Monday, June 16, 2008

Special Price for you, my friend!

With the gradual deployment of EU personnel to Kosovo and the local population aware of the generous living allowance rates, the rental prices in Kosovo has started to increase bring about the old saying "special price for you, my friend" when people are searching for flats.  In the last months, one international found that some landlords have jacked the prices in Dragodan from 500Euros/month to nearly 900E/month which is literally insane.  And many landlords in Kosovo would rather chew on their shoe that negotiate for a lower rent for those expecting long-term assignments opting to keep their flats empty and forgoing a lower rental payment in hopes that that one sucker born every minute will come along and rent the place for the exorbitant amount they are asking.  Luckily not every landlord is out to make a quick dime and with so many people leaving the mission it really is a renter's market so when looking for a flat, remember that there are plenty of places available and if the landlord isn't willing to negotiate it's probably best to move on and look for a better deal (one of the greatest criticisms of Americans is that we often don't negotiate the rents and we tend to spoil the landlords into thinking that everyone is a sucker and will pay more than necessary!  The other big criticism is that we tip too much...but I still leave at least 10% when I get really good service.)

With a relative lack of excitement, the Kosovo constitution came into effect yesterday, two days short of four months after the unilateral declaration of independence.  In what was supposed to mark a handover from the UN to the EU there are still doubts as to when the UN will leave as the EU has failed to establish their mission north of the Ibar river due to strong opposition by the Kosovo Serbians in the area.

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News