Home truths for low-cost housing

Updated: 2013-07-23 00:53

By Hou Liqiang (China Daily)

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First person

Editor's note: Zhu Runshan, 22, recently graduated with a degree in information engineering from Qingdao University of Science and Technology.

I wanted to come to Beijing to work in the Internet industry. When I was searching for a job, I rented a bed in Xuezhiyuan, Haidian district.

I did some research online and saw a lot of posts about renting a bed. I called and eventually chose one.

The person subletting the apartment charged 30 yuan ($4.88) a day for a bed, or 600 yuan to 700 yuan a month depending on the location of the bed. As rooms in the apartment had been divided, I couldn't judge how many bedrooms there were originally. Some rooms slept six or eight, and the apartment housed more than 30 people.

I lived in a room for eight people. There was no window and we had to keep the light on all the time. The bunk beds were the same as the ones we had in my university dormitory. The atmosphere was totally different, though.

Roommates moved in and out often. At least five moved out during the 20 days I was there. I rarely talked to anyone. When we did talk, it was always about Beijing. Nothing deep. There was definitely a lack of trust.

The subletter asked for only 50 yuan as a deposit. It was much better than those apartments for which you have to pay four months' rent up front.

I usually went to bed very late, so I wasn't really affected during the night. But in the morning it was too noisy. Some who got up early turned on the TV, the only object of value in the apartment, while others played computer games. Some smoked.

I didn't like it, but it was OK. I found a job at an Internet company, and went back home for a short while.

When I came back I rented a bed again, this time in Qinghe. It's a 100-square-meter apartment divided into six rooms, with four rooms each having two bunk beds and one even having four bunk beds.

The landlord is good. He charges only 400 yuan a month, so I think I'm very lucky.

When it comes to regulations (on housing and dividing properties), what has to be taken into consideration is that graduates don't have much money. If the rules are seriously enforced, many people will have no place to live.

Zhu Runshan was talking to China Daily reporter Hou Liqiang.


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