Problem Face by the New Comers in Respect of Accommodation: In Mumbai

By Accommodation Times News Service

Why do people come to Mumbai?

As it has been rightly quoted, Mumbai is the city of dreams. One comes here with an idea, a dream, a passion, a burning desire to achieve and excel and to also experience the life that the Mumbaikars live. The never-say-die spirit of the people encourages them to believe in their dream as well quoted by Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Whether you are living in huge flat at Nariman Point or you stay in the slums, every single person has a dream.

The city’s real estate prices may be high, but it’s only because of the huge demand for living and working spaces here. Mumbai’s Real Estate offers the best appreciation values and makes an excellent investment opportunity too.

What are the problems related to accommodation that the migrants face when they come to Mumbai- the dream city, for the first time?

Some say they don’t face any problems, few say that it was manageable and many say, it is quite a tedious job to find a temporary accommodation in Mumbai.

Now, there can be different categories of people who come to Mumbai and accordingly, their criteria for accommodation would vary.

Students: There are a huge number of students who come to Mumbai for their higher studies, classes, internship, training, post graduate courses etc. For e.g. A medical student may wish to join a hospital where the team of doctors is highly experienced and offers excellent training to its interns. Hence, the student will have to ensure that the hospital is not quite far from the place where she would be temporarily staying. Moreover, a CA student will have to ensure the same because it might get late during the peak months of the profession and one must endure their safety while returning late.

Man/ Women (Job aspirants): Mumbai provides a galaxy of opportunities to those who wish to earn a living and stand on their own feet. However, when it comes to buying a flat for stay or even for that matter, renting a temporary accommodation, it is quite a herculean task. It is easier to provide a flat on rent to a married couple rather than a single woman or a single man. Moreover, those living in Mumbai do not miss the opportunity of living the night life here. There are various clubs, shopping malls, comedy stores which can be enjoyed only after office hours. Hence, it is often said that two or more men means more late nights, more late hours, more partying, loud music, noisy games and it might also be difficult to vacate the premises. While Mumbai is considered to be reasonably safe for women, due to the recent incidents which have taken place, it is not wise enough to say so. Bachelor men are subject to more restrictions than women. Letting out a flat to live-in couples is also quite rare and unheard of.

The common problems faced by the migrants are as under:

Distance: The distance between the work place and the place of temporary accommodation should be less.

Hostel: Nowadays, admission to a good hostel seems to be tough without any reference. Moreover, some hostels are quite selective and discriminative. For e.g. there are some hostels which chose to admit only Gujaratis, or only Maharashtraians and so on. On the other hand, there are a few which profession based are, i.e. they admit only those pursuing Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary Etc. This leaves very few options for those who have come here with an altogether different purpose and from a different background. The drawback of such hostels is that they fail to promote harmony between different cultures and people from different walks of life. The purpose of a hostel is not only to provide accommodation but also, to teach one, how to live life independently. In such a situation, if a Muslim student would find is really difficult to survive here and would have nowhere to go.

Budget for rental accommodation: The rent for the place of stay should not exceed the budget. This would depend on the cash flow. [sources of income of the student]. For e.g. the rent for a flat at Vasai would be quite cheaper as compared to the exorbitant rental rates for a flat at Churchgate.

Commission/ Brokerage: Real estate agents and brokers live on the commission income that they earn. Hence, they charge a wholesome amount which is difficult to pay. Even if they succeed in suggesting a decent and comfortable accommodation, the commission/ brokerage cost which arises in consequence of such rental accommodation is quite a discouraging factor for those who do not have adequate sources of finance.

Housing Loan: Even if one obtains a housing loan for buying a flat in Mumbai, it is necessary to decide that one is capable of repaying it as per the repayment schedule [equated annual installments/ equated monthly installments]. Not everyone can obtain a loan for buying a flat.

Surroundings: Such a rented place should be free from noise and chaos and should not be disturbing while studying.

Neighbors: The people around should be of sound mind and the atmosphere should be free from danger.

Distrust: At times, it is difficult for students to easily get a temporary place of accommodation because they have no reference in Mumbai and hence, they are not considered to be trustworthy. There is always a risk that the landlord undertakes while giving a flat on rent. Moreover, when it is given to a stranger, the risk is almost tripled. In order to take calculated risks, such letting out to strangers is completely avoided, though, in many cases, there might not be any wrong intention on the part of the student looking for such accommodation.

Bad company: A man is known by the company he keeps. The world is aware that it doesn’t take a second for a person to be driven into a wrong direction for the wrong road always seems easier than the right one. Hence, it is very difficult to trust anyone. Some may be involved in vices such as smoking, drug addicts, prostitution, drinking, living by unfair means etc. In order to avoid such conflicts in future, the decision to rent a particular flat to a person is given multiple thoughts.

