I have rented a flat in an apartment in sub urban part of the Chennai some 5 months before. I had very tight budget and was in sudden need to shift the house by end of the month. I was in need of 1 BHK flat with low rent amount.
I was looking for flat in OMR, near Kelambakkam. I have started looking for flats for rent in websites and spent time on speaking to owner and brokers as they call back when you see their number in the websites.
I was contacted by a person and went to see the flat. When I went to the location, I was shown the flat by a older person referred by the personal who contacted me. I just looked thru the flat which was in 5th floor.
Honestly I do not know what to see while confirming a flat, as that was my first time I’m searching for a house. The rent was Rs.5,000 and advance was Rs.25,000. Then the personal who called me told he is a broker and I have to pay broker charge. He asked for charge of Rs. 5000. I bargained for advance amount to be Rs. 20,000 and broker charge as Rs. 4,000. He accepted it and demanding for confirmation and token advance by the time itself. When I told I could confirm by 2 two days or at least by the evening. He was continuously blabbering like some students are waiting in the nearby tea shop to see the same flat and you have to confirm the house by now. I was thinking what if I could not find another flat with the rent of Rs.5,000 and within a week. I said OK to the flat and paid token advance of Rs.1,000. He said the owner of the house would come on the day I come there to pay the advance.
But when I went to pay the advance next week on the day before the day I want to shift home, the broker said that the house owner could not come today but would come by coming Saturday. Then I shifted to the house. After shifting I noticed that the balcony of the house is inside in OTS (Open To Sky space), which would mean that there is no connect to outer wind flow or air or direct sunlight and more importantly no mobile signal (mobile signal only when I stand near the front door opened). I made this plunder mistake.
The broker was not ready to give the house owner’s mobile number. I could think that the broker is ready to take the first month rent and then want to inform the house owner. So it was like mess to keep calling the broker for house owner contact details. Then I told him that I would leave the flat and inform the apartment management about the issue, and then he gave the number.
Other than these I faced lot of difficulties in terms of balcony, no mobile signal, monkey and rat in the flat. I signed rental agreement with the owner thinking that the advance amount I paid the broker would not have reached owner and thought I need a proof the the amount paid. After staying there for some months, I came to know there is a flat in 3rd floor which has open balcony and good mobile signal is also available for same rent. And also the broker charge is only Rs.2500. Having the rental agreement signed, I was staying there for 4 months and then informed the owner about the issues and need to leave the flat (Even I informed the issues before signing the agreement, but he does not seems to care about the flat. He never visited the flat even after I left it). After two months of notice period only I could shift the flat to the flat I found in the 3rd floor which does not had any issues (only has monkey issue – monkey coming thru open window/balcony which is area specific).
So here I want to list down the points you need to remember while looking for a new flat for rent or even for purchase.
- While searching the flats in online, when you contact the person who posted the ad, confirm to him at first whether he/she is the owner or the broker. Don’t assume based on the info given in the ad.
- Don’t go alone for looking into the house. Bring your family member(s) with you. They may see something you may not.
- Check for mobile signal as when you entered the flat. Make sure you are getting mobile signal in every room in the flat.
- If you are going by broker, then ask him/her to show some other house also. This is very important that every broker will firstly show you the house which is not sold out for long time or have some issues. So for brokers, don’t ever go with first house. See multiple houses with the same companion and choose the best house.
- Please don’t choose the house with balcony in OTS, which is same as having a flat with no balcony. You may find it difficult to dry your washed clothes.
- Enquire about rent prices in nearby flats and also about water availability.
- Bargain for broker charge. The broker would also charge the house owner, so you can bargain him for a fair amount. In our area, brokers usually get half the rental amount as charge from each tenant and owner.
- Finally, look before you leap. If you end up with flats with basic problem like mobile signal and balcony you may find it very difficult to live there even for a day.
- Make sure the flat is good, and then sign the rental agreement.