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Generous landlord touches lives of studio apartment tenants

Generous landlord touches lives of studio apartment tenants

Posted December. 27, 2012 22:56,   


The owner of a studio apartment building has touched the hearts of young people.

“I left a small gift in front of your door to wish you a merry Christmas.”

On Sunday evening, residents of the building found a text message with the phrase above. Moments later, they saw the surprised faces of their neighbors standing in front of their doors looking at a Christmas cake and a bottle of champagne delivered to each of them.

Kwon Ki-yeong, 47, the building`s owner, was the sender. He spent about 400,000 won (373 U.S. dollars) to buy 20 cakes and 20 bottles of champagne. One resident posted this heartwarming story and the generosity of the owner on a Web site popular among people in their 20s and 30s, and many compliments were added to the post.

“I can’t believe that there`s someone like him. I guess this world is still beautiful and worth living in,”one post said.

Another added, “This is more than moving. I mean, it’s overwhelming! Can I repost this on another website?”

Many requests looking for a studio apartment in that building followed. Kwon received a lot of text messages praising him, and his act of kindness that touched so many young people showed the degree of the housing problem suffered by the younger generation.

“When I was a college student, I rented a small room of a household who rented out small rooms for college students," Kwon said. "The owner always worried whether we, young college students, skipped a meal, and he often took us all out to a restaurant. I just wanted to return the kindness I received.”

The head of an IT company, Kwon bought the building last year and began renting out studio apartments. “When I began this business I told myself that I would buy meals as the first thing I`d do for my tenants. Though my home is far away from the building, I visit it on my way home from work or Saturdays to take my young tenants out to buy their favorite meals,” he said.

As violent crime has increased, he had surveillance cameras and bright lights installed in the hallways of each floor and a security system in each studio. He also fixed every problem right away no matter how trivial.

Tenant Kwon Oh-nam, 27, said, “I never even knew the face of the previous owner and maintenance had been poor in the building. I used to feel alone when going home, but now I feel like I live with people because I share meals with Mr. Kwon and other tenants even on a weekday evening.”

Lee So-yeong, a 30-year-old tenant, said, “I think Mr. Kwon is like a father who doesn’t scold me. I feel safe because he takes care of me from my meals to safety."