Sunday, July 4, 2010

What I learn from 'House Renting in OZ'.

My landlady (who stays next door) asked me this morning, "Azza dan Fadzil tak cadang nak pindah kan?" I was a bit taken aback by that question. Does she: 1) want us to pack up and leave, 2) trying to convey a message of rent increment, 3) feel unhappy on the state of our home?
To be continued...

Flashback... (with the blurry effect like in Hallmark channel)

My husband was accepted as a PhD candidate in April 2005 in University of Western Australia (UWA). Alhamdulillah, we were so happy to begin our life, a baby was due in 3 months. It took my husband a while to find a place for us to call home in Perth. I stayed in Seremban for a couple of months, waiting for him to find a place for us, and busy completing my MEd, before flying to Perth.

Our first unit (a 2 bedroom apartment and 1 bathroom) was situated in Banksia St, Joondanna, WA. A super place place for a young family like ours. After a year, Al Fateh, being an active boy, needed a bigger place to channel his energy. At the same time, I was working as a school teacher in Mannington, about 45minutes journey from Joondanna. Thus, the adventure of finding a house with a suitable location and budget began.

A happy kid who needed more space to play!
Location: Dealy Close, Cannington.

The processes involved in finding a rental house in Perth were tedious, yet systematic. All of these were taken care by the housing agent, not the landlord. Lots of forms needed to be filled, with two referees (who must be locals). We could call the agent to look around the house, or we could just drop in during viewing days. If we like it, forms were to be returned to the agents to be assessed by the landlord. Usually, there would be 3 or more interested tenants; some tenants did bid to pay extra $20-$50/week to ensure the place was theirs, but we did not. Paying $180-200 per WEEK was more than enough!

I enjoyed house viewing! Some houses were new, some were old but ALL were taken care well. This is what I learn from my vast house viewing in Perth. All of the houses for rent were spick and span! From the garage to the kitchen, it was spotless! It's like the old adage, cleanliness is next to godliness. Allah asks us to be clean, Rasullullah showed marvelous examples in regards to cleaning.
Breakfast with our visitors in our backyard at Dealy Close.

By the way, we got a house, after the 5th attempt, in Dealy Close, Cannington (which took around 6 weeks!). How did they accept us? The agent called our previous agent and ask us on our quarterly inspection reports as well as payment. Yes, you read well. We had inspections every 3-4months. The agent would post to us a letter to announce their arrival (we hated these letters!), usually 2 weeks in advance. This letter imposes us to scrub and scrape all the dirt in every corner of the house AND the compound, too! How cool, eh? Nevertheless, what I learn from this is that we need to take care of the property that we live in, whether it's ours, rented or borrowed. You need a shelter, so take care of it!

back to present time (and tense...)

It's a shame when we go for our late afternoon drives, we can actually differentiate between owned/rented properties (most of the time). It disgusts me to see some can live in a filthy environment, and that's only the exterior of the house. Astaghfirullah. But I really hope that the interior is way better. By all means, I'm not a super clean freak, do ask my husband for confirmation, but at least, your home, where you pray, eat, rest, play with your kids and sleep, it should be clean-ish! (Amy of FPE, I know you are nodding frantically! I feel sorry for you and your filthy yet expensive rental house experience).

Al Fateh learns to use paint, pencils, crayons and markers only on papers
because of the renting system in Australia.

All in all, I learn alot from our house renting experiences in Perth:
  • we need to take care of others' property, as if we are borrowing a thing from a good friend, we are obliged to return it in near perfect condition.
  • we dont take care of our house to satisfy the landlord/landlady, but we do it for the sake of Allah.
  • if we are so used to live in a dirty and messy condition most of our renting lives, will we actually make a paradigm shift when we move to our own home?
  • I pity the landlords out there. Full stop.
  • I should start teaching my kids about responsibility of using others' belongings. Take care of your things as if it's your own. Even the see-saw and the swings at the park.

1 comment:

  1. We should take responsibility for the property we're renting.


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