“We found the perfect home in one shot. The landlord is amazing!” Nobody said.
At least I haven’t lived in rental housing in more than one city. Her mother asked the apartment dwellers not to waste water, so I cut off water for days. My plants were poisoned in the middle of the night. Because they got too long and were visible from the landlady’s upstairs balcony. I was even asked to vacate the house overnight because the landlady was sure we were going to take over her house. now only asks for a non-intrusive landlord, who has agreed to pay more for a place not staying in the same building.
But getting a bad landlord is a compromise most young people have to make. If your landlord is great, chances are they only exist in your head. But if you think you’re the worst, wait until you hear some of the tragic events some people have had to go through.
“The drunken landlord, aided by two police officers and a local thug, pushed me into the back of his car and started slapping me.”
In 2014, I lived in my first rented apartment as an intern in Magarpatta, a gated community in Pune, Maharashtra, India. I paid his 12,000 rupees ($150) as a security deposit. This is his two months rent. In the last month of the lease, he only planned to stay for 15 days, so he asked the landlord to settle the security deposit. His only reaction at the time was that he would see.Suddenly one day he asked me to come downstairs. There I saw his three with him. They pushed me into the backseat of the car and started slapping me. They tore my shirt. They then drove to another location and continued to harass and drink me for about two hours while the car was parked under a bridge.
They then drove to an ATM and demanded that I pay a “penalty” amounting to alcohol and two months’ rent. I didn’t have that much cash, so I withdrew his 3,000 rupees ($38) left in the bank at that point and gave them to them. I don’t think money was their motivation anyway. On the way out they stopped at the local police station and asked if I wanted to file a complaint, apparently as a way of making fun of me. I went to the station with hope. Needless to say, it was a waste. The officers, including the officer in charge, teased me and showed me bags of weed, saying they would wrongfully arrest me for drug possession. – Siddharth Mehta, 29, Management Consultant
“I was asked for a list of people who are likely to visit that year and was told they couldn’t change that list.”
In 2019, my friend and I were looking to rent an apartment in Bandra, a suburb of Mumbai. Flat hunting in Mumbai is notoriously demanding. In eight years, I must have seen about 150 houses. I have met some of the owners who refused to rent to us on the grounds that my housemate and good friend is Muslim. As singles, our options were even more limited as we prefer to rent in.
I understand the reluctance to rent to singles, but one particular landlord’s terms and conditions seemed insane. We were told that visitors would have to be identified in advance and would not be allowed to visit beyond a certain time. We were asked for a list of people who may be visiting during the year and were told there would be no changes to that list.Deliveries could not be scheduled after 10pm. I kept looking at brokers and was like, “What the hell?” It’s ridiculous that a high-rent house has the same restrictions as a dormitory. Of course we didn’t move. 28 year old Marketing and Events Consultant who wishes to remain anonymous
“I woke up feeling like someone was watching me.”
When I moved to Mumbai at the age of 28, I was renting an apartment in the suburbs of Andheri East. At the time, I was working on the News He platform, working late night shifts from 5pm until about 2am the next morning. Before going to work, I had an early lunch and took an hour nap.
Half a year after moving here, I had a strange experience. I was sleeping in my room when I woke up feeling like someone was watching me. The landlord, in his late 70’s or his early 80’s, was standing in his bedroom staring at me with a stack of letters in his hand. It was like seeing a ghost! I asked him what he was doing there. He calmly replied by saying he was thinking of dropping my mail because I thought no one would be home.”Am I in the way?” I asked, surprised at the visible impact. I asked him to leave but he just stood there.
After that, when I checked with my daughter who was managing the house together, I found out that the key to the front door was handed to me and I didn’t have the key to the front door. He had entered the house through a warehouse that was said to be locked from both sides. He connected the dots to find out why things moved from their original locations and appliances were inexplicably repaired. It was him the whole time who entered the house when I was away and did his business as if he was still living there. A week after the incident he spent all the time and money I needed to find and move to a new place. – Debarati Chakraborty, mid-30s, freelance journalist
“The landlord said the rent would go up if a boy came.”
In 2017, as a college student in Delhi, India, I was looking for an apartment in the North Campus area of the University of Delhi. Given the high rent and low availability, this was a bit of an ordeal. I am new to Delhi and found the place with the help of a broker. Each house had its own restrictions, such as no boys allowed, no entry after 9:30 p.m., no parties allowed. In such a place, I was asked to take care of an elderly proprietress who lived alone and to lower the rent. Of course, I didn’t accept the offer and kept looking.
Broker took me to another place. At the time, I had male friends and a new boyfriend, so I said yes. But the landlord said the rent would rise to 14,000 rupees ($176) if the boy came. I was shocked because I literally had to pay for my freedom as an adult. . I have rented other places in various cities in India since then and have found that less restrictive and less restrictive places tend to have higher rents. A place with less interference from the landlord. – Parul Kavia, 26, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer
“We moved into what looks like a haunted house from The Conjuring.”
As students at Syracuse University in New York, me and four friends were looking for a house close to the university last August. The place we chose looked very good in the advertising photos. We spoke with the real estate company that managed the house, but were not offered a tour of the place before finalizing the deal. When I saw the actual house, I was really shocked!Old and resembled the house from the 2013 horror movie magic trickThe images used in the ad were Photoshopped.
With no front door, a hole leading from the living room to the basement, duct-taped and overpainted surfaces, and a roof that leaked when it snowed, Wright had an idea of his own. We half-jokingly attributed it to the paranormal. The landlord promised to fix everything by the end of the month, but the repair took him two months. I also had to buy equipment to fix things around the house and make it livable. He was paying $450, including utilities, which is a standard maximum of $150 a month for this area. The house had many issues, but budget constraints kept me from moving for a year. – A master’s student has filed a legal complaint against a real estate agent for cheating and has requested anonymity because she does not want the anecdote to affect the outcome of the trial.
“There was also cat poop in the cupboard.”
I rented an apartment from a man who adopted a few cats. Now that he is old, he decided to move in with his daughter. The first thing that hit me when I checked out the place was the horrible smell that seemed to emanate from a particularly dirty toilet, but it permeated the whole house as well. I thought that if I moved with it, it would go away. I also needed a house urgently and seemed to be the only decent one near my office. When I moved in I noticed my cat was pooping everywhere. It probably hadn’t been cleaned in months. The sofa was full of dirt (it was covered when I went to check the place), and I presumed the cat had threw out the garbage several times. I even found a spot with a lot of hard shit under the . There was also cat poop in the cupboard. I moved soon after, but it still makes me nauseous to visit friends who have cats. – Damini L, 27, Marketing Manager