I hate my landlady. She’s an ugly, bitter, middle-age mongrel determined to make my life a living hell. If I could get away with it, I’d beat her to death with a frozen dumpling, gouge her eyes out with chopsticks, deep fry her and stick her on the end of a hanger with all the other lame ducks. Unfortunately I believe in God, karma and a higher power. Acting out my revenge fantasies would surely put me at odds with the Big Cheese.

It’s gotten to the point where I no longer post facebook updates of my wish to do her bodily harm. I’m afraid the bitch will turn up dead and the authorities will blame me.

“You did say you wanted to drown her in boiling water on facebook.”

“Me? Really?”

“We found her face down in the harbor.”

“Did she drown in boiling water?”

“No.”

“Well there you have it, officer. Case closed. She wandered into the harbor and drown when her polyester grandma pants got soaked and dragged her ass under the water. Ta Da!”

From the very beginning, this woman has failed to deliver on any of her promises. The kitchen counter is still cracked, the living room air conditioner is still only partly working, the office air conditioner is still leaking, the bathroom ceiling remains covered in mold, and the washer/dryer is still broken. And we live in a nice building!

OK, in her defense, some of these problems did not manifest themselves until after we moved in. But some of them were apparent at the start. And she’s supposed to fix them all. It’s her property. The contract states that she’s responsible for the big fixes.

“I fix them. I fix them. Yes, yes, I fix them.” she promised the day we signed.

Witch did nothing but complain that it was our problem once we signed the lease.

I’ve since learned from many locals that this is common. Unlike New York, Chicago or Tokyo, where the landlord will actually deliver on promises after the lease is signed, in Hong Kong, all bets are off. Once you sign on the dotted line, your ass is theirs. You can complain all you want but nothing will get done.

Lesson One: Make sure everything you want fixed in your flat is fixed before you move in.

Lesson Two: Make sure you are comfortable with your landlord. Use your intuition here. Ladies, rely on your instinct. Don’t listen to your husbands or boyfriends. Straight men are notoriously bad at sizing people up. This includes, unfortunately, men who came out of the closet late (like my parter).

Lesson Three: Residential property is up 42% since the start of the new year. There is no debate on whether or not it’s a bubble anymore. The market is as inflated as Sarah Palin’s ego. And when it pops, you’ll have the last laugh.

Imagine Sarah Palin and my bitch of a landlady leaping off the Bank of China Building. Snap, crackle, pop. Ah, it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. God bless Carly Simon.

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