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Maids and Maid-rooms..

  1. #9
    baguette is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    yes carang.

    I am putting all these information together to make a decision.

    when we come to HK we will not be able to see everything, we have to make a first choice.

    we are so considering pollution, education and also the "maid situation".

  2. #10
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    yep, carang is right. many of the larger condos will have similar set-ups - small maids room with no a/c, likely no window, but with a small bathroom and handheld shower.

    Coming from the US, we were shocked at the conditions, but we looked at about 20-25 properties in HK prior to signing our lease and in every mid-rise and high-rise, it was basically the same maids room set-up. Our relocation consultant assured us this was the norm and that the maids expect it.

    if you can afford to give up a regular bedroom for your helper, i am sure she will love you for it and will be one of the lucky few who gets one!

  3. #11
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Tsuen Wan

    Where I live in a middle-class HK apt complex, I meet lots of helpers (almost no SAHMs or expats) and I am always curious about their working conditions as I have befriended a couple with terrible conditions. Anyway, one of my first questions is always 'Where do you sleep?'. Mind you, here they don't have helper's rooms, but I have not met a single person here who has their own room. Most sleep with 1-2 children, in the kitchen, or in the living room(one slept in the kitchen while the grandmother slept in the living room!).
    As the above posters said, the newer highrise apartment rooms are generally smaller, esp the maids room if there is one. Older buildings have larger rooms. My friend lives in a 30 year old complex and her maid's room is very decent with one small window. Another friend has 2 floors of a village house and the maid simply gets one of those rooms.

  4. #12
    baffelly is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    It might help to consider that the alternative living condition for some helpers would be back in home country in remote village, living in a one room shack with six family members.

  5. #13
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels

    A window and aircon was a minimum for us - it's pretty small though. Clever purpose made storage, ability for them to store stuff elsewhere in the house, a TV mounted on the wall - yes we felt bad, but these things all combined to make us feel we were doing as much as we could. We actually have 2 helpers in bunk beds, so it's even worse!

    But... I know they appreciate the way we treat them with respect, reasonable hours and so many other little advantages they might not get in a different household, even with a bigger bedroom.

    Small as it is, it is definitely preferable for them to sleeping in with the kids.

    Think of it this way, they have to be here to work and get money. Very few get large living spaces - many have pretty deplorable working conditions (or would be deplorable by our home country standards).

    They will probably consider themselves lucky to work for someone that actually considered their living space.

  6. #14
    jube is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Hong Kong

    We felt the same way and didn't want our helper to have a tiny, dark room if we could help it. We gave our helper her own room and she's extremely proud of it and likes to show it off to my friend's helpers when they come over.

    As we bought, we were able to remodel the flat and gave her a slightly smaller room but she has a normal sized window with a nice view, a custom made bed which gives her lots of storage space on the bottom (hanging & drawers) and a comfortable bed. We also made sure she had an air conditioner, even though she doesn't use it very often (The Philippines is extremely hot and humid and they are use to this and don't feel comfortable in aircon). We also made her a table that folds out from the wall so she can pull it down if she wants more space. She's very happy with the room and told me because it was big (for a maid's room), it had a huge window, she had a nice bed, she had storage space, she had a table and most importantly, she had privacy. They don't care so much about the surroundings, so long as they have their own space. It is a luxury in Hong Kong and so many helpers have to share rooms with the children or other family members, that even if you give them a small room to the side of the kitchen, they are OK.

    I encourage you to look around at places and tell your agent what it is you are looking for. There are flats where the helper's rooms aren't that bad and a little more spacious. Unfortunately, in Hong Kong, space = $.

    Good luck!

  7. #15
    sea princess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Hong Kong

    helpers rooms/closets!

    I remember looking at apartments when we moved here and walking straight out of them as soon as I took a look at the maids room! Some had linen cupboards to sleep in and no hot water for them to shower? Horrific.

    Our apartment now has a small maids room with a window and small bathroom. I was still horrified at the size. To my surprise, my helper said it's the best room she has ever had. I built in a bed with a desk and area for TV and clothes cupboard underneath, purchased new sheets and quilts, and a chair to watch tv on - just jazzed it up a bit basically. It has an airconditioner, but she never uses it. She hates the cold air (as do I a lot of the helpers I have found) and we bought her a fan instead.

    I could justify the small room in my head as we have a ground floor apartment and hence a garden, so she loves to spend time outside pottering and I encourage that so she doesnt feel couped up.

    It is a big adjustment for most of us that have come from countries where we have large rooms and space, but for many helpers this is just a way of life. My maid told me she had no bed at home in the phillipines, just the floor with six siblings! So I guess, having a small room all to herself is a plus for her!

    Good luck

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