If you are planning to settle in India, finding accommodation will definitely be one of your priorities. Here is an overview of the country's rental market.
Finding affordable accommodation in India is not so difficult a task. In major Indian cities, you can find accommodation (apartments or houses with four or five rooms, spacious and refurbished) priced around € 600 per month. Note however, that prices may greatly vary from one district to another, or from one city to another.
For newcomers, students or temporary immigrants, flat-sharing is also a great way to occupy an apartment or a house with comfortable and separated rooms (often equipped with private bathrooms) at really interesting prices (€150 to €300 per month).
In general, Indian accommodation have fairly good electricity supply. Nevertheless, before renting a house or apartment in India, don't forget to ask if batteries or backup generators are available to ensure a steady supply of electricity, especially during the summer season when power failures are quite frequent. Heaters are sometimes necessary in several regions, though during very limited periods. Air conditioning is a must. If your accommodation is furnished, try to make an inventory as exhaustive as possible, and try to set up an inventory and statement of state of repair with your landlord.
In India, remember that (almost) everything is negotiable. If you are about to occupy a house or apartment, try to have wall paintings or small repairs done prior to your moving in.
Finally, be sure that everything is clearly stated in the rental agreement about service charges or maintenance fees.
Lease in India
The rental lease in India is quite different compared to leases we sign in Europe or America. A deposit, sometimes equivalent to 10 months' rent, may be required by the landlord. Note that the deposit may be negotiable, depending on the length of the lease. In any case, the deposit must be returned after the tenant has left.
The general duration of a lease is 11 months. If you wish to extend your stay, make sure to arrange an extension of the duration of the lease with your landlord. Unlike certain existing agreements in force in Europe and many other countries, there are no « tacit agreements » with regard to the occupation of accommodation; in other words, by the end of the lease, the landlord is legally entitled to evict you.
A minimum occupation period may be required, often equivalent to the general duration of a lease (11 months).
How to find accommodation in India
In order to find suitable accommodation in India, several means are at your disposal. Browse the Internet and check out among Indian real estate agencies online. If you are looking for a flat to share, many sites are also at your disposal, connecting people searching for a flat to share and people offering apartments to share. A list of websites is available at the end of this article.
If you're already in India, contact a "broker", a kind of real estate agent who, for a fee equivalent to one month's rent of your future accommodation, will help you find the perfect place that fits your criteria. Note however that you should not give price ranges to the broker; he indeed has every incentive to find you the most expensive accommodation in order to receive a bigger commission. Try to negotiate these fees in advance, if possible.
Finally, visit local estate agencies or check out classifieds in the press.
Expat.com – Housing in India
Common Floor www.commonfloor.com
India Property www.indiaproperty.com
99 Acres www.99acres.com
Magic Bricks www.magicbricks.com