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Karnataka Elections: Why Aren't Tenants' Troubles a Poll Issue in Bengaluru?

Is renting a house in Bengaluru tougher than renting a house in Delhi or Mumbai?

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Video Editor: Karuna Mishra

As per UN World Population Review, Bengaluru has a population of 1.36 crore people – more than triple its population in 1990. The city is expected to have a population of 1.8 crore by 2035. And this poses a vital question – is Bengaluru ready to accommodate its burgeoning population?

Viral memes and videos over the past months indicate the hassle of renting a house in the ‘Silicon Valley of India.’

This reporter had to spend nearly a month in a hostel before finally finding a house. Though dormitories are not ideal for long stays, I was not the only renter who had taken temporary accommodation there.

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'High Deposits and Fraud'

Hrithik Bhandari, a 24-year-old photographer who spent four months before finding a house for rent, told The Quint that the main issue was the exorbitantly high deposits.

“There is a risk that I might not get my deposit back. And deposits in Bengaluru are a major concern since they (owners) take anywhere between six to 12 months (of rent),” he said.

This sarcastic poster with a QR code went viral on Twitter for mocking the high deposits in the city.

Highlighting the risk of several housing 'frauds' Bhandari added, “There are many apps, where you will see places that are dirt cheap. When you speak to the broker, they will tell you that you need to pay visitation charges and get a card made to see the places. Once you pay, they switch off their phones and disappear.”

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'Easier To Find a House If You Are Married'

Shivani Chauhan, 31, a married woman who works in the fintech industry, told The Quint, “The current situation is that I have to look for a new house because I got a pet.”

“If you want to get a house in Bengaluru in a good society, it is easier if you are married. You will not find any bachelors in my society,” she added.

Is renting a house in Bengaluru tougher than renting a house in Delhi or Mumbai?

It took 31-year-old Shivani Chauhan nearly five months to find the perfect house.

(Photo: The Quint)

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‘WORST EXPERIENCE'

Salman Khan, a 32-year-old at JP Morgan, told The Quint that searching for a house in the city was his “worst experience” and that he is now planning to go to Mumbai instead.

The owner of the first house Khan finalised returned his token amount a day before he was to move. “They found another tenant ready to pay more.”

Taking the help of a broker, Salman Khan later paid a higher token amount to the owner of another house. Here too, the owner quietly, without even making a call, returned the money. “When I called the broker, he refused to return the money. For two months I have been chasing the owner,” Khan added.

Unable to find a house to rent, Khan has been staying at a PG (Paying Guest) home for three months. “I am not able to work or sleep properly. I have not even shifted all my clothes because of this,” he added.

If the city and the state are to continue to progress it will need to learn how to smoothen out renters' troubles. The one thing that the new government of Karnataka can do to solve the renting issue is to implement the Model tenancy act.

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  How the ‘Model Tenancy Act’ Can Help

  • The Act limits the tenant’s advance security deposit to a maximum of two months' rent for residential purposes and to a maximum of six months for non-residential purposes.

  • Rights and obligations are clearly defined for both owners and tenants.

  • Written rent agreement is mandatory.

  • The Act will enable establishing an independent authority in the state for registration of tenancy agreements and a separate court to take up tenancy related disputes.

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