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  • gto377
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • September 17, 2010, 02:58:08 pm
    • seoul
Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« on: February 16, 2011, 03:22:04 pm »
So i've been thinking that if i stay on for my 2nd year here ... i would want to change my housing situation. definitely need a bigger space.

has anyone done that? change their housing in their 2nd yr? I'm with the public school system here in Seoul. SMOE

OR has anyone decided to move apartments after living a few months at the original assigned housing?

any pointers would be great! thnx  ;D


Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 03:56:03 pm »
After you have been provided with housing and agreed to live in it (as you presumably have by living there), your school has no further responsibility for obtaining housing for you.  Their only responsibility is to keep paying the rent for you. 

If you want to change housing after they've provided you with a legally adequate place, you have to pay all associated costs (like realtor's fees and key money) yourself.  Your school might be nice and help you find new housing, but you might be on your own. 

I'm pretty sure this holds true if you're remaining under contract with the same entity, even if it's a new contract. 

(My experience:  I am married.  I applied for married housing before I came to Korea, discussed married housing during my interview, and confirmed married housing while at orientation.  My school did not provide me with married housing.  My school tried to pin the costs of relocating on me because they'd provided me with housing, period.  SMOE insisted that the school was responsible for the costs of changing my housing because it was the school's error. The housing they initially gave me was unacceptable.  You accepted, so you will likely be responsible for paying the costs of relocating.  If you are pleasantly surprised, though, please post about it!)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 07:16:50 pm by teacher_del »


  • complex303
  • Featured Contributor

    • 296

    • December 02, 2009, 09:34:06 am
    • California
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 04:31:24 pm »
I did. 

About 7 months into my first contract I found cockroaches in the kitchen area.  I freaked out and told my co-teacher I wanted to move.  Immediately.  I got lucky because my co-teacher had just came from a school where the foreign teacher was staying in a really great officetel. She was confused as to why they put the foreign teacher into a building nobody would want to live in.  I'm also a hard-working teacher that never usually complains about anything. 

She did some digging and found out that my school had saved money by renting a cheaper place.  IMOE alloted them 5 million won for the key deposit, but they only used 3 million won. 

It took 3 more months of negotiations, but the principal and vice principal agreed to move me..and they paid for all the moving costs.  I had to wait until someone rented my old place so we could get the key deposit back and put it on the new place.  The rent is W100,000 more expensive at my new place (W500,000), so the school pays W450,000, and I pay W50,000. 

It worked out for me, but I think I got really lucky.  It was around the time I had to decide to renew my contract, so I used that to bargain with..."I don't think I can live in this Officetel one more year!"  Plus, the principal and vice principal were just about to retire so that might have had something to do with it too.


  • poppy
  • Veteran

    • 183

    • May 07, 2010, 12:33:32 pm
    • Daejeon
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 05:43:52 pm »
It will depend on your school and type of contract or situation that they have with your current housing.  I am with EPIK and just renewed my contract.  I asked my school if I could move to a bigger apartment and they said no problem as long as the rent is no more than what they are budgeted to spend.  I went on my own (with the help of a Korean friend) found a place I liked told the school and they went to the real estate office and made a contract.  I was responsible for my own moving, though.  You also have the option of taking the monthly allowance and finding your own housing.  Finding housing is pretty easy but you would need to have the key money.


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

    • 920

    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 08:05:04 pm »
I would like to continue this thread with a question of my own.  There were 3 teachers at my school, My wife and I and one other guy.  The other guy's wife worked for another school.  Because of his situation, he got the money for his apartment every month, 450,000 won.  His wife's school paid for the apartment, and he just got the money.

