11 months rent is non-negotiable for most flat owners
Bengaluru’s youths have a hard time finding affordable housing. Owing to high security deposits, many live as paying guests instead of renting apartments.
Protyush Goswami, who came to Bengaluru four years ago from Kolkata, informed The Observer: “When I was offered a job in Bengaluru, I couldn’t afford a flat since the rent was quite expensive compared to (that in) Kolkata. The main disadvantage of renting out a flat here is the high security deposit that has to be paid….”
Rs“In most localities, the deposit is usually 10-11 months (of rent) which will take out around Rs 1,50,000 from my bank account if the rent is Rs 15,000,” he added.
High security deposits often force people to stay in locations which are not their initial choice. Sombit Roy, who lives in Electronics City, said: “I know quite a few people who couldn’t afford to stay in an apartment of their choice solely due to the high security deposit. This has been a genuine problem for people looking for flats on rent.”
To get over this problem, young people choose to live in groups; it helps distribute the rent and the security deposit. “The most viable option for bachelors in Bengaluru is to share a flat with at least three people. This helps us share the burden of a high security amount.”
But people who are not comfortable sharing their space with others have to live in paying guest accommodations with single-room sharing.
Malika Kar, who lives in a PG, shared: “A PG culture is evolving in Bengaluru. For much less rent and up to two months of security deposit, people are getting much better facilities in PGs starting from cooked food to house cleaning. This is why more and more people are shifting… towards PGs rather than living in expensive flats.”
“You can negotiate with owners. They might decrease the amount to six to seven months, but that’s rare. Most owners insist on charging a minimum of 11 months deposit,” Kar added.
P. Uthappa, a land owner who has rented out his flat located in L&T South City, said: “Actually, the deposit is for 10 months, but I have asked for only eight months.”
Javed Khan, who lives in a PG in KR Puram, noted: “In Bengaluru, it is almost compulsory to go through a broker while renting a flat. The commission they charge is non-refundable, so along with a 10-month deposit, you have to pay one month’s rent as brokerage.”
A flat owner in Vijayanagar who did not want to be named said: “The rent varies from flat to flat. If it’s a 1BHK flat, then the rent is Rs 14,000 per month; for a 2BHK flat it is Rs 18,000 per month. I charge a security deposit of 10-11 months which is a common practice in Karnataka for a long time. Most people know they have to pay this amount; they don’t have any option.”
Rent is a considerable percentage of young people’s monthly budgets. Protyush pays 17.14 per cent of his monthly expenditure as rent.. Sombit spends around 12%, while Javed spends as much as 60% on rent.
Rent varies from area to area, but the security deposit is almost always 11 months of rent.
In June 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the Model Tenancy Act, according to which the security amount should be a maximum of two months’ rent for residential and six months for commercial properties. Reports said the Karnataka government wants to implement the Act. However, an official at the Karnataka Housing Board informed The Observer that the proposal is still under consideration.