When looking for places to stay as a student, you expect the place to be well managed, in order, and for it to be decent – You are not expecting world class standards but rather it having some standard. That is what I thought before I got into my first place. Never in my life did I think I would move into such a horrendous place. I did have my suspicions this place was real crap inside, but then I told myself “Don’t judge it yet, its still too early”.

I will not name and shame the place for obvious reasons, but I do have a few pictures which I kept as “evidence”, to back my story up, in case any of you think I am making this crap up :).

Here is a list of all the problems I encountered in this hell hole:

  • Busted Toilet / Shower
  • High Electricity Costs (Much Higher than other student houses)
  • Bills not being paid

BUSTED UP TOILET / SHOWER

I do not know what caused this mess, but our toilet and shower got busted up 🙁 – The toilet bowl cracked, apparently it was too old, hence it cracking. That took just over a week to repair (some stories about insurance). As for the shower, well, the knobs fell off, and surprisingly, this took almost a whole month to get fixed (just under a month’s time). So you might be asking, what did we use in the meantime? Let’s just say I had to make a few improvisations….

This is the first improvisation I made - I used my tin opener to turn the knob-less shower to get my daily showers :(
This is the first improvisation I made – I used my tin opener to turn the knob-less shower to get my daily showers 🙁

Above is an image of what I first tried out. I used my can opener to get my daily showers. Eventually the can opener tapped out, so I had to find an alternate solution…..

The Alternative Solution....I had to use some pliers to get the shower going....
The Alternative Solution….I had to use some pliers to get the shower going….

Eventually, after close to a month’s waiting time, the shower was repaired, but not quite there……

THE TILES!!!!!!!!!!
THE TILES!!!!!!!!!!

ELECTRICITY BEING SO HIGH / BILLS NOT BEING PAID

The next problem to arise was that the electricity consumption was extremely high….If I had to tell someone how many units get channeled out, you would swear we were running some high class mansion. It was extremely high, for a student house – I had to give in quite a huge fraction of my pocket money to the electricity 🙁

Another issue arise where the bills (rates) were apparently not being paid up. Call this weird, but when the rates are not paid up, the municipality can deduct the outstanding balance from your electricity purchases. This is weird, I asked my parents if they do the same for their town, they told me they will refuse selling you electricity. Eventually this was all sorted out, but it left a mark on me 🙁

The Arrears Payments :( :(
The Arrears Payments 🙁 🙁

I have edited out all potentially harmful information such as the address, the meter number, the municipality and all (I don’t want to get sued just yet 🙂 ) Take note of the two lines I have underlined. The Arrear Payment is the money deducted for the rates. In this case, it is R60.00. The total amount was R100.00 meaning, only R40.00 worth of electricity was issued.

A LITTLE GHETTO REPAIRS

Although this isn’t a serious issue, I thought I should really put this out here. My window did not close fully – this became a real problem during the cold, harsh days as the wind would drift into your room! I know on those days, I didn’t bother putting my drinks back in the fridge as I knew they would stay cold from the wind drifting into my room. Some days I really didn’t want this wind, so I decided to make a quick ghetto repair….

The quick ghetto fix I made to keep the cold, harsh wind out of my room!
The quick ghetto fix I made to keep the cold, harsh wind out of my room!

CONCLUSION

From this trauma, I have learnt the hard way that the moment I look at a place and it looks a little bit sketchy from the outside, trust my gut and do not step foot inside!! I also question myself as to what did the owners do with the rent money paid for this place….was this some gravy train scheme for them? Well, one thing is certain – I am glad I moved out of this place!