Published On: Sat, Mar 12th, 2016

Renting rules: Singles not allowed


From partying restrictions to insisting on getting parents to live with them, singles in the maximum city face stringent regulations when it comes to finding an accommodation

When 28-year-old advertising professional Abdul Khamiz moved from Delhi to Mumbai four months ago, he had a harrowing time looking out for a 1BHK in the western suburbs. He says, “I would have probably looked at about 25 housing societies in areas like Malad, Borivali and Vile Parle, but no one wanted a bachelor as their tenant. Finally, I found a place in Bandra where singles can still get an accommodation, though the rents are really steep.”

No boyfriends please!

Twenty eight-year-old content writer Akanksha Sehgal had to face a round of questioning from not only the secretary of the housing society in Powai but also the neighbours. She says, “After much hunting, I settled for an old housing complex in Powai, close to Chandivali. However, the secretary and a few neighbours sat me down before handing out the keys and grilled me on various topics — Do I work late? Will my parents visit me often? They even went a step further and asked me if I had a boyfriend who would spend ‘nights’ at my place! I was taken aback but since I had already wasted a lot of time looking out for a place, I needed to close this deal soon.”

No partying, no calling friends over

Much to Wriddh Mishra’s surprise, the landlord of his house in Santacruz East strictly told him not to get friends (especially females) into the society. He says, “Our landlord just popped in one Saturday evening and casually told us he’d dropped in to check whether we had called in some friends. When I asked him what’s wrong in calling them over, he said that it’s not acceptable and the society can take strict action against us.” your parents need to live with you While some societies do agree on renting out to singles, they make it almost mandatory to have your parents or guardians live with you. Deeya Saud, a 26-year-old banker, says, “When I took up a place in Goregaon, the landlord spelt it out in bold that he would give me the flat on rent only if my parents would live with me. I had been house hunting for almost a month and couldn’t carry on with this any longer. So, my parents had to make arrangements and come from my hometown in Assam and live with me for a few months until the landlord was assured I was a genuine tenant. He did not even try to understand that it would inconvenience my parents, who had already spoken to him before the flat was rented out to me. He just wanted to be assured that my parents and I were the actual people who would live there.”

Single parents face similar situation

There are many single parents in the city as well who have been forced to move out of their rented accommodation because they’ve been living without their spouse. 34-year-old single mother Anjali Ved, who’s currently staying in Santacruz with her seven-year-old daughter, was asked to leave her previous apartment because she separated from her husband. She says, “I had been living in that house for about two years. The day my landlady got to know that I am a single parent, she sent out a month’s notice to vacate. Despite my repeated requests and reasoning, she did not budge.”

Housing societies reject the noc if landlords rent out to singles

As much as singles complain about housing woes in the city, it seems that these regulations are in place because landlords in the past have faced severe legal consequences due to disturbance and nuisance caused by singles. Anand Tolani, a central suburb-based broker, says, “There have been many instances in the past where singles have created a ruckus and proved to be a nuisance to neighbours, because of which the landlord has landed in legal soup. There have also been times when a landlord has lost out on the NOC (No Objection Certificate), and end up paying the society a huge amount to retrieve it.”

Don’t get us tenants until you know them personally

Many societies ask the landlord if the person they are renting the house out to is known to them. Broker Yash Changlani says, “In turn, the landlords have started asking us to get tenants whom we know personally. Also, our business has also started to suffer because most house owners now post about their requirements online and on social media.”


There’s No law against renting out to singles

 How can accommodation be denied on the basis of your marital status? That’s the question singles are asking the house owners. Prajakta Nikam, a lawyer, says, “The state law does not have any such rule where singles cannot rent a property. It is up to the landlord to decide who he wants as his tenant. Unfortunately, the law cannot intervene in this case. There have been instances in the past where landlords have run into trouble because of their tenants (mostly bachelors) and that is probably the reason why they do not wish to rent out their houses to those who are not married and would reside by themselves.”


About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology