Moving out of your parents’ home is a milestone achievement. It is something you have envisaged for a long time and have also developed certain preconceptions about how the process would be like. You may be moving out for a variety of different reasons. Changing cities, leaving home for a college or job, but the end result remains the same. You’re finally going to be independent and live on your own terms.
However, for most of us living away, we get a reality check as soon as we begin the process of moving out. The first step is finding a house to live in, which, as you probably know is a monumental task in itself. Because when you house hunt, it’s not your decision to choose a house does not rest solely on you. Involved are numerous stakeholders that you never knew existed, who come with their own rules and expectations.
You’ve to navigate through Overenthusiastic brokers, pestering neighbours, society secretaries and weird building rules. There are so many people offering their 2 cents on how you can and cannot live, and so many regulations involved it actually makes the process of finding the right house a utopian one.
The first barrier to encounter are the building rules. They actually make you feel that you’re living on a leash and that it’s a grave sin to rent a house as a bachelor. “The first house I rented out, there was a mandir right in front of it. So the priest there actually made me call my parents and made me promise that I’ll always enter the house barefeet, won’t eat non-vegetarian on a Tuesday and take part in the weekly rituals. After my mom said yes to all, only then I was allowed to rent out the house. Obviously I didn’t follow any of the rules, but they sure showed me the crazy side of house hunting” shared Vinay.
If you’ve successfully managed to find a house that you like, you also have to make sure that your future neighbours are okay with the idea of you living here. To say that nosy neighbours can be a nuisance, would be an understatement. “Oh my god neighbours are the worst. So the house I currently live in, my neighbours there have a son who’s my age. His mom actually coyly asked me whether I have had boyfriends in the past. After I asked her why does she want to know it, she blatantly said that she wants her son to stay away from girls with loose character and doesn’t want him to be distracted by my advances. All this was in the first week of my stay” said Riddhi.
The house hunting experience starts to go downhill from the very beginning, as it is the brokers themselves that have very weird ways of gaining information from you. The city of Mumbai has a culture of having buildings and localities divided on the basis of communities. You’ll find buildings where a majority of the people belonging to a particular religion, region or caste reside in. “ I’m Muslim so I’ve had instances where people have straight up told me that they won’t rent out a house to me. However, it’s really amusing to see brokers try to gain information about you in a way they think is subtle. Instead of asking me whether I’m Muslim they’ll ask me whether I eat non-veg, whether I have a cat and what not! It’s really weird and amusing to me though now” said Ravish, who’s now been living in the city for over years.
Apart from this, the usual tales of no alcohol, no female friends, weird curfew timings on entering your home are widespread. Inspite of all this, you should remember one thing while house hunting. You, as a tenant have equal rights and can legally protect your living arrangement. To know more, check out our video on tenant laws in the country! Till then, happy house hunting!