Athira Sreedevi KV, a government employee, took a one-bhk apartment on rent in Bandra as it was close to her office, even though it meant spending much more on rent than what she was being offered in the farther suburbs of Borivali and Mira Road. “I was paying more as rent, but I was saving on time and the expenditure that I would have incurred, on commuting from those places. For me, proximity to the workplace was the main factor, while finalising this house,” she explained. Sreedevi’s case is a common example of the priorities that tenants have to decide on, while renting a property. This checklist of amenities, will depend on the person’s age, gender marital status, presence of children and their age, etc.
“The most important feature that a tenant considers, is the locality or neighborhood. This is an important feature that one cannot compromise on and tenants may be willing to pay higher prices if the property is located in the heart of the city,” points out Avnish Yadav, deputy general manager, residential services, Colliers International India.
For example, some areas in Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, have become hubs in the rental market, due to their proximity to the media and information technology companies. Most of the expats and professionals prefer these locations. The availability of day-to-day necessities, which includes accessibility to the market, hospitals, banks, police stations and highways, is crucial while renting a house. People prefer properties that offer flexibility in terms of transportation, shopping, food and entertainment.
Amit Wadhwani, director, Sai Estate Consultants says, “People are more willing to compromise on other amenities, if they are in a location that is desirable to them in some way. Many a times, a place near the office and the market is preferred.”
The costs related to rent, security deposit, electricity costs based on appliances in the flat and the cost of the flat if it is fully-furnished and whether all these fit within their budget, is another main concern for tenants.
Many people who come on a deputation to a city, prefer fully-furnished or semi-furnished flats.
Jitendra Chandhok, who was transferred by his company for three years, to Chennai, said, “My family did not shift with me because of my children’s school in Delhi. So, I preferred to rent a flat which would provide me with a bed, gas connection and other daily basic amenities and I was ready to pay extra for these facilities.”
Some tenants are particular about having modular kitchens, wardrobes and if the house has been painted recently.
“Rental properties generally have prior occupants, who leave their mark. So, I was looking for flats which had been renovated by the owner, after the earlier tenant vacated the flat. Renovated kitchens and bathrooms were the key factors for me,” says Sonia Parikh, who took a house on rent in Andheri in Mumbai.
For tenants who own cars, parking is a very important facility. Off-street parking is even more desirable.
“While searching for a house on rent in Mumbai, my main priority was that the house should have a covered parking facility in the building, as many housing societies in Mumbai don’t allow the tenants to park their car inside the campus. So, I was focused only on apartments with covered parking,” says Sulabh Dubey, a software engineer.
“A safe neighborhood is a very important feature that people consider while renting the property. People consider security features like alarms, fences, deadbolt locks, CCTV cameras and security guards, while looking for a property,” points out Punit Agarwal, MD and CEO, Nirvana Realty.
Even functional street lights of the area are an important issue, in today’s age, with many families having both parents working and children staying alone at home.
Gymnasium, swimming pool and play areas for children
Fitness has become increasingly important and young professionals are commonly in search of housing societies that offer these amenities.
According to Rajesh Sharma, a real estate agent in Delhi, “Earlier, the enquiries that I used to get, used to be on the size of the flat and configuration but now, people ask about club house in the building and a parks where their children can play. As the house is normally leased for three years, they want to have all these facilities.”
Rohit Poddar, MD, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd agrees and adds, “A single person would prefer a more active lifestyle and hence, a fully functional gym would be important. A married couple with young kids, would also like amenities and sports options for their children in a gated community, subject to the amount of rent that they can pay.”
Other factors that tenants consider
- Good condition of the house and storage space.
- Condition of pipes (gas, water, etc.) and leakage.
- Working condition of sink faucets, shower heads and other plumbing and fixtures.
Adequate supply of water in the building is another concern for tenants. Reshma Khan, who rented a house in Mira Road in Mumbai, explains that “Adequate supply of water is really important for any household but in many buildings in this area, the municipality supply is erratic. Hence, I specifically searched for houses which had overhead tanks or facility for additional storage of water.”