Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Expats can easily find a house these days

Expats can easily find a house these days



BENGALURU: Quite a few landlords in the city are now looking only for expat tenants -higher rents and less chances of legal hassles being the major attractions. Domlur, Koramangala, Indira Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Whitefield and Sarjapur road are the hotspots of these expat-exclusive houses.

Landlords cite "bad experiences with Indian tenants" to avoid them, and claim that expats keep their houses cleaner than Indian tenants. Rajalakshmi Gopal (name changed) gives her fully-furnished 2BHK in Domlur Layout only to expat tenants, even if they are single male or female. She says she has had native tenants previously who damaged the property , leading her to this decision.

A majority of these landlords put a condition that the current tenant finds another expat for them before leaving, so that they get the full deposit back. In a city where foreigners often come to stay for work, education or internships, that is not too hard. However, expats rue that they often end up paying higher rent than Indians do.

Quijano Flores, a US citizen of Filipino origin, who has been in the city for over a year, said that being an expat has cost him. "I pay 25,000 for a 2BHK in Malleswaram. It is hugely over the accepted rate in the area," he told ET.

Students come to Bengaluru for short-term internships but have to deposit ten months' rent with the landlord. The age-old comfort of leasing property to companies has also contributed to this trend. For the expats who come to Bengaluru as employees of multinational companies, these companies allot a budget and through brokers, the expats find the houses themselves and rent it on company lease.

"The trend has been growing for the past three years. About 15% of landlords prefer company leases since it ensures that the landlord gets the house back in good shape and on time without any legal hassles of overstay," Danish Farook, director, Silverline Realty, told ET.

Multinational companies are willing to rent bungalows and houses in gated communities for rent ranging between 1 lakh and 4 lakh for their higher officials, says Preeti Roongta, director, Lexigent Services, which caters to the real estate needs of expats. In a city where single-men and single-women tenants are still frowned upon, expat tenants are given more freedom than the average native tenant in terms of cooking non-veg food, having guests of opposite gender and having pets.

There is an obvious bias towards white-skinned expats. "Some landlords even give a 10% discount in rent to get westerners. And most have a hostile attitude towards the black community.  Even those from West Asia are accepted as they are relatively rich.


Expats from developed countries have an advantage -they can't be pushed around. Even those who set curfew for Indian female tenants are relaxed when it comes to expats," Feroze Abdullah, CEO of Feroze's Estates & Properties, told ET. 

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