew the 50%-of-rent rule. But at this point, I was overwhelmed by a deep feeling of injustice. That’s a lot of money for opening doors. I could do that myself.
So I will close this post the way I reacted. Because it perfectly illustrates what I think about looking for a flat in Hong Kong:
(What the Fuck?!)
I am surely not the only frustrated flat hunter. So let me ask you guys:
WHAT ARE YOUR HORROR STORIES? WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS?
Just share them below. Each reader will bless you (or at least have fun reading it) 🙂
P.S. if you feel the same as I do, be sure to share & like!