We have been on the move non-stop since we landed last Sunday. Mostly we have been walking from apartment inspection to apartment inspection, literally all day! But it was worth it, we found a place we love! We move in on Thursday the 14th and even though we likely won't have our stuff till the end of the month its still exciting to move in.
The rental market here is so different than in the states - I am by no means an expert, but I will try to explain our experience.
Rental agents hold 15 minute inspection periods for an apartment where people line up out front to view the apartment. (These are not individual appointments like you would think of in the states and agents won't drive you from appointment to appointment, or show you other agents places. You are on your own.) If you like the apartment you submit an application on the spot or at least by the end of the day. The agency then goes though your application and decides who of all the applicants will be selected to live in the apartment. You also provide documentation with your application - there is a 100 point scale that you have to meet. Being foreiners with a dog we needed to provide extra documents, I think our packet was 24 pages long, including a doggie resume for Bone Crusher, we may have gone overboard.
Durring the first part of our search we were tagging along with Nikki (also working with Chris & looking for an apartment) to apartments that don't accept dogs just to meet agents and see if they had options for us. I think we saw a total of 4 apartments that accept dogs (that is if they like you), but a total of 24 apartments. We also spent about 3 hours every morning calling different agents trying to find apartments that would allow dogs, continual strike outs!
I do have to say that the waiting to hear back from the application was agonizing. We got a call the day after the application was submitted for an interview. They focused mainly on our visas, jobs and Bones. There was concern that Bones would bark. So the agency needed special approval from the owner - it was a good thing Bones had a resume. The owner reviewed the resume and accepted us, phew! They called us back 10 minutes later to tell us we were approved. It was the same feeling as when Chris got the job offer in Australia!
Once we accepted, in order to take the apartment off the market we put down one week's rent....well actually Oscar and Jules put down one weeks rent since our back account hasn't cleared yet. Thanks guys! Next week we sign the lease and out down a bond, which is 4 weeks rent.
Looking back and during these were our game plan.
-Its a relationship game. The agent is basically making a decision if they want to give you the apartment or not. They need to like you, especially since we have a dog. We went out of our way to email thank yous, talk with the agent before we even looked at the place, not complain/point out things we don't like etc.
-Present yourself well...don't look like a slob.
-Be prepared, especially if you have a dog. The pet resume is hands down what got us the place (I know it sounds crazy) and personal/rental references. The concern with a dog is size, barking and shedding. We were lucky we had landlord references that targeted these items.
Enough about the process, here are the photos of our new place. The best part of the place is the patio - its 33 sq meters (that means big)!
|Bones is going to love this place|
|Living room looking at the front door, kitchen and stairs to bedroom and bathroom|
|living room looking out to patio, there are two sections a shaded and larger sunny area|
|The kitchen, with gas stove! All the appliances are hidden, there is a dishwasher in there|
|Bedroom, with lots of closet space!|
|Bathroom, with the laundry to the right|
|Layout, ou can really see how big the patio is!|