He lived in the same style house, it looks almost the exact same so I always felt we got screwed on the setup.  Our contract is up for negotiation and I was thinking about bringing this up in negotiation.  Do you think I will have any luck on this?
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  • Koreak
  • Super Waygook

    • 405

    • November 13, 2010, 08:15:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 08:15:09 pm »
I would like to continue this thread with a question of my own.  There were 3 teachers at my school, My wife and I and one other guy.  The other guy's wife worked for another school.  Because of his situation, he got the money for his apartment every month, 450,000 won.  His wife's school paid for the apartment, and he just got the money.

He lived in the same style house, it looks almost the exact same so I always felt we got screwed on the setup.  Our contract is up for negotiation and I was thinking about bringing this up in negotiation.  Do you think I will have any luck on this?

A lot of schools enjoy having a couple, because then they can have the couple stay in one apartment.  Saves the MOE a little money.  However where you are up for renewal, I'd ask for the housing allowance and find your own place.  I my town they put couples in the same small apartment as they would a single tenant.

Good luck!


  • Halcyon
  • Veteran

    • 111

    • April 22, 2010, 09:05:40 pm
    • Suncheon
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 09:10:51 pm »
@Ectofuego...I'm not sure your situation is really comparable.  If this "other guy's" wife were to work at your school alongside her husband, or vice-versa, I'm sure they would be in the same situation.  They would be sharing one apartment that the school paid for but wouldn't be getting the money for another apartment.  If you or your wife were to leave and work at a different school then things could probably be arranged in a manner similar to the 'other guy's'.

When you go in to negotiate your contract, using that info isn't going to play out as a very strong bargaining chip for getting that kind of money doled out to you.  It's probably a better idea to try to negotiate a bigger/nicer apartment, with or without using that info. good luck^


  • Sara
  • Featured Contributor

    • 702

    • September 01, 2010, 08:58:35 am
    • Chungcheongbukdo
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 11:38:11 am »
My boyfriend and I live in the same apartment (provided by his school) but we don't get any extra money. In fact, we both had the deposit deducted from our paychecks which is totally crazy....the school MADE money off our housing. When I asked about this my coteacher pointed out the clause in my contract which states if I take the housing provided, the deposit will be deducted.

It's aggravating that both my school and my boyfriend's school took out deposit money but what can you do? I would definitely never expect my school to pay me because I chose to live with my boyfriend. And no offense, but you chose to live with your wife as well....you could have asked for two apartments if you wanted to get the most out of your contract.


Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2011, 11:52:48 am »
I would like to continue this thread with a question of my own.  There were 3 teachers at my school, My wife and I and one other guy.  The other guy's wife worked for another school.  Because of his situation, he got the money for his apartment every month, 450,000 won.  His wife's school paid for the apartment, and he just got the money.

He lived in the same style house, it looks almost the exact same so I always felt we got screwed on the setup.  Our contract is up for negotiation and I was thinking about bringing this up in negotiation.  Do you think I will have any luck on this?

The other guy was lucky, really lucky.  The chances of your school giving you the money that their not spending is slim.  If you are not happy with your current apartment than I would ask them what you can do about moving...but if it is just a case of you wanting some extra cash I would just let it be.  So often our contacts have been changed because of suggestions/complaints from teachers about what other people are getting and how it just isn't fair.


  • bern
  • Veteran

    • 201

    • November 09, 2010, 12:48:34 pm
    • korea
Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2011, 12:01:45 pm »
My girlfriend and I live in a sweet officetel. Her school pays for half the rent and she paid the deposit and my school gives me 400,000 a month to pay the remaining 295,00 of the rent and bills out of.

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Re: Changing Housing as part of contract renewal?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2011, 12:07:54 pm »
I would considering getting your own housing.

My boyfriend doesn't work for a public school, so we had to get our own housing to live together. My school was reluctant to give me the money when they hired me because they had to give up their apartment, but the co-teachers liked me so they talked the Principal into it. Yeah, paying key money sucks, but you get it back.

I like that my job isn't tied to my housing, so if I ever want or need to leave my school I won't be scrambling for a place to stay. That happened to me with my first job here...