Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tips to select house for rent in Airoli, Navi Mumbai

Average rents for flats in Airoli, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra range from Rs 6500 to 7500 for 1 BHK (one bed, hall and kitchen) unfurnished accommodation (as of April 2011). Add Rs 1000 for 2 BHK flats (as of April 2011). Rents may be lower for old buildings and Sectors not serviced by public transport buses. Estate agents may quote a higher rate but generally settle for Rs 1000 less than the amount quoted.

Hard negotiation and bargaining is a common practice. You may get an additional discount of Rs 500 (per month, of total rent) if you and the house owner speak the same language or your native villages are located close to each other. In addition to that, you may get a discount of Rs 500 if upon inquiry he or someone in his family turns out to be your distant relative.

Brokers or estate agents take two months rent as commission, Rs 2000 for rental agreement and police verification and six months rent as deposit, all in cash. If you want to renew your rental accommodation or agreement, you have to pay one months rent to the broker and agreement charges.

Brokers and house owners generally increase the rent by 10% every year. This may make the rent unaffordable to you and would to tempted you to change houses. This increase is done to prompt you to change houses. Changing houses benefits the broker as he gets two months rent as brokerage if you settle for a new flat, whereas he would get only one months rent as brokerage if you wish to renew the agreement.

When looking for rental accommodation in Airoli, Navi Mumbai pay attention to the following points.
  1. Avoid ground floor flats, as these get damp during monsoon season.
  2. Avoid top floor flats as these become unbearably hot during summer and remain hot during most parts of the year. An air conditioner is a must in such flats.
  3. Avoid flats in buildings with mobile towers and in proximity to mobile towers. Avoid flats which have mobile transmission equipment fitted outside the flat.
  4. Avoid flats in buildings with shops and commercial establishments as the buildings are not maintained, are dirty, noisy and a security risk.
  5. Some of the buildings are infested with pigeons and create problems round the year. Pigeons menace in some buildings make the windows un-useable and the house becomes dirty if windows are kept open.  
  6. Frequent breakdown of lifts and inoperable lifts during power failure are common problems. Most of the buildings don't have a power back up generator or have a non-operational generator. If you are planning for a flat at a floor higher than the 8th floor, re-visit the building and check with the building security guard and neighbors.
  7. Frequent power failure during summers is common in Airoli. Power load shedding may be for 2 to 3 hours every 24 hours. 
  8. Check for buildings in Airoli (Navi Mumbai) with more than 40% of flats locked or non-occupied as these buildings may have a some problems like structural instability or leaning. Check for cracks in pillars in the ground-floor parking lots and avoid buildings with freshly repaired ground-floor parking lot pillars.
  9. Water supply is a problem in Airoli. Most of the residential buildings in Airoli regulate water supply and running water may be available only for 6 hours in a period of 24 hours.
  10. Check for leaking roofs and dampness in walls. Water may leak from top floors, making the walls damp. Check for freshly painted wall portions, as the broker may have done paint patch work to hoodwink the prospective tenant. Suspect damp patches if the fan was kept running in an empty flat, which is frequently done by brokers or estate agents to dry damp patches.
  11. In Airoli, Navi Mumbai, dust and noise is a common problem, even during nights.
  12. Avoid buildings located on main road or highway as there is 24 hour traffic of heavy vehicles, horn blowing and constant noise of their hitting potholes. Avoid any building that is within 50 meters of the main road running between Sectors 5 and 6, 16 and 7, and along Sectors 8 and 10.   
  13. Avoid buildings located close to the railway line.  
  14. Public transport is problem during nights especially after 9PM.
  15. If you have a car check if the building has enough parking space for your car. The building may charge you for parking your car. Confirm if a parking space is available with the building secretary, the broker may not be able to give you this information. Some buildings may not have space for additional cars and you have park you car on the road outside the building. 
  16. Check if a small water tank is fitted inside the flat, you may need it if you have a large family. 
  17. An Aqua Guard or any UV or RO water filter is must as the manciple drinking water supplied is not drinkable for small children and may lead to unexplained constant stomach upsets. Most families rely on bottled water jars of 20 liters.  
  18. Make a list of damaged items or installations inside the flat before occupation and give a copy to the broker and get it signed by the broker or owner. You may be asked to pay for damages which were not done by you when you leave the flat. Depending on the behavior of the broker and flat owner, you may want to photograph some damaged items so that they will not extract money from you. Remember, your deposit is with them. 
  19. Check for nearby shops and stores selling groceries and vegetables and fruits. Concentration of shops may vary depending on the Sector. For some Sectors you may have to walk 800 meters to find decent shops selling fruits and vegetables. 
  20. In most cases, when you vacate the flat, you have to give one months notice to the broker and owner or be ready to pay one months rent. Don't expect the broker or house owner to return your deposit as soon as you vacate the flat as they would give the deposit back only when they find a new tenant. Generally they would take the deposit amount from the new tenant and give it to you. 
  21. Keep records of electricity bills paid as the broker would deduct money for unpaid part of the month you stayed.  
  22. The presence of mosquitoes becomes prominent from December to March. The Sectors bordering the creek face most of the action.  
  23. Some brokers on some pretext or other will show you a flat in the same building and say the layouts of both flats are the same or just the mirror image. Don’t fall for this trick. Never finalize the flat without seeing it once. When you are shown some other flat always suspect foul game in it. There must be some problem in the flat that they don’t want you to see. The reasons given for not showing the flat may be like the current occupant has gone to office, or the keys are kept with someone in the same building but that person has gone out. You can never gauge the condition of the flat by seeing some flat in the same building.
  24. If you have small babies, then forget using baby strollers in Airoli. The roads are all dug up and footpaths are not stroller friendly. (Meaning of Stroller: A small vehicle with four wheels in which a baby or child is pushed around). 
  25. You may face mosquito problem round the year if your flat is located close to the creek. Flats in such areas are cheaper compared to other regions. 
  26. Broker commission (Update Oct 2012): The brokers have started taking two months of rent as commission when you rent the flat. I have to check about the agreement renewal commission.
  27. Water supply (Update Oct 2012): Some buildings in Airoli use underground boring water. This is hard water and is mostly unfit for drinking. This water is hard water and would leave marks on the toilet and bathroom floors. During rainy season, this water turns muddy and you have to wait for few hours for the mud to settle down. Separate water supply is available for drinking which may be available for few hours in a day. 
  28. Mobile towers (Update Oct 2012): In older sectors (Sector 1 to 5), the buildings have around five floor. Mobile towers installed these buildings directly face flats in adjacent buildings. Look out for mobile towers in nearby buildings. Also be careful if you are shown a flat at night, you may not be able to scan the neighboring buildings for mobile towers.
  29. Best Sectors to stay if you commute by BEST bus (Updated Oct 2012): The best sectors to stay with family would be Sectors 5, 6, 7, 8 and 16. You can easily access the bus stops located on Sector 5 and Sector 8. 
  30. Best Sectors to stay if you commute by Local Trains (Updated Oct 2012): The best sectors to stay with family would be Sectors 1 to 5. Recently the morning trains from 9 AM onwards get very crowded.
This is not an exhaustive list. I have collected all points in one place to indicate these problems are present but not in all buildings.