Friday, November 22, 2013

Rental Home, An Endless Search!

The home should be the treasure chest of living….Le Corbusier

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier, was an architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture.  The great architect have expresses the secret behind the sentiments of millions aspiring their own home. And especially in our country home is the most prized possession, may it be for a super rich man or a small one guntha plot holder! Having those four walls of our own is the ultimate dream here! Though ever rising population & limitation of the land are the biggest constraint on getting this dream true for most & the scene is going to worsen. Chiefly in Metros where maximum migration is happening from all corners of the country, prices of a home that too a legal title clear home with all basic infrastructure are sky rocketing. In Pune itself a good 2 bhk flat costs nearly 50 lacs & above & in cities like Mumbai or Delhi the figure goes above 1 crore!

Now how many can afford that kind of money is a big question & unfortunately our “mai-baap” Govt either have no policy for bringing the home prices down nor have any plans of doing so in near future,. And any policy can’t be successful unless it’s amicably accepted to all segments involved in home making. As well it should be practical & not like the 20% small homes to be kept compulsory in every project being developed o all plots bigger than 1 acre land type! That’s a different subject but time & again every policy has failed which was supposed to make the homes available for common man within the range he is looking for i.e. on cost as well size front. Take the example of ULC i.e. Urban Land Ceiling act, it was supposed to keep land prices in control but for the same reason it’s been abolished & reality is neither the land prices came down when it was in existence nor they came down even when its scrapped! But who cares! Govt is happy as they have shown their willingness for making the home prices affordable to the “aam aaadmi’, why to bother whether it’s happened or not!

On this background when we are neither controlling population not trying to improve land use of available land, rental housing can be a workable option for solving accommodation problem for many, especially in big cities. This has been successfully implemented in China as well upcoming city’s like Tokyo as well Singapore, where land was a problem & majority population was getting settled in some particular city. Agreed we have been telling stories of above cities for years & trying to mimic them on urban planning front yet poor will power was always a main reason of failure. Yet it’s always worth trying again & at least pressurize Govt to do so for getting some solution.

Not long ago getting a rental flat or any accommodation was a pretty easy option as for many buying a home was expensive thing & rental accommodation was easily available & without hassles. But since the rent acts & all the legal stuff like leave & lease license which may be routine stiff for an advocate but surely not for a commoner who is giving his home for rent & even not for the one who is looking for renting the same! A common question asked by many aspiring property owners while renting out the property is what if the lessee i.e. the one who take the property on lease means on rent, do not vacate the property in time? Well the legal answer may be go to court & with your “leave & lease” license in place i.e. properly registered, one can evacuate the lessee in no time! But we all know the truth what happens in actual. It is not that people don’t believe in justice, they do; what they don’t believe is that they will get the justice in time! And this why, no one is ready to go to Court or any Govt authority to get hold of their property. Then there are things like the owner of the property has to inform to local police information of the person to whom he has rented the property, especially when its residential premise. And that process also is equally tiring. Why can all our Govt departments get linked together with the kind of technology available so the common man will get free from registering himself at number of places for one deal? This is the question which many people have in their minds as like if the deal of rental flat is registered at one Govt Dept then why not the information is passed to all concerned departments like Police or Municipal Corporations etc? All these add on registering demoralize the people to give their property on rent is a fact. And then the societies also have a bylaw that rental flat will have to pay additional or more maintain ace charges & even there is legal provision to do so. I wonder what it makes the difference who occupies the flat if the use is same. Only just because the owner has given his home on rent & earning some extra money out of it, why he should be penalized for the same? By doing this ultimately are we not increasing rent burden on the needy ones? Because it’s the person who can’t buy his own home is only going for a rental option, so effort should be made as much low rent can be made available to him. Instead all our policies are such that we are preventing people to give their flat for rent. The rent acts & all related to the subjects policies should be made easy, transparent & the property owners should be made assured that even they are renting their home, it’s perfectly safe & hassle free. Then only more & more people will come in this renting business.

As on one side already the ever rising prices of the property is making it impossible to match the investment  vs. returns via rent; especially in Metros where housing is always in demand its seen that bank interest for loan EMI is too much if someone thinks of renting his home & pay the loan through the rental income. At the same time more & more people are thinking of getting home on rent as it’s out of budget for them to have a home of their own. At such time Urban Development Dept should come up with some policy which will promote rental housing, as in a city like Pune there is lot of population which depend up on rental homes for their shelter for e.g. students coming for education from out station, bachelors’ who has been got a job in the city & those who have got a job on transfer types & many more. We can think of reservations for this purpose or additional FSI for rental housing schemes. Also make finance available for such projects at special rates & in enough quantity! Most important is establishing an agency which will handle all rental deals including fast track courts also; it will act like a single window for rental properties. Then there will be more & more people who will willingly rent out their homes & as Corbusier said, the treasure chest named home, won’t be some limited edition thing for a few lucky ones but for every single person around!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

MSEDCL (Power) Committee, Credai, Pune

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