Almost all of us have the experience of moving to a new city whether for studies or a job. Many times, it is people from towns and villages who move to the metros for better opportunities. There also people moving from one metro to the other for the same reasons. Whatever the reason, wherever we are from, we all face the same challenges in settling into a new city, away from home, away from our family. Finding a house, adjusting to the local food, adapting to the traffic and temperature, making new friends, are just some of the problems we face in a new city.
Of all these, the most daunting task is to find a house. This brings a new set of problems in itself. Landlords are particular about who they want to rent their homes to. From wanting pure vegetarians to subletting the house only to a specific gender, the conditions are many. And we can’t even blame the landlords. They are justified in having these entry conditions. There must have been a time when anyone could rent any house easily, and there was absolute trust between the landlord and the tenant. But, as with all good things, over time, someone must have broken this trust, which led to the rise of prejudices, stereotypes and checklists.
The stereotypes and prejudices
To find the answer to this question, home rental company NestAway conducted a survey of 3000 urban migrants across five metros – Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai as part of their #HomesThatDontDiscriminate campaign.
According to the survey too, the biggest challenges when moving to a new city are finding a house and adjusting to new food habits.
The respondents said that many factors influenced whether or not they got the house. It could be their food preferences, relationship status, appearance, religion, and caste.
In Bengaluru, it was difficult to find a house as a non-vegetarian, whereas, in Mumbai and Hyderabad, it was tough for bachelors and bachelorettes to rent a place.
A very common prejudice everyone has is that single men and women do not keep their homes clean and that women are cleaner than men. The survey found that people across all the cities and genders picked cleanliness as one of the top priorities while looking for a house, and themselves maintained clean surroundings. It is good to see a stereotype break.
It was also found that both men and women have similar needs and priorities while house hunting whether it was about the cleanliness or the neighbourhood they wanted to live in.
Some other factors that influence selection of a house for tenants
- Rent – the lesser, the better. People under 25 were more concerned with the price whereas people over the age of 25 chose based on the distance from work.
- Distance from work/college – Women preferred to stay closer to their offices or colleges even if it meant paying higher rent, whereas men were ready to travel a little farther and pay less for rent.
- Brokers vs. Landlords – Men faced more trouble with brokers whereas women had problems with landlords.
Eventually, based on these and many other parameters, it was determined that Pune is the easiest city to settle into and Hyderabad is the most women-friendly city.
Some of the stereotypes have been broken with this survey and some perceptions changed. But, there is still a lot of work to do towards finding a way to rebuild the trust in the landlord-tenant relationship.