and let’s just be honest here… a complete nightmare!
I’ve been at it for close on 3 months now and have gone from finding a lovely place, paying a deposit, and getting excited about living by myself for the first time ever… to being flatless and living in Imar and Tamara’s spare room.
How did this happen? Well, let’s just say that down and out tenants who don’t have jobs, can’t pay the rent and refuse to move out have far more rights than landlords or aspiring tenants do. Leaving said future tenant – no matter how honest and hardworking they may be – to hang about in a painfully awkward in-between position and finally give up hope. (Note: this last bit only happens once the deposit has found its way safely back into no-longer-future tenant’s bank account.)
Not cool, but oh well. Things happen for a reason, right?
Anyway, so here I am back at square one searching high and low – okay mostly high, as I feel like I am now a 25-year-old working woman who should be rising above those student day lows – to find a cosy, comfortable, sunny, wooden-floored, airy flat with a big balcony/stoep, a patch of garden and a space for a kittie.
And, as many of you may know, this is no mean feat when searching in Cape Town’s vibey CBD. You are normally faced with one of two options: crusty and marginally cheap or awesome and breaking the bank.
It’s not all bad, though, as I have been both well entertained and occasionally charmed by the varying offerings Gumtree has brought to the table over the past couple of months.
For instance that beautifully maintained 1 bedroom flat with it’s shiny wooden floors, immaculate kitchen and reasonable(ish) price most unfortunately located inside a building rife with signs reading: “No prostitution, drug dealing (insert all kinds of other dodgy activities) will be tolerated” (or something along those lines). It only took me a while to realise that warnings find their origins in actual problems.
Or the dark and dusty flat in a conveniently located… ahem… established block that only has an OUTSIDE SHOWER AND TOILET. i.e. If you have to wee in the middle of the night, you will not only have to leave your bed, but also your flat, after which you will have to brave the creepy courtyard and scuttle over to your personal potty… TWO DOORS DOWN! No thanks!
Then you find those places you fall head over heels in love with at first sight. Your dream abode where you picture yourself sipping after-work glasses of wine on the balcony, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, hosting dinner parties and befriending the neighbours. The type of places that are always just slightly too expensive, slightly impractical or slightly out of the way.
Despite the frequent lows and short-lived highs I have been pushing forward in faith and feel that my big break is coming soon, very, very soon! Let’s hope this week brings some good news!