Sai Kishore, 22, who is in Mumbai for a two-month summer internship, feels “homeless in the city”. Having arrived last month, the media student from Pune has still not been able to find any kind of accommodation.
“My friends and I have been hunting for a house to rent for more than a month now. After days of running around, we finally found a place, but all of a sudden, the broker told us it no longer available,” said Kishore, who has been putting up at a friend’s place in Kandivli. He uses his lunch breaks to make constant calls to various brokers. The students suspect that the housing society raised objections arising from the stereotype of bachelors living together.
It’s a similar story for most students who come to the city for internships, who are soon given a reality check by the harrowing ways of the realty sector. They are put through a virtual obstacle course comprising unreliable brokers, endless paper work, and indefinite anxiety while looking for housing for the short span of their internship.
High rents are leaving these students stranded. Pune-based Ritwik Ghosh said, “Two bedroom apartments in Andheri and Vile Parle have a steep monthly rent of Rs 40,000, which excludes brokerage and a deposit.”
Sharanya Basu Roy, 21, a student from New Delhi had to let go of the idea of staying by herself when the broker told her that the monthly rent started at Rs10, 000. “I was sure I didn’t want to pay that much for a two-month stay in the city,” said Basu, who will now be staying at her friend’s house in Juhu till June.
Lahiri Shah, a real estate professional in Matunga, said that issues of safety and reliability are the biggest concerns for flat-owners, which leads to reservations about renting their flats out to students for a short span.
“Apart from the fact that it is bad business to rent out a flat for only a few months at a stretch, most people also don’t want to deal with young students unless they are referred by friends or relatives,” said Shah.
Paying guest (PG) accommodation is an alternative not many students are keen on. Surbhit Paul, a student from XLRI, Jamshedpur explained why. “I checked a few PGs but didn’t find them sanitary. Additionally, all PGs have an early curfew, and charge a fair amount of money too,” said Paul, who was given accommodation by the company for a week. He is currently house-hunting frantically.