Rising crimes: There is a sharp upward trend in crimes such as rape, murder, robbery etc. In view of the Nirbhaya gang rape case, the crime at Shakti Mills, or even the rape that took place in a police cabin at Marine Drive, all of these create a negative environment that creates a feeling of insecurity in Mumbai also. Therefore, the landlord prefers to say a big ‘NO’ to single men. Single women may also not be allowed because such incidents can happen at the rented accommodation provided and hence, the landlord will obviously not wish to be involved in criminal investigation. It is always preferred to be out of the crime.

In view of the above, while renting a flat to someone, there are various legal formalities involved and many are not aware of the clauses that should necessarily be forming a part of the Leave and License Agreement in order to ensure their safety. The normal procedure involved before renting an accommodation is stated as under:

The landlord will invite tenants through various advertisements in newspapers, magazines, references etc.

The prospective tenants will approach the landlord. Then, the landlord will show the premises to the tenant, if he proves his credibility and trustworthiness. The landlord will ensure that he is a person of sound mind and has no illegal intentions.

Thereafter, the rent and other terms and conditions for the premises would be decided.

There are many options for giving the property on rent but the most appropriate option is to give the property on leave and license basis.

No -objection certificate would have to be obtained from the society since the society’s permission is required to permit any new member for temporary accommodation.

The details of the licensee are collected by the society and are sent to the police department for verification. This also provides safety to the other members of the society and in case of any illegal means committed by the licensee; he/she can be easily caught.

What is one supposed to know about a leave and license agreement?

An agreement by which the owner of an immovable property/a person duly authorized by the owner or a competent person enters into a contract with another person for possession, enjoyment and use of the said property for a specified period and purpose against valid consideration is called ‘Rent or Lease Agreement.’ The owner of the property is called ‘Licensor’ and the person acquiring the right to enjoy/ use the property is called ‘Licensee’.

The relevant parts of a leave and license agreements are as under:

Proper identification of parties to a contract.

Clear title of the licensor- he must be the legal owner of the property.

Period of leave and license.

In case of tenancy, you can occupy the premises as long as you keep paying the rent. However, in case of leave and license agreement, there is a specific time period for which the premises can be occupied and this period is mentioned in the agreement.

The amount of annual/ monthly rent to be paid by the licensee.

The amount of security deposit or advance rent. The period when the same would be refunded should also be mentioned. Moreover, whether it is interest free or bears a rate of interest. The rate of interest should be mentioned.

Conditions as regards who will keep the keys of the premises and that the duplicate keys shall be given to the licensee.

Conditions as regards who will pay the electricity bills, society maintenance charges, property tax, municipal charges etc.

Terms and conditions in case of damage to the premises.

Whether any alterations in the premises would be permissible or not should be put down on paper in black and white.

A clause in the agreement must state that any act of immoral or illegal nature which is objectionable shall not be permitted.

Goods of hazardous or combustible nature should not be allowed to be stored in the premises.

Incase of breach of any of the terms and conditions, the clause must state the remedy to such breach such as termination of the agreement.

On expiry of the agreement, the licensee must hand over peaceful possession of the premises to the licensor.

The provisions of Section 24 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act should be mentioned.

Penalty in case of failure to hand over peaceful possession of the premises.

The benefits of entering into a leave and license agreements are listed as under:

Happy relationship with the owner:

Before signing any Leave and License agreement, a potential Lessee should read the terms and conditions thoroughly. If there are any clauses or sections he or she does not understand, it is important to seek clarification before entering into the agreement. This will help prevent the possibility of misunderstanding regarding the responsibilities and privileges assumed by both parties for the duration of the agreement and help keep the relationship cordial. Like somebody has said, “Having someone wonder where you are when you don’t turn up at your accommodation at night is a good sign of happy relationship”.

Approach to the Registrar of Co-operative societies:

This is a major problem face by the new comers when they come in Mumbai. Society charges heavy amounts and even deposits if you are a bachelor or a unmarried man/woman. Although there are no fixed rules on the subject in leave and license agreement. However the society must be reasonable in all matters and if it is charging an exorbitant amount you could approach the Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

Easy legal proceedings:

It is safe to give ownership flat for leave and licence provided an agreement has been entered into to that effect and the same leave and licence agreement has been registered with the Competent Authority under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act,1999. This will lead to easy legal proceeding in the courts. Both the parties easily sue on each other on the breech of the agreement. This  leave and license agreement work like a fruit-full proof in the proceedings.

We hope that the above has been useful to various migrants who come to India for the first time and have now become acquainted with the formalities involved.

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