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Tenancy: How To Make A Right Decision

The guidelines given below provide a detailed framework which can simplify the layers of complexity surrounding your housing situation and help you make more accurate and informed renting decisions – whether to renew, or to rent anew!

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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If you are an Indian between 21-40 years of age and are currently working in a city other than your hometown, there is a high possibility that you are staying in a rented accommodation. There might be several reasons for this – your job requires you to move around a lot, you don’t want to freeze your savings in an immovable asset, or that you find the costs of home ownership too prohibitive. 

Regardless of your reasons, if you’re renting a house, you come to appreciate that it is, in essence, not very different from owning a house. You have to deal with similar challenges that most homeowners do – with the neighbours, their pets, and the seepage that’s beginning to show at the corner. In a nutshell you have to take care of the house the same way an owner would. 

The only major difference between renting a residential property and owning it, apart from the obvious long-term financial commitment, is the flexibility that it offers. When you rent a property, you have the liberating option of moving out to a different place. That choice is what all renting decisions eventually boil down to: should you stay at the current house and renew your lease, or find another house to move in to? Like most important things in life, the decision to rent or renew is extremely complex and is influenced by a multitude of interconnected factors. 

In keeping with the mission to make life simpler for home-seekers, here are the most common situations that tenants face

Persistent problems with basic amenities such as water and electricity

Challenges with access to water and electricity are fairly common in Indian cities. In most such cases, the challenge is not with the house itself, but with the larger urban infrastructure. Unless you foresee the situation being resolved sometime in the near future, the most prudent thing to do in such a case is to find a new, less stressful place for yourself to stay. 

The renewal of lease

Impending lease renewals are a time of temptation for tenants. It is tempting to consider the idea of moving into a better house that would be free from challenges that you’re currently facing but might have got used to. 

This is a classic case of grass appearing greener on the other side. Moving an entire household, even if it is just a couple of blocks, is an undertaking that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In addition to the cost of transportation, there is always a possibility of some breakage and damage during the relocation process. Arranging money to make the security deposit can also be a huge burden on your finances. Therefore, unless there is a major unresolved problem with your current home, it is always better to renew the lease.

Change of place of work or education

Modern-day professionals, especially those living in large metropolitan areas, end up changing their jobs every couple of years in pursuit of better remuneration and career opportunities. Many parents also make their children move schools to be tutored under a higher-quality teaching faculty. If you ever find yourself in either of these cases, it is better to re-evaluate your renting situation to gauge if it makes more sense to move or to stay. 

For instance, if the time taken for you to commute to work has changed from 15 minutes to 30 minutes as a result of job change, the effort of moving houses will not be proportional to the time you will save. Relocation only makes sense if there is an addition of 30+ minutes, one way, to your commute. The same usually holds true for a change in the place of education of your children.

Requiring a redo of the interiors/exteriors

Whether it is repainting the exterior façade or redecorating the interiors, every house needs its ambience refreshed every couple of years. Choosing to move out at this time is slightly rash, to say the least. It is far more advisable to put up with the temporary discomfort and see the place you’ve called home take on a fresh/rejuvenated identity. 

Communication challenges with the landlord and/or neighbours

You might have heard chasing after their landlords for months to get a persistent seepage problem fixed, or witnessed it first-hand. This apparent apathy from the landlord is a common issue that most tenants face. Many also struggle to fit in with their neighbours in a new locality, with complaints about pets, water pumps left running, and loud music/noises being the most common points of argument.

If you find yourself stuck in such a situation, the first thing you should try to do is to ensure that the channels of communication remain open. Communicate your concerns in a calm, composed manner with the involved parties, and listen to what they have to say with an open mind. This can not only help you reach an amenable resolution to your challenges, but also help you avoid the unnecessary hassle of having to move houses again. If things appear unfixable, however, you can start searching for a new property to rent.

Accessibility and connectivity

Accessibility to basic amenities such as hospitals and public transport is extremely important. If your current place of residence is situated far away from such amenities, it is better for you to move to a place which is situated closer by.

The guidelines listed above provide a detailed framework which can simplify the layers of complexity surrounding your housing situation and help you make more accurate and informed renting decisions – whether to renew, or to rent anew!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Amit Kumar Agarwal

The author is Co- Founder & CEO, NoBroker.com

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