Originally I had written the below paragraphs (after this one) a few days ago regarding an ongoing issue with my agent, but just yesterday another issue popped up. After having supposedly resolved the previous issue, my agent suddenly calls yesterday. “The landlord wants to visit so I need to borrow your keys again. Why? I replied, given the agent had brought the landlord over just last week (the agent had borrowed my keys and brought her over when I wasn’t there.) Why does the landlord want to visit again? Uh, she wants to sell the place. She’s bringing over someone to check it out, said my agent. What? I said. So not even 3 months into my 1-year lease, and the landlord wants to sell the place, and will presumably be bringing people over during this time. “But you can continue living there,” says the agent. The agent is coming to borrow my keys this afternoon, but I’m going to put my foot down and demand to meet the landlord. After all, neither me or the previous tenant has ever met the landlord or has her info. The agent will probably not like that, maybe he might be furious, but I’ve had enough of this bullshit.
I’ve been in Beijing for over three months and it’s been an interesting time. As my recent housing agent issue might be cleared up (I won’t hold my breath about something flaring up again sometime) without any physical or fiscal injury incurred by myself, I hope I can get back to writing more here.
I’ve learned a few quick lessons about renting a place, so as to avoid hassles in future like being threatened by your apartment agent or being caught up in tussles between the previous tenant and the agent.
-check all the aspects of a situation – for instance, before moving into my current place, I should have clearly asked if the agent knew I was moving in
-don’t take shortcuts just for the sake of saving time and effort – I should have visited the agent before I moved in as opposed to waiting till after. I had indeed called him before I moved in, as the previous tenant had suggested, and we discussed my new rent for when the previous tenant’s lease was up. I didn’t say I was moving in since I thought he knew and he didn’t ask me when I was moving in since he probably thought I was doing so after the previous tenant moved out.
-don’t hesitate to walk away or bargain about rent
And for after you move, here’s what I’m learning.
-don’t hesitate to stand up and refuse to meet their demands (advice I need to put into practice)
-be prepared to get the authorities involved
-be hard up with the agent, especially if like mine, he’s not the most helpful or polite individual, and don’t feel like you owe him anything. Agents are supposed to help you as long as you’ve paid your rent and haven’t done anything bad to the place. I’m finding out from both online and personal sources that housing agents in Beijing are possibly some of the most unscrupulous people in China, if not the continent.