Shifting to a different city or state for higher studies or your dream job is undoubtedly exciting. Hunting for a flat though is a nightmare almost every bachelor in India faces. To find a place on rent, bachelors have to put up with all sorts of terms and conditions of the flat owner as well as the society’s rules and regulations. In worst cases, they also have to provide unnecessary details to the flat owner under the garb of ‘transparency.’
In our Indian society, there is a certain negative connotation attached to the word ‘bachelor.’ Indian bachelors living away from home are viewed with much suspicion and dislike. They are viewed as one, or all of these: smoker, alcoholic, immoral, stoner, unhygienic and messy, troublemaker, etc.
While most housing societies put up “bachelors not allowed” boards on their entrance gates, some use other methods to exercise control and put in place restrictions on the bachelor tenants. This eventually compels the tenants to look for other places to rent.
Bachelor tenants have to abide by hideous restrictions if they wish to reside in society. They aren’t allowed to invite guests into their apartments even if they are family members. Bachelors also have to abide by the in-out time, while no such rule is applicable to the society members. So stringent are restrictions for the student tenants that no boys are allowed into a flat where a group of girls stay and vice versa.
Bachelors are also prohibited from organizing any kind of events like a small get-together or house party. In most societies, bachelors are also told to follow a certain dress code if they wish to roam freely on society’s premises. Women especially aren’t allowed to wear short dresses or any sleeveless shirts when roaming around outside their flat, purely to maintain the ‘sanctity’ of the society since it’s a place where ‘families’ reside.
In worst cases, tenants are also prohibited from roaming in the society in groups citing ‘privacy reasons’ of the society members. Bachelors, in most societies, are also not allowed to park their vehicles inside the gates. There are such and many more unimaginable and majorly illogical restrictions that bachelors are forced to follow.
These restrictions are not an exaggeration, but a fact! The below-given notice for tenants of society in Maharashtra’s Pune is a testament.
Now, the question is, does the law permit housing societies and flat owners alike to impose such rules upon bachelor/student tenants? Let’s understand.
It is a constitutional right of every Indian citizen to move around freely anywhere in the country and choose to reside in any area they wish regardless of their caste, gender, race, etc.
However, the society can also frame its bylaws under the Co-operative Societies Act (a central act). If there is a certain rule mentioned in the bylaws then the societies have every right to enforce it. Thus, many societies in India freely ban bachelor tenants. However, if you already are a tenant in a society whose fundamental rights, granted by the constitution of India, are getting infringed, you can certainly challenge the society and its laws in the court.
As a tenant, given below are a few rights that you must be aware of:
- You must have a duplicate copy of the lease agreement while the landlord retains the original.
- A tenant should get a clean, secured and well-maintained flat. If any facility in the flat needs any repair or restoration during his tenancy, the expense must be reimbursed by the owner.
- No one, not even the landlord, can enter the flat once rented to the tenant whenever they wish. If the landlord wishes to visit the flat, he must provide a 24-hour notice to the tenant and visit during reasonable hours.
- A tenant, even if he/she is a bachelor, has the right to invite guests, family, friends and colleagues over to their apartment.
- Societies’ facilities such as parks, gyms, swimming pools, common areas, etc., must be provided to the tenant as long as the guidelines for use are duly followed.
- In case of failure to receive pending rent or dues from the tenant, the landlord is not allowed to cut off water, gas or electricity services as a means of recovering the amount.
- The landlord or the society cannot impose unlawful restrictions or rules on the tenants such as not allowing pets in the apartment, not allowing entry after certain hours, etc.
- Every tenant has the right to park inside the society premises. He cannot be made to park his vehicle outside the society and must receive a parking badge or sticker as well.
- Most importantly, a tenant cannot be evicted before the tenancy duration in the lease agreement, unless he fails to pay rent, sub-lets the residence to someone else without the landlord’s permission, causes a nuisance in society or violates the society’s laws, terms of the agreement. In case the owner wants the tenant to move out for a genuine and unavoidable reason on his part, he has to inform the member one month in advance.
As long as the tenants maintain the decorum in the society, and don’t act in a way that causes trouble or disturbs the society members, they shouldn’t be met with unreasonable restrictions. While some bachelors do create a nuisance, it’s not fair to generalize and have every bachelor tenant go through severe restrictions unnecessarily.
Bachelors move out of their homes to look for better career opportunities. Throwing challenges toward the young generations for something as basic and important as housing impedes their growth. Being citizens of the nation, we must create an environment that helps them perform better and grow, rather than chaining down their wings. Sadly though, many in our society fail to understand this.