Moving Pains

I am in the process of moving again and this time around it is ridiculously difficult – primarily because of my landlord who has not been helpful at all in the process. I don’t know if it is a culture thing, but some of the things she wants is baffling.

I am ending my contract earlier so I need to find someone to replace me in the flat. That is understandable. I think that is pretty common in Hungary (but still strange compared to home where all you need to do is give one month notice and you don’t need to replace yourself – at least in my experience).

I was reviewing our utility payments in preparation for placing an ad and I noticed some irregularities in our electricity bills. The payment amounts for the month of June the bill was 25.984 Ft and for the month of July was 13.238 Ft which is extremely high. Most flats pay 2000 – 4000 Ft a month. So I emailed my landlord asking if this is normal for the flat. We had our meters changed in the first months of our contract so my meters may possibly have been wrong. Her response? She said that this was our usage and there is nothing wrong with the meters. She didn’t say if this was normal or not. She then made a rude remark about how foreigners typically use more electricity because we don’t turn of lights when we leave a room or leave things plugged in when we don’t need them.

This common shocked me and I was frankly quite taken aback. All I asked was a simple question and she had no right to assume things about me and my flatmate. In my mind, I feel like our electricity use is pretty normal so I don’t know what she is talking about. I dropped the subject because it would have just been too difficult to get the electricity company to look into it if she, as the owner, is not willing to look into the matter. And it was even less likely that we would be able to get our money back even if we wanted it.

A few days later, I learned that she entered our flat without our knowledge and without warning us before. I don’t know if this is common in Hungary, but this utterly shocked me. Yes, she owns the flat, but we’re paying her rent every month and that rental amount gives us some right to our privacy, does it not?

So I’m glad I’m moving. There are still a lot of things I need to work out and the landlord is not being helpful at all in the process. I’m the middle man – the landlord emails me her demands and then I relay them to the potential tenants. I’m stuck in between and I have to deal with complains and arguments from both sides. It is taking forever to finalize contracts and deposits because I have to pass information from one party to the other instead of them just talking to each other. Needless to say, I’m utterly frustrated by the process. I’m so happy I’m on holiday.