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Monday, August 27, 2018

Planning to rent a house? 10 things you should keep in mind

Planning to buy a car? Consider this too

Home is a place we grew up from a child to an adult. Home is a place where we build a family and raise children. The home is a feeling of belonging which begins at finding a house, creating our comfort corner.

Lucky are those people who are privileged to stay at Parent's or has earned enough to buy on their own. For those who are yet to find a own house, this post is to help you get the next best option - 'Renting a house - and make it a home'. Renting a house is not an easy task, a dream home is not easy or may not be pocket friendly or commute friendly. It takes amount of research, negotiations and hard work. :) Here I am listing the critical points which will help you find the best home. I am taking Mumbai as a case for this, as I call the city my home.

1. Broker or no-broker? 
Mumbai is a huge metro city, finding a rental home without a professional help is difficult. You may consider taking brokers list from neighbourhoods. The online help at JustDial listings or even property websites like 99 acres, Magic Bricks, etc is also a great help as they also provide the sample pictures of the property along with the broker coordinates. Brokers generally take down the criteria from you as in budget, location and property and help you with options. Incase you dislike third-party involvement, there are websites like, purely listed by owners can get you property with no brokerage. However, in these cases, assistance in registration, background of the owners etc is difficult. 

2. Location and neighbourhood - the list of a preferred location can be long with neighborhood, market, hospital, railway station, bus stand - A big city comes with a few advantages as well as disadvantages.  According to me, commute time to workplace should be the first criteria while searching a house, a smart planning will help save you cost as well as time. 

3. Rental amount - Rent of a house will depend on multiple factors like age of the property, locality, society, proximity to local facilities like hospitals, schools, multiplexes, shopping malls etc. You need to decide a rent budget basis your net income, saving goals and other liabiities (like ongoing personal loans, car loans etc.) Ideally a home expenses like rental, and bills (electricity, water, telephone bills) should not exceed one-third of net monthly income. If you can keep it lower than that, would be better for you. Also, pre-decide the hike in rental with home-owner if you are planning to make multi-year contract. 

4. Home owner - The house you are planning to make your home is somebody else's property, the legal contract of the house will be between renter so knowing the owner in person would be a good idea. Have a conversation with your requirement to agree upon a mutually convenient contract.

5. Documentation requirement - As rental document is a legal contract, it follows procedure such as police varification, you would need to provide copy of Adhaar card, Pan Card, Passport size photograph, cancelled cheque leaf etc. Ensure the documents are attested with date and purpose (mention - for rental agreement). 

6. Brokerage - In mumbai, the brokerage is generally a month's rent, don't agree for more even if you doing multi-year agreement. Broker's primary job is to list down your various criteria and take you for online and physical visit to the properties. The broker should be able to provide you with registration assistance and helping with a conversation with the owner. You are not liable to pay any fee untill the broker is able to complete the deal. Many a times if a broker doesnot find a suitable option in his designated geography, he/she may reach out to other brokers who may have properties which meets your demand, in these cases they often ask and negotiate for bigger brokerage, you shouldnt agree to this unreasonable demand.

7. Rental Agreement - This is the legal document for you and your home-owner. You need to check the document carefully to ensure your interest is protected. Often times there is a clause of minimum lock-in period, which means incase either party wants to end the contract may have to shell out a pre-decided amount to the other party. Check the document, clarify with the owner, broker as well as the registration official on any doubts. Keep a copy of the agreement safely. It will be needed for many official use including dealing legally with the owner if need be. 

8. Amenities - There are some basic and important requirements of every individual in a home. Figure out if you would like to use pre-owned amenities or you would like to rent a house which has some basic fixtures. Basic amenities would include Gyesers, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, electricity connection, water connection, cooking gas connection etc. You should keep these factors in mind while chosing the house and negotiating the rental.

9. Furniture - This is the second most aspect of a home after the basic ameninites. If you pre-own furniture, you can be sorted with a un-furnished house, but depending on requirement and your current possessions you may look for semi-furnished or fully furnished hones. The semi-furnished home may come with a bed, modular kitchen. A fully furnished house may include a sofa, dinning set, TV cabinets etc.

For furnitures, you also have many options -  buying brand new or second hand from platform like OLX, Quikr. You have additional option of renting your furniture from websites like Fabrento, Rentomojo, Pepperfry etc., they also provide packages for bed room, dining room, living room etc. The renting and owning is a personal choice, may be will write another post on that!

10. Maintainance - The rented flat/ apartment should be properly registered with the building/housing society.  Society maintenance cost is home-owner's responsibility. But you need to ensure you get a spik n span house with colour, window mesh, pest control and furnitures and other amenities repaired and you will be expected to return the house key in the same manner when you leave the house.

Make checklist as per your requirement to help you make the shifting a smooth affair.

Advantage of renting a home - my passion is calculation. With a basic reseach I found the concept of renting is much convinient on pocket than buying a new property. Renting is a super cool option unless you have deep pocket and have the capacity to buy a house with existing savings without going for an EMI. Rent saves money, you have a option of staying in the house as long as contract permits, stay in the locality you want in about 1/4th of a owned house (EMI+maintanance). India is obsessed with owning house, wouldnt want to debate too much here. But do some google and sone excelsheet, you will understand my viewpoint. Hope this article will be useful fir renting a home in mumbai. See you soon with my next article! 

Happy saving, Happy Investing and Happy Renting!

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