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UK | YouTuber Ying Tse | Ying Tse shares the pros and cons of living in apartment

While planning to migrate overseas, many people would be concerned about which type of housing to reside in. Those who were used to the way of living in Hong Kong would probably opt to live in an apartment. Youtuber Ying Tse had lived in an apartment in Birmingham for 9 months. Keep an eye on YouTube channel BN撈, where Ms Ying and her mascot Ying bbit share their thoughts on living in Birmingham and what to pay attention to.

Ying Tse shared 5 pros and cons of living in an apartment in the UK.

Advantage 1: Good security: Gate

British apartments usually have gates installed at the entrance. Residents can only enter with their resident cards. This prevents non-residents from entering the apartments. It would also make people feel safe as all flats are located on storeys.

Advantage 2: Good security: Concierge office

Ying Tse recalled her experience of visiting newly developed apartments in Birmingham town center. She reflected these estates usually have concierge offices, which serve three to four blocks. They are responsible for collecting packages and deliveries from online shops and nearby supermarkets for residents. Delivery men are required to register at concierge offices before heading upstairs. This prevents non-residents from entering the apartments. For security guards, Ying Tse said unlike Hong Kong, British apartments usually don’t have security guards, but those with concierge offices have. She also pointed out some apartments in London have guards patrolling the estates.

Advantage 3: No need to clean up gardens

Ying Tse said whenever someone buys a house in the UK, it would come with a garden, regardless of the house type. Garden view is indeed pretty, but one must spend time for gardening work, such as cutting weeds and sweeping fallen leaves, in summer. Since apartment residents don’t have gardens, they can save the effort for that. Ying Tse told her relatives’ example, who live in UK houses. They have to cut weeds every two weeks in warm seasons. The bigger the garden is, the more work there would be. One should have time and effort for that. Those who are not into gardening should be notified.

Advantage 4: Clubhouse available

Ying Tse said UK apartments, especially the large ones, usually have clubhouses. Facilities like gym rooms, mini cinemas, party rooms and even swimming pools are available. That is a privilege of apartment residents.

Advantage 5: Close relationship with neighbors

Ying Tse had been posting photos of Hong Kong snacks in the UK on her Facebook group. She recalled the snacks were shared by her neighbors. She also pointed out whenever she needs something urgently, she just heads over to the next door and asks her neighbors, which is very convenient. Ying Tse commented that it is important to have a good relationship with our neighbors, regardless of where we live. It would cost much time to drive to the town center for certain things. Supermarkets may also be closed. That would be quite troublesome.

Disadvantage 1: Administration charge 

Ying Tse said the charging of administration fee in the UK is not bound by any guidelines. The government does not restrict how the fee is collected as well. So the cost is likely to increase over time with factors like inflation.

Disadvantage 2: No land ownership

Ying Tse mentioned the concept of leasehold and freehold property. Leasehold means the ownership of a property is only the building itself, while the land is owned by someone else. Freehold means the owner of a property owns the land at the same time. Buying apartment flats is an example of leasehold.

Disadvantage 3: Inconvenient to dump domestic rubbish

Ying Tse points out that dumping domestic rubbish in the UK is different from that in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, domestic rubbish is dumped in the refuse chamber located on every floor. Dustmen would regularly visit each floor to get rid of the rubbish. However in the UK, residents have to go downstairs to the refuse chamber on the ground floor or at the basement of their apartment buildings. Ying Tse thinks this causes inconvenience. In contrast, house residents can dump domestic rubbish easier as the rubbish bin is located in their gardens or near their houses.

Disadvantage 4: Poor soundproofing

Ying Tse suggested most UK apartment flats are separated with planks, thin concrete and plasterboard only. Therefore it is not surprising that one could hear the conversation of their neighbors.

Disadvantage 5: Security concerns

Ying Tse took the apartment she was living as an example. The apartment has no concierge office because it is not very large. Whenever her neighbors needed delivery services, there would be many non-residents in the building. The building she was in has around 80 households. Since she did not know all of them, it would be concerning to see strangers frequently in the building.

Ms Ying shared 5 pros and 5 cons of living in UK apartments. The advantages are good security because of gates and concierge offices, no need to do gardening work, clubhouse available and good relationship with neighbors. The disadvantages are administration charges, no land ownership, inconvenient to dump domestic rubbish, poor soundproofing and security concerns. Hong Kongers interested in moving to Birmingham remember to watch the video for more details.

BN撈 information

The name of the channel “BN撈” means that we Hong Kong people, as British National (Overseas) integrate into British culture and life, and hope to have better life. The word “撈” is a Guangdong word that Hong Kong people often talk about, and we want our next generation also speak Cantonese. So the channel is named “BN撈”.

BN撈 will share with you some clips on how to integrate into the local British culture, and continue to carry forward the spirit of Hong Kong people in different places, knowing how to drink, eat and play. Due to the limited power of one’s own efforts, netizens are also welcome to provide information that can help other Hong Kong people integrate into British culture.

This article has been reproduced in text with the permission of the Youtube BN撈.

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