Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another reason to stop renting

This week, a surprise came in the mail. That's right, folks, I'm now aware of the infamous 'habitation tax' that renters have to pay as well (about one month's rent, in our case at least). Seriously, what's up with that?! I'm paying enough rent and extra fees for not that much space. I don't mind paying tax on something I own, so maybe it will hurt less if we buy a house. Then we'll have to pay another 'homeowner tax,' but I guess I'll learn to cope.

The newest apartment issue involves our phone. It no longer works. We'll have a dial tone and I can dial (if I'm fast enough), but then the connection is broken and it goes back to clicks and dial tones. We subscribe to Neuf Telecom but still pay a monthly subscription to France Telecom, which only complicates things. F.T. checked the line on their end and says it seems to be fine, but they'll come out and check if we want them to. If the problem turns out to be "in our apartment" we pay for the repairs; if not, I guess they consider it to be part of our subscription. Contacting Neuf will involve the stupid pay-per-minute caller fee, plus we have to find a phone to use for that since ours isn't working. Once again, I feel like I could tolerate paying for telephone repairs in my own home, but as a renter I'm just not crazy about it. Maybe it's my bad attitude...I don't know.

In good news, I'm feeling great and enjoying my new classes so far. Today I've been finding little crafts to make with the kids for Halloween and I'm pretty excited about it. I think I'll go for a bat theme with the littlest ones and then do paper plate masks for the older ones. We'll see. I found cheap, plain masks on the Oriental Trading Company website so maybe I'll order them and have them sent to my parents' house for next year. There are loads of stuff to do this year -- mummy candy holders, finger puppets, window hangers, fake hands stuffed with popcorn, etc. My boss has been great and I have an assistant helping me so she'll be able to take over the classes without any trouble when I go on maternity leave (we hope). The things she tells me about teaching in the primary/elementary schools have pretty much cemented my opinion in that I'm really not interested in pursuing that option.


Deb said...

Don't get me started on the phone/cable/internet services here. It seems as if no matter what provider you go with, there is always a problem. We use Numericable now, and they were efficient as far as setting us up quickly. But when it came to our actual service (they got our order wrong because our cable card was still assigned to someone else apparently), it took them over 2 weeks to correct the problem.

I know Halloween is not that popular here, but my friend (also an American) is going to have a Halloween party. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Well, something can be said for
the good old USA in that they usually have great communication whether it is false or not, but the system works. Thank heavens for cell phones.
I guess they pay renters fees here they are just included in the rent.
Glad the little ones are great and you will have time to prepare someone to take your place when you need it.

roger said...

Just don't pay! That's what entire French villages do if they don't like a tax. We're being hassled for a new septic tank ruling but refuse to meet with the "consultant".
Fight 'em.

Angela in Europe said...

Why don't you switch to Neuf for the phone line as well. I have free calls, internet access and t.v. for around 40 euros a month. The phone sometimes has a little static but overall, I think it is a pretty good deal.

Expat Traveler said...

Wow - I think this is the second place I've read about this strange tax. And I'm guessing that Angela is talking about the same service we get here in Canada called Vonage...