|My "Old" Street|
My posts have been almost non-existent since last year. The rundown building (or "hovel" as my friend likes to describe it) that I was living in, had been sold. Unbeknownst to us (the tenants) there the new owner had no intentions of renewing our contracts and he had no intentions of letting us know that!
This is a ploy used over here. The "old" landlord suddenly decides to make an extended contract with the tenants (in our case, until the 31st of December) or any other date they may choose. The tenants are told that this will guarantee their flat and the new landlord will then make his own contract. We were very trusting...
When there was no contact forthcoming from the new owner by mid-December I decided to get the ball rolling and called to make arrangements. The response? "There is no contract~Get Out!!" When I indicated that he at least needs to give notice, and that it was December and there were no flats to rent in Jerusalem (unless you are very, very, wealthy), he replied: "That is not my problem. I give not one minute longer~do what you like but the building is coming down on the first whether you are inside or not"
When I spoke with the others in the building I learned they were also in the same position. Immediately my life was thrown into turmoil. Working full-time and trying to find a place to live is something I would NOT recommend if you live in Jerusalem. Even with the help of friends I could find nothing~it was very depressing.
I will to do another post on the crap that people are advertising because there is enough material for a novel. Suffice it to say, that greed is alive and well in the Holy City.
On the 31st, with no prospects, I had my belongings packed up and hauled to a storage unit. A wonderful friend offered me a bed until I could find something permanent. On what was probably the worst storm of the year, with water running in the street up to our ankles, my friend and her son helped me drag the remainder of my things to her truck and then to her home. I could write a volume an the kindness of good people...but that is also for another time!
So how hard is it to find a place in Jerusalem?? If you have a shit-load of money, or if you don't mind living like a dog in a leaky, moldy broken down hovel (while paying a huge rent) then I would say you may find something~other than that~it is very, very hard indeed.
I have finally found a place (in March), but it is not long term. For now I have to clean~don't ask!! I also have to wash all of my belongings as they were in storage and are covered in layer upon layer of dust.
Once I get more or less settled I will do a post on the dire rental situation. Most people aren't aware just how bad the situation is if you are a renter, and the many ways the landlords will squeeze you dry before you even step foot in the place. I will close by saying that the majority of landlords have a chutzpah to charge money for what is "very loosely" termed a flat