The Quest for Housing

The hotel that we are staying in is great.  It is a long-term stay hotel and we have a month booked. It is still a hotel, though, and it makes it difficult when a baby is sleeping and a husband is working and needing to make phone calls all in the same space.   We've been on the search for places to live.  There is such a difference in the types of houses/apartments that are available here vs. what we are used to in the upper midwest of the USA.  Lots of apartments are similar, being built in the same era and have all the same features.  You see one you see them all, except some might have a view of the water and others not.   Lots of terraces do not meet US safety standards and with a toddler and two small dogs, that makes me incredibly nervous, but more about that in the previous post and surely more later as well. Many other apartments are large older homes that have been split into several units.  We thought we wanted an apartment, but were showed a beautiful little house that we liked enough to submitted an offer.  

 

The rental process here is very different from the US and other countries that I have researched.  Rental laws favor the renter rather than the owner so it is very hard to evict someone if they are not paying rent.  Due to this, the owners require quite a large down payment for their own security.  5 months rent is required in a secured bank account, plus the first months rent and commission to the rental agent.  This can end up being larger than a down payment when purchasing a house in the US!! You are also expected to negotiate the terms and items/services included within the rental agreement.  We are trying to get access before the occupancy to set up internet services and will be negotiating house cleaning and security services paid by the owner.  We have a meeting later today with both rental agents and the owner of the house.  Fingers crossed!!