Renting a home in India's crowded property marketplace has historically come with many frustrating headaches for tenants - exorbitant rental deposits, fake listings, endless hidden costs, landlord harassment, and more. However, in recent years technology innovations, legal reforms, and online platforms are steadily enabling solutions to many of these major pain points plaguing home renters across Indian cities.
Read on to learn specifically how 6 very common problems routinely faced by tenants in India can now be tackled or mitigated with the right knowledge, tools and resources. The power balance is steadily shifting away from landlords towards renters who know their rights.

Finding Genuine Rental Listings

The Problem:

In the past, many fake "owner direct" classified listings were rampant across platforms like OLX and Scammers posted listings mimicking real landlords, aiming to entrap home seekers into paying large advance deposits, only for tenants to find later they had been duped once they visited the property.​

The Solution:

  • Verify listings thoroughly through background identity checks on the purported landlord before paying any money.
  • Only pay official advance rental deposits through secure bank transfer channels with records, not via unsafe means like cash or personal accounts.
  • Ask for a live video tour of the rental unit over WhatsApp if unable to visit the property in person before finalizing to assess legitimacy further.
  • Check for past tenant ratings and reviews for the specific rental property or landlord online on forums and social media.

Also Read- Renting a New House? Here’s The List of Things to Check

Paying Excessive Rental Deposits

The Problem:

Traditionally, landlords would demand arbitrary and exorbitant security deposits of 9-10 months of rent, which is simply unaffordable for the vast majority of tenants.

The Solution:

  • Negotiate to reduce security deposits to a maximum of 1-2 months rent based on local state rental laws.
  • Only pay deposits through official channels like bank transfer so there is documented evidence of payment.
  • Carefully review the security deposit refund policy detailed in the rental agreement before ever paying any deposit money.
  • Use new rental deposit calculator tools to estimate appropriate deposit amounts based on property size and rent.

Dealing With Hidden Costs and Fee Hikes

The Problem:

Earlier, landlords would spring many hidden costs for maintenance, utilities, services, etc., on unsuspecting tenants only after they had completed moving in. Sly fee hikes over the lease duration were also common.

The Solution:

  • Discuss and formalize all additional costs, fee structures, utility and maintenance policies upfront before signing the rent agreement.

  • Get any future fee hike clauses amended in the contract to cap hikes to 10-15% per annum.

  • Negotiate and lock in fixed, all-inclusive monthly rental payments with limited or no separate maintenance bills.

  • Review the rent agreement very carefully to identify and challenge more obscured hidden costs before signing.

    Also Read- 6 Common Problems Faced by Landlords are now Resolved

Landlord Harassment and Lack of Repairs

The Problem:

Too often landlords would neglect required maintenance and repairs for rental units and frequently harass tenants illegally to vacate.

The Solution:

  • Review maintenance responsibility clauses in the agreement before signing and assuming occupancy.

  • Send written requests for repairs and maintenance through registered posts to create an active paper trail.

  • Consult local housing societies and tenant advocacy groups on the best ways to pressure landlords through lawful means.

  • Formally approach consumer courts to file disputes and harassment cases against delinquent landlords.

  • Threaten to legally withhold future rent payments until the landlord completes essential repairs.

Difficulty Recovering Security Deposit

The Problem:

Landlords would previously conjure up arbitrary reasons to unjustly deduct from the security deposit, and tenants would struggle massively to fully recover their deposit after vacating.

The Solution:

  • Videograph the rental unit at move-in and move-out to document evidence of well-maintained condition.

  • Send a formal registered notice to the landlord requesting a full deposit refund after moving out.

  • File an official complaint at the Rental Authority office if the landlord violates security deposit refund laws.

  • Hire a lawyer to send a strong legal notice and file a consumer court case if needed to recover wrongfully deducted deposit amounts.

No Rental History Hampering Approvals

The Problem:

Lack of credit score or past rental proofs would often hamper new rental applications of tenants relocating to new cities and cause rejections.

The Solution:

  • Consider new online rental startups like NoBroker and RentPay that approve based on income stability using alternate data sources.

  • Get current landlord references or company HR to provide recommendation letters validating positive past rental history.

  • Offer to make few months' advance rent payment as a security deposit alternative.

  • Provide more salary slips, bank statements, employer verification and guarantor documents to reassure prospective landlords.

In summary, renting a home in India is getting easier as enhanced legal protections, digital platforms and renter-friendly startups emerge; empowering tenants with far greater choice and rights. Know your legal rights as a tenant, diligently leverage technology solutions, and you can avoid or overcome many of the traditional rental challenges faced frequently by home renters across India. The playing field is steadily becoming fairer for renters.

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