Followers on my Instagram or Twitter accounts might have seen my recent news: after just a couple of months of living in (and loving!) our 26th floor Beijing apartment, we were asked to move out! I won’t share all the details but basically the landlady would like the apartment back for herself to live in, so we need to go!
In China, these kinds of incidences are not uncommon. There is very little protection for tenants, especially expats. I have had friends find out they need to move when an agent turns up with prospective house buyers! Others have lost huge amounts of their deposit for “repairs” that were nothing to do with them. There’s no deposit protection scheme here like in the UK.
Whilst some people manage to get the landlord to pay them a penalty when a housing contract is terminated early, we sadly did not have that clause in our contract. As the rent is paid in advance in three months instalments, I will also be losing about a months worth from my housing allowance. Again, it wouldn’t be right to share all the gory details (yet!) but we are basically being screwed over! That’s not to mention the money we paid to fix the AC units, door lock, double removal van fees and a year’s internet contract!
I have been feeling really upset about the situation. We love our apartment and we were excited to live in this fun neighbourhood for a year (we did not enjoy suburban living last year!). Losing a lot of money when we don’t even want to move is a really hard thing to accept. House hunting in Beijing is not fun- most places are overpriced and you have to endure viewing a lot of not very nice apartments. But, there may be a silver lining. We think we have found a gorgeous little place in a very different (but one of our favourite!) neighbourhoods! Once we sign the contract next week I’ll reveal where it is. Can anyone guess where it might be?
Has this ever happened to you or anyone you know? Any advice on getting my money back? Where do you think we’ll move to?
Click here to find out where we moved to.