When I moved to my present apartment in 2011 things were bad enough. I remember looking at so many dumps, so that when I found this place I didn’t hesitate, even though it was considerably more than what I had been paying. A couple of years later I found out it was considerably more than what most people were paying, plus I had the serious problem of the bar noise in the street, and so the landlords put the rent down until this past February. Now it’s back up to not quite what I was originally paying, but it seems a fair price all things considered.

I haven’t seriously considered moving, in spite of the street noise, but now it looks like I won’t have any choice. Things with the landlady have become so stressful that it’s really affecting my sense of well-being here, and the state of the apartment worsens every month. She is refusing to pay for repairs on things like the central heating, or repay me for the oven I bought in December, or replace other basic standard equipment that has broken down over the past year or so. I mean, this is bound to happen after living somewhere for over 6 years. Things will need to be repaired, replaced and maintained, but the landlady doesn’t see it this way. So this morning I sent her an email saying that these things need to be addressed as they are in our contract, but I am dreading the next meeting with her. And in any case, I am sure that once the (now annual) contract comes up for renewal in February, she will say she doesn’t want to renew. And I won’t have anything to say about that. Meanwhile she will refuse to repair things.

Anyhow, I’d been casually looking around since the last Landlady Episode in February, but I think it’s time to start looking in ernest. At first I thought that within nine months I am bound to find somewhere else I like, but now I’m not so sure. The more I look around, the more I see that most housing in the centre has now been converted to holiday apartment and AirBnB rentals. And while I can understand that home owners can make more money this way, it is also destroying the sense of neighbourhood in the, um, neighbourhoods. A few years ago this was mostly apparent in the barrio Santa Cruz where I used to live. But now it’s spread to pretty much the entire Casco Antiguo, the central area within the old city walls, which is actually quite big. So it’s not looking very promising.

I remember not wanting to leave my old place in barrio Santa Cruz, but it turned out that moving to the Alfalfa to a larger apartment that had – or used to have – central heating and air-con, turned out to be a move for the better. Now I am feeling the same way, that I don’t want to leave, that I’ll never find anywhere I like as much… but you never know. Wish me luck!