Scramble for rooms near varsity sends rents soaring

Scramble for rooms near varsity sends rents soaring

Many landlords prefer boys studying for competitive exams over DU rowdies

With Delhi University having only limited hostel facilities for its students, boys from outside the city have more to take care of than just academics. Out of the 60-odd colleges only around a dozen have hostels, that too with not enough room to take in everybody.   

So they have look at other options, for accommodation that fits their budget and   yet is convenient in terms of location.

A majority of students flocking to DU take admission in colleges around North and South campuses. This makes nearby colonies like Mukherjee Nagar, Hudson Lane, Outram Lane, Vijay Nagar, Haqeeqat Nagar, Indira Vihar and Parmanand in the North and Satya Niketan, Munirka and Ber Sarai in the South, the most sought after.

The high demand in these localities have pushed rents sky high. “For a 2 BHK flat, the rate differs between Rs 10,000 to 20,000 depending on the colony. While, rates in Hudson lane and Vijay Nagar are close to Rs 18-20,000, the rent in Gandhi Vihar across  Mukherjee Nagar Bandh is around Rs 10,000 per month,” said Deepak Arora, a property dealer in Mukerjee Nagar.

With such rents, several students choose to share accommodation with friends. The struggle for finding accommodation begins with the property dealers.

“I came to Delhi early and I shifted with my seniors who have been staying here since last year. We moved into a flat two months back but had to leave when the landlord asked us to vacate it as his son was getting married and they wanted the space to host their guests,” said Achint, a student of Hindu College.

Hefty commission

“The landlord said he had informed the dealer right at the beginning, but the agent claimed otherwise,” he said.

Students said they have to shell out an amount equivalent to a month's rent as commission to the property agents. With landlords not willing to sublet their houses without a property agent's recommendation, there is no way the students can bypass them.

“We cant take on the burden of getting the police verification of the tenants and the rent agreements prepared. If anything goes wrong, it is the responsibility of the agent,” said Sushil Singhal, a Haqeeqat Nagar house owner.

Apart from dealing with property agents, freshers also have to compete for hiring a flat with thousands of seniors, staying at colonies in and around the North Campus. 

And then there are students who are in Delhi preparing for competitive exams. Landlords seem to prefer them than college students.

“Unilke college students, they are more sincere with their studies,” said Ravi Chopra, a property dealer in Mukherjee Nagar. Those in college are busy living it up, surrounded by their friends, he felt. 

Mukherjee Nagar houses hundreds of coaching institutes offering classes for aspirants of civil services and other competitive exams. Thousands of students flock in every year from across the country to attend these classes.

Students are forced to live in cramped localities like Christian Colony – closest to North campus – which houses several boys hostels.

“Every building has close to 50 small rooms. The rooms as well as the bylanes are cramped. But I still prefer it as it is close to my college, and food and other facilities are available round the clock,” said Shyamal, a Ramjas College student.

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