Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Landlord/House owner travails

Having traveled around as much as I have been and staying in rental accommodations, i have so many tales to tell. Some my own and some from friends in similar positions..

There are landlords who let out their apartments wanting to earn extra money(obviously) or even so that the apartment/house atleast gets looked after. So there are a number of categories to put them into:

  1. The strict vegetarian one : One who does not allow non vegetarians to even see the house. Some are as strict that they don’t even want tenants who eat non veg outside. AM guessing the problem must be that they might use the Toilets or something.
  2. The elderly gentleman/lady : Children in USA. Having a house in a nice place. Ready to let out to young couples and or families so that they get the income, the house is taken care of and they usually are helpful. Some of these landlords are very picky and intrusive. “why did u move the bed, we heard the sound” “why did u leave the light on “ “Why didn’t draw the pump for water” etc etc. So yes they can get very nosy about everything.
  3. The greedy one : This one is constantly on the look out for “better prospects” and makes up excuses that his daughter or niece or someone or the other is returning back. Actually he is fibbing. He has been informed he can rent the place for a higher value and that’s why the build up of lies. They usually target the singletons.
  4. The “no bachelors/singleton” ones : One of the landlords actually mentioned that bachelors leave the house dirty and at times single girls bring in “boyfriends” and other neighbours complain. (*wonder if the neighbours just have so much time that they only need to know who is coming/going out of the tenants house*)
  5. The AS_IS basis apartments : There are those who want to let out their dingy and dirty apartments, without even so much as a white wash. Why bother ? and these are those who are even refusing to compromise on the rent .Like hello. Its not that much of a shortage of supply u know. I saw this place on the main road in Bangalore. The Apartment was stinky, dirty, and the walls had not seen even whitewash in a long while, add to that poor wood work. Landlord even had his cupboards there with his own stuff(wonder why) He wanted 20,000 for it and didn’t want to compromise. Then there was another in Chennai. He sent his agent. The apartment was fine and well furnished. It just had too much woodwork making it dark with dark granite floors. What looked bad were the toilets. And yes, they were reluctant to even change toilet seats, or remove any of the messy clutter they had put in.
  6. Then there are the first timers ; Will buy a house/apartment. Obviously spend a lot of money on the purchase and the furniture and expect highway robbery prices for it. The house is done up to “attract” a certain kind of clientele - read Corporate leases. Most corporates pay anything and can pay huge deposits. But these guys will refuse to do something as basic as adding a soap dish for the bathroom, or a towel rack. So, how many “highly placed” officials who actually “entertain” will be able to use such bathrooms one wonders. Gets overtly familiar. And still at times tries to use the old fashioned method of landlords ” whatever changes you want you can do it yourself” yeah right. The tenant can change the mirrors in the bathroom, add Hooks, add shelves and god knows what(“as per individual needs they say”.)They know we don’t take it back when we leave, but the excuse is, do whatever changes you want yourself. Will call up incessantly regarding payments when its actually paid by the company and I am only living there. Will turn up un-announced and talk about leakages that some down stair neighbours complained about etc etc. One wonders if they can take a crash course on handling their corporate tenants, since after all just letting out an apartment that too for a VERY high market value, one does tend to feel a little gypped. So yes, they have the money, but no class. The apartment belies it.
  7. The Garish interiors and still house proud one : Have seen number of apartments where there are *groan* POP(Plaster of Paris) ceilings-same as in restaurants. Garish pink colours for the living room, flourescent green for the bedrooms, and lemon for the bathrooms. Very “what were you thinking* kind of interiors but the dude thinks with this he will surely snare so many tenants. Different strokes for different folks, I do decide to give this a miss.
  8. Builder Apartments : These are one of the best. Sicne I have had experiences of the builder doing up the place very well and does indeed fulfill whatever the tenant wants. Very very comfortable dealing with such people. The only challenge one has is that they return the deposit in cash! Like hello…..and that needs quite a bit of careful handling.
  9. The perfect LandLord : In my case was the land lady for my apartment I Kolkata. She was non-interfering as she stayed in Bangalore. I have never even seen her. But she had her team of house repair guys etc, who would handle the few nitty-gritty of a “just moved in” apartment. Her Chinese contractor, to her friend who understood why toilets needs Soap Dish rack, or Towel rack, mirrors, or even why the door needed a double lock, it was very well handled. I think she kindof ruined it for me, in a way that I am now expecting similar perfection from other landlords as well.

One thing I know for sure is, if I were to rent out my own place, I know what category I would rather fall into..


stan said...

Hey Dee, atleast you know which category you are gonna fall in when you decide to become a landlady urself. As for me, I am wondering where i fit among the many that you listed. After much ruminating i decided i fall into the "No bachelor/singleton" type. Before you raise ur eyebrows and grrrrr away, let me tell you i fall into that category not by choice since i am a flat owner and not an independent house owner. A flat owner has a so called "Committee" sitting on his head trying to tell you who you need to rent out to. Funny when you consider that its ME who has dished out his life savings into the flat and a #@&%#@$ group of morons calling themselves a Committee tells me what to do with my flat. So although I love the bachelor boys and the single dudettes who hardly use the flat at all, I am forced to rent it out to 'families' whose brats and relatives make a mess of ur house and leave it 'as is' on the day they reluctantly vacate. I have had the Secretary come to me and say the girls staying in your house had a guy who came to visit them. Sooo?? His reply : We have daughters and we cant expose them to this culture. This guy better go out and see what his goody goody daughter may be upto outside the house. On another occasion...the same secretary tells me. I went to your house and the boys staying at your house did not respect me. In what way was he disrespected...The boys did not stand up and show respect to the Honorary or is it Honorable freakin Secretary when he entered the house.

Deepa Subbaraman said...

Hey Stan Hilarious indeed. Its sad when a committee in a building "decides" whom to "allow". I wonder if they have kids who might travel one day and get into similar situations ? its kind of thoughtless.

These self appointed moral keepers are really funny. On one hand they Dont want their children to get the wrong values and the other hand they will have loud blasting K serials from their homes(u hear it on your way up the building)

As for "showing respect" by standing up, what i want to say is not safe for this space...! :)

You are so right on keeping the space clean and tidy. SIngletons are rarely home, so the home doesnt see much wear and tear.(not that am against families, am just pro my fellow group of singles, who are ostracised unless one gets into a really high rent area(where, no one cares)

But from what i know of you Stan, your agent actually fixes the place with his own eletricians etc..So its kinda neat..i would put yu in the "ideal" category. Cheers, D