Tenants face tough time in Bengaluru

If you are house-hunting in Bengaluru, be prepared to sacrifice your non-vegetarian culinary skills, preferably to even stop eating non-veg at the place you might hope to soon call “home”; and, if you are a single male, find a girl and get married to better your prospects of finding a roof over your head.

Well, importantly, it will also depend on your domicile status, caste and religion; and if one clears all these hurdles, do remember to dress well as appearance would decide your character – and also your eligibility to get a house on rent.

Tags like ‘cosmopolitan city’ or ‘city on the global map’ notwithstanding, the domain of the landlord in Bengaluru – at least as far as who his tenants would be – remains firmly unregulated. The landlord exercises his right to decide who will be the tenant, and no powers-that-be have the authority to interfere in that matter. Your destiny of being sheltered or not, remains in the hands of members of this propertied section looking for tenants. And nothing you can do about it. Period!

A study conducted by an online real estate aggregator, has analysed various biases and discrimination that wannabe tenants often face while hunting for rental accommodation Indian cities. The survey involved a sample population of 3,000 respondents out of which 44 per cent were from Bengaluru, helping to understand the prevailing intricacies and nuances in bringing a landlord and a tenant together in the tech-capital of India.

The study is a result of a consumer survey conducted across key cities of Bengaluru, National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, cross-bred with analysis on the subject.

A majority of the respondents were aged anywhere between 21 and 31 years and more than 57 per cent of the respondents were in the age group of 21-24 across the five cities with 88 per cent being single.

No non-veg please!

During the course of the study it was established that one of the biggest problems faced by urban migrants looking for a house in Bengaluru was the food preference. Bengaluru tops the chart with 19 per cent of the respondents admitting to failing to get an accommodation only because they were non-vegetarians. The city is followed by Pune in this regard.

Sudarpana Sengupta, a 35-year-old HR professional in Bengaluru, hailing from Bardhaman district in West Bengal, said, “There are areas in Bengaluru where non-vegetarian food is a strict no-no, especially around South Bengaluru. Many owners were adamant and refused to give their houses on rent. But I faced the worst when, after having got a house on rent, the house owner asked me to stop cooking fish; and when I decided to leave the place, there was a huge drama over clearing my security deposit.”

Religion matters

The Silicon Valley of India has pioneered in adapting to technological evolution over the years but the cosmopolitan work force, which is pitted as the back bone for the development of the city, still suffers religious and cultural biases while looking out for a rented accommodation in the city.

Just how secular really Bengaluru is, may be seen from the house owners’ stereotypically communal flavoured mind-sets coming to the fore. The study observes that the religion factor is quite high while screening tenants, but does not attribute a percentage of respondents who faced problems at it. However, in several areas of the city, owners of apartments as well as independent houses shut the doors in the faces of prospective tenants if the latter belong to a particular religion.

“I had a bad experience while looking for a house with my wife. Despite knowing our names, the landlady asked us if we were Muslims, and also quipped that we never told her that we are Muslims. It was a subtle way of humiliating without any derogatory remarks being made, but the bias was visible,” said Imtiaz Pathan, a techie from Pune who arrived in Bengaluru for a job. “I fail to understand the reason, as this is Bengaluru. All an owner should be concerned about is whether I pay my rent on time, and whether I stay in a decent manner.”

UNMARRIED? GO AWAY!

Not surprisingly, coming close to the food issue was the marital status of the tenants. At least 17 per cent of respondents from Bengaluru were prevented from getting a house on rent for being single, and they were mostly males.

Tushar Kaushik, a 25-year-old scribe from Mysuru who works in Bengaluru, struggled to get a house on rent merely because he was a bachelor. He said that this problem was experienced in many areas of the city, irrespective of the community background of the house owners. House owners feel single males are potential trouble as tenants as they tend to fall for vices and could create nuisance that could pose problems legal for them.

RANGE OF RESTRICTIONS

Another study by a real estate portal, also showed a range of common restrictions problems that tenants faced, including prohibition on bringing in members of the opposite sex, relatives or friends to stay over, sedentary lifestyle, entry-exit time curfews, and on keeping pets. While 19 per cent of the respondents said they were asked to not have members of the opposite sex as guests, a combined whopping 61 per cent of restrictions pertained to lifestyle pursued by younger tenants.

It is complex

Amarendra Sahu, Founder and CEO, of a real estate website said, “India is a complex market for urban migrants. We know biases and discriminations exist. It is not easy to settle into any new city. Hence it is more important to create an ecosystem that is welcoming and addresses the trust deficit that exists between landlords and tenants which often leads to various issues.”

While finding a house

* A big challenge while moving into city is house hunting and quality of food with more than 21% respondents voting for it.

* Problem of finding home-cooked food is a challenge for 22% of respondent, the highest for Bengaluru.

* 26% of respondents picked neighborhood safety as their most important need; 25% picked mobile network reception.

* Equal number (29% each) of people found landlords and brokers difficult to deal with; 22% found neighbours difficult to deal with.

* A combined whopping 61% of restrictions were related to lifestyle among younger tenants. This is a bigger problem for men.

* Being a non-vegetarian is the hardest in Bengaluru and being unmarried is the hardest in Hyderabad and Mumbai.

* A larger part (32%) of the respondents opted for cleanliness as their most important factor in improving their living experience.

* The study took into account that certain biases would be niche to particular cities and genders and managed to get a chunk of interesting observations out of this. Sadly, people continue to face issues over where they come from. The problem is mostly prevalent in Pune and Bengaluru.

Author: Nitindra Bandyopadhyay

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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