Happy ending to tenant profile row

Getting a house for rent in Bengaluru comes with a set of stringent conditions. DH Photo by Janardhan B KPhoto for representation purpose only

Many people face difficulty finding houses to rent: singles, pet parents, non-vegetarians, and those hailing from certain communities.

Earlier this week, Arshi Yasin, co-founder of The Bridge, a sports company, used website Nestaway to find a house.

A native of Kishanganj, Bihar, she intended to relocate and bring her mother to the city and was looking for a bigger place.

“Since I was not in town, my brother visited the place and made video calls from the house. The area manager of Nestaway showed us a couple of more houses in Kengeri. We liked the first house, paid the token money and everything was set. In two days, the manager called me and said the owners were not comfortable renting out the house to me,” she says.

The reason was that she was Muslim. The manager said she take a second house she had seen, and she agreed.

In two days, she received a call again from the portal that the deal was off: these owners were also unwilling to give the house to a Muslim.

“I insisted on talking to them instead of being judged on my religion, but the manager said the owners were adamant. Thankfully, after I brought out the issue on social media, Nestaway jumped in and initiated a meeting with the owners and the issue has been sorted out,” she adds.

Arshi says the ordeal taught her that “conversations help”.

“It’s easy to judge from the limited knowledge one might have but if one insists on peaceful conversations, fruitful results can occur,” she adds.

Other stories

Not all stories have such happy endings. Bernard Shannu, operations manager with Anvis Pet Relocation, is on a house hunt and many house owners have turned him down because he is a bachelor.

“In a recent incident, I went to check out a one-bedroom-hall-kitchen house listed on a social media platform for Rs 6,000. When I told them I was a bachelor, they asked me for Rs 12,000. Being a non-vegetarian has been another reason to be rejected,” he says.

No specific reasons are given when house owners are questioned, says Bernard. “In places like Kalyan Nagar and Hennur, people are more open as a lot of foreigners and students live there,” he says.

Fashion designer Greshma Dhanarajan faced rejection from house owners because she owns a pet dog.

“If I looked up 10 houses, six owners would refuse the moment they heard I was a pet parent. I later met house owners with my pet and finally coaxed them that my pet was easy to be around with,” she says.

Being self-employed is also a hurdle to finding houses, Greshma adds. “Some house owners asked me for my bank statements for six months or some proof to verify my financial status,” she says.

For Suzanne K George, who runs a business, the process of finding a house in a safe area with well-lit streets was a task in itself.

“The most annoying thing was that they would ask for salary proof. I run my own company and consult for startups, which means I do not have a regular amount of money in my bank account to show as proof,” she says.

Some owners asked her if she had a local guardian or someone to vouch for her if she didn’t pay the rent.

“This despite the three to six months’ advance rent one pays as a deposit,” she says.

 

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“We have a no-tolerance policy against discrimination based on things one cannot change: gender, faith, religion, region you hail from, and food habits. In this case, we’ve delisted the first house. We sent our officials to initiate a conversation between the second house owner and the tenant and are happy it worked out,” he says.

The company has stringent policies and documents signed by house owners, he told Metrolife.

Amarendra Sahu, CEO and co-founder, Nestaway, says such situations need to be handled sensitively.

Sorry, not for you

Landlords often shut the doors on many categories of people, including:

Bachelors
Single women
Self-employed women
Non-vegetarians

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Happy ending to tenant profile row

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