When you organize and plan wisely, renting a Hong Kong apartment can be quite enjoyable. However, even if you are the most detail oriented person, there are some things, you just don’t expect. So after so many years renting here, we want to tell you a few things to absolutely expect. Here are 5 Unexpected Inconveniences while renting a Hong Kong apartment
Expect to repair things.
No matter if you rent an older or new apartment, you will experience issues related to your utilities. I really like the apartment I stay in now. The apartment was renovated 4 years prior to my move, and everything was of good quality. But after 4 years, I’ve come to expect things to break down and eventually need fixing. Here are some of the things I’ve had to fix for my apartment
- Annual Air Conditioner Cleaning for the Living Room (cuz the A/C was leaking water onto my tv)
- Toilet Flushing Pump ( 3 times in 4 years)
- A purchase of a new washing machine as the old one from my landlord sounded like a drill bit
- A purchase of a new air conditioner in the room as the old one didn’t cool effectively anymore.
- Hinges on wardrobe doors broke and needed repair.
Solution: Make sure you find the closest hardware store so you know where to go when things need to be fixed. Also fix problems immediately because problems are a million times more noticeable in a small space. When our air conditioner was leaking, my wife was onto getting a repair man ASAP. We had the problem fixed on the same day.
Expect humidity issues during the spring, summer and parts of fall.
During late spring and summer time, humidity is very noticeable. It’s not uncommon to find green patches on your walls when you come home from a long day of work. I mean we have to turn off our air conditioners when we are away right? Not to mention, when you hang dry your clothes, they often can smell musty even if you hung them on the sunniest part of your room.
Solution: A dehumidifier can help, but it just comes down to being diligent when cleaning. Also packet dehumidifiers (elephant brand) in your wardrobes are helpful too. As far as the musty smell, I hate to acknowledge this happens to me. I found that washing the clothes in hotwater helped eliminate the odour. Hmm…maybe this will be a whole new post because humidty and how it affects clothes is a big issue.
Expect a visit from mosquitos, moths and flies
You are not going to find to many Hong Kong apartment rentals with fly screens. I have never come across them in all the apartments I’ve lived in and visited. But they are going to make their way into your home. Sure some of you will live up high on the 30th or even 40th floor, but they are going to be around.
Solution: To combat this, my wife and I(before the birth of our kids) invested two entire days to make DIY fly screens. Here is what we used
- Double sided velcro tape (hardware store)
Insect mesh screen (Japan Home centre)
- Measuring Tape(Basically we measured the dimensions of all our windows and I drew a diagram of how they were to be cut)
We also came across some actual screens in Aeon Living plaza. Make sure you wipe them with a micro fibre cloth or vacuum them on low. Why? Dust can settle there easily.
Expect renovation work.
If you think that the only form of noise pollution is from the traffic outside, well I hate to be the harbinger of bad news. Apartment renovation work is debilitating. Can you imagine what I had to deal with when I saw this outside my apartment? The drilling, jack hammering, and pounding was mind numbing for 3 full days. Can you imagine this with TWO babies who need nap times!!!!!!!!!
Solution: Most apartment buildings have notices in advance of which apartments will have renovation work done. They are in written mostly in CHINESE. So whenever you see a notice up, ask the guard what it says on the notice. Or ask a neighbour. Many people are nice to translate for you.
Expect maintenance work for your building
Your apartment’s elevator will need to be checked quarterly. So you might have to walk those flights of stairs down, good luck walking up if you live above 10 floors! There may be days where your building’s plumbing needs maintenance – no flushing water. Again these things will all be announced in a Notice and posted a week in advance. They will also tell you how long maintenance work will take.
Solution: The key here is to know in advance so can plan an outing in advance(READ NOTICE in your APARTMENT BUILDING LOBBY), particularly with kids. Maybe you can hang out in an indoor playhouse or beach? We have even arranged a stay-cation at a nearby hotel because both of our building’s elevator needed to be checked and that took pretty much the whole day. Dayuse.com.hk is something we went through. As implied in the website name, we just booked the room for the daytime at a very reasonable price. This was a fantastic option as we were able to use the hotel’s facilities(pool) and have a room to bathe the kids afterwards.
So there you have it. 5 Unexpected Inconveniences while Renting a Hong Kong Apartment. Hopefully these tips will help you plan things in advance to tackle these issues, rather than it springing up as a surprise.
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