Settle in – Housing

20 08 2009

Hahah, it took much longer than I thought to be back here with the very first stories in San Antonio…

Alright, so you might know I travelled to Ohio for about a week right after I arrived in the US. Several times in that week, I called and talked to my “potential” roommate who is studying in UTSA too. He is an Indian guy that I found on craigslist San Antonio and we made a deal long time before I left Vietnam. He offered me a room for rent in his appartment and we planned to meet at the appartment on Aug 1st. Things seemed to be fine and no problem during 3 phone calls I gave him when I was travelling.

August 1st, we drove to San Antonio in early morning from Houston and arrived at the appartment at lunch time as planned. When I walked in, shaked the Indian guy’s hand and said hello, another guy showed up. Uh oh, that seemed like not a good sign. After showing me his dark, messy and curry smell space, he said “the room is not available until September 15 because I rented the room for this guy. But you can stay in my room until he moves out then you will have your room; I will charge you only half of the rent”. “EXCUSE ME ?!?!?!” . Man, he broke the deal and didnt even tell me a word earlier; I confirmed on the phone when I was in Ohio that the room would be ready on August 1st and he still said YES loud enough that I had no more question in my mind.

I got pretty mad, said no way and stepping out of the apartment. He clinging “whats the problem of sharing the room with me?”


“If you want, I can ask that guy to move out now so you can have the room to move in”

Oh gosh, I couldnt believe that. if he could kick that guy out of the room right now then he would do same thing to me anytime he wants to. Not a person to trust…

I ordered a big Mac for lunch. the burger seemed to be harder to eat then. We tried to contact our friends in San Antonio over lunch with the hope of getting some hint about housing here. We finally got an option from our friend Pam. We figured out way to get there and from there to the campus right after lunch and we went back to meet the landlord and see the house. Its a nice 2 floors house; the landlord lives alone downstair (well, actually he has a son and a girlfriend come over and stay pretty often) and he rents the whole upstair that is 3 bedrooms, share 1 big bathroom, 1 living room and 1 kitchen. The place is clean, neat and quiet; about 2 miles away from the campus. Seeing a place like this right after the “heart broken” deal with the Idian guy, I said “Im gonna get it!”. So, I signed a 9 months lease.

Until now, Im still happy with this place. But these are some small things about my not very nice landlord:

1. The day I came to see the place, he advertised his house, spreading his arms and said “here is the living room, with BIG screen TV…”. it sounds like I was gonna be able to enjoy the TV. Then, the day I moved in, he said “I put a big TV here but if you wanna watch TV, you better get one and put in your room. cause if you use this one, and somebody will use it too and when its broken, you say you didnt break it, another one broke it and its gonna mess things up”. What??? thats ridiculous, isnt it? so why he leaves the TV in people’s rented space and let them have responsibilities on it while they cant touch it ?!?!

2. The landlord has washer and dryer downstair but doesnt let anybody use it. So mean. A small thing like washer and dryer became my biggest concern later. But thanks God, I finally found laundry facilities near my place after 2 weeks living in San Antonio; its about 2 miles away, 5-7 minutes biking; not too bad.

3. He advertised there is internet the day I came to see to house. Couple days after I moved in, still no internet. I figured out he has internet cable downstair and doesnt use wifi so he needs to contact AT&T to get the wifi password cause he forgot. On the 3rd day, he stepped up my room and asked ME to call AT&T. I said “you better talk to them cause I have no idea about your account information”. Then he asked “do you have your cell phone here?”. I said “uhmm, its on the table”. He picked my phone up, called AT&T and warmed the phone up for more than half an hour; finally got the password. Having internet and getting back with the whole world made me forget that he had used so many minutes on my phone.

4. The landlord usually shows up upstair. Obviously he has key to get upstair and I wonder he also has keys of the bedrooms. I saw him got upstair several times when I got back home from school. Well, he is not expected to be in people’s rented space and to me, he has nothing to do upstair.

I feel like the landlord is kinda taking advantage on people. Some of my friends might be right: “You dont want to be gentle in America”.




5 responses

31 08 2009

There are laws here that protects both the renter and the landlord. I suggest you change the key to your room. When your contract is up in 9 months, you should go and look at apartment complexes for a one bedroom or studio and that way rules and guidelines are clearly drawn. Renting from private people are a little sketchy sometimes if you get a bad landlord. Make sure to read the contract clearly and add anything you want to the contract so that the landlord can’t back out of it later or change the rules on you. Wish you luck and the best with your schooling her in the US.

6 09 2009

thanks for all the suggestions. I appreciate that.

27 09 2009

Hello ! I have finally had a chance to stop by your new web.
want to red more about you over there !


3 11 2009

omigod, Tuan, what a nightmare with your landlord! Welcome to America – haha

4 11 2009

haha, keo. I cant stop laughing, haha.

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