Lower and Lower and Worser and Worser

Yesterday I mentioned that She Who Must Be Obeyed was going to use a minor flood from upstairs to try to get our rent lowered. I do not doubt her powers because she’s actually done this before.

First some background: when we first moved to Tokyo we lived in a tiny apartment above the storage garage of a flower shop. The rent was decent for Tokyo, especially as it came with an air conditioner, but it was still expensive and tended to shake when trucks drove by. The only good thing about it was its location. There was a store across the street, a convenience store down the street, and it was practically walking distance from Tokyo Disney Resorts.

Then both stores closed and I got assigned to the school where I work which meant I had an hour and forty-five minute commute on three different train lines. We, therefore, decided to move closer to the school.

We chose our current apartment because it was more apartment for what we were paying in Tokyo, got lots of sunlight as it was next to a large field and was about a 10 minute walk from the closest train station. It also had a little play area for kids and was far enough from the main road that we didn’t get much noise even in the few times it got busy. Granted, there was nothing nearby except one grocery store we used to call The Green Pork Supermarket because they sold us green pork (as in chemical green, not moldy green). Also, I wanted the third floor apartment not the first floor because we could leave our windows open at night without passerby’s getting to peek in, but SWMBO insisted we get the first floor as it would be easier for her to bring our youngest up a few stairs than all the way to the third floor.

Although it was out of the way and we got some dust from the field, the apartment was nice. It also had a parking area and we ended up buying a car and renting a parking place. (Yes, in Japan parking places don’t come with the apartment, they are separate fee.)

Then a bunch of things happened. First, the owner of the field sold it to a developer which meant we suddenly had houses 15 or 20 feet from our back window. This blocked most of our sunlight. SWMBO complained for a while–oddly, I refrained from reminding her which floor I’d wanted to live on–and then called the management company and got our rent lowered. Keep in mind, the Japanese take sunlight very seriously. Tall buildings often have to be built at odd angles to allow a certain amount of light past them.

A few years later, SWMBO heard that other tenants were paying substantially less than we were and managed to get rent lowered again.

In fact, if she weren’t so good at that, we’d have probably moved a long time ago. Now, though, there are other issues. Besides the flood from above, our parking area tends to fill with water prompting us to move our car every time there’s a heavy rain. There’s also bad drainage in front of our apartment and every time it rains we have a lovely mosquito maternity hospital right below our front balcony.

Now, SWMBO is going to call again. I’ll bet she gets our rent lowered. That said, I’m not sure I want her to, as that’s a good excuse to move.

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