The city of Vizag, Bengaluras capital, has a booming rental market.
But that hasn’t stopped residents from looking for cheaper, less-expensive options, which are now flooding into the city.
While some residents prefer to rent from home, others prefer to pay rent from a bank account.
“The market is saturated.
There are many vacancies and the prices are rising,” says Sanjeev Kumar, a local resident.
The city’s booming rental markets have been fuelled by an influx of new residents over the past few years.
The boom in foreign tourists has meant there are now more places to rent and fewer places to buy.
“In the past, we would rent a room in the old building, we could buy something here and then go back to our hotel.
But now it’s more difficult,” says Kumar.
“You can get a room here for Rs 100-120 and buy a lot of things, and then rent out the room again in the same area,” says Manjul.
“It’s all very simple.
Now you can rent out your room here and rent out another one.”
“I used to pay Rs 50-60 per night.
Now, I pay Rs 200 per night,” says Anushka.
“I would buy and sell houses, and pay rent on them.”
Some have been buying properties in the city, which they have converted into flats.
“My house was once a rental property, but now it is a rental home,” says Arjun.
“But the problem is that I am too old to buy any more.”
“Now the city is very empty.
There is only one place left to live.
And the price of rent has gone up so much that people can’t afford to live here anymore,” says Praveen.
“There are no new apartments available in the neighbourhood,” says Shubham.
“All the properties are empty.
People have already left,” says V. Ramesh.
“No-one wants to live in the suburb.
They have gone and bought a house.
They want to rent out their apartments.
But if they don’t pay the rent, they will have to sell the apartment,” says Ashok.
“If you are in the middle class, you are going to get a flat,” says Sandeep.
“And they are going down in price, so people are paying more for flats,” says S. P. Sharma.
But the situation is getting worse.
“A flat in Vizag now costs Rs 400-500,” says Ramalinga.
“For that, the owner will have the option of renting the property to another person, or they will get a lower price,” says Vijay Kumar.
In some areas, there are even laws in place to prevent people from taking out loans on flats.
But this has been a problem for a long time.
“When we went into the real estate market in our locality, there were a lot more flats than there are today.
There were no restrictions in place.
But since the property market has come up, we have seen a lot less people buying flats,” explains Sanjeeva.
“People who were buying flats, are now selling them.
They are not getting the profit,” says Rameshu.
In many parts of the city too, people are selling their flats because they can’t make ends meet.
“They have to rent or they are not going to be able to afford to pay their rent.
So they are taking out short-term loans to make ends meets,” says Parveen.
In a similar way, the people of Vizganga have taken out loans to buy houses in their own name, and they are also taking out mortgages on flats in their names.
“Now people have been selling flats in Vizgag for a very long time and are now buying them out of their own pockets,” says J. K. Sharma, a resident of Vizagar.
“Sometimes, they do not pay the lease and get a loan.
But they still get the money.
So that’s why they are selling,” says K. R. Sharma of the local Chamber of Commerce.
But some residents are not happy with the practice.
“We were living in Vizgaon and had bought a flat here and rented it out for Rs 1,000 a month.
Now I am renting it out.
I am a bit upset.
I don’t want to live there anymore,” complains Gauri.
“What are they thinking when they are trying to buy a flat in this place?,” asks K. V. Sharma from the local civic body.
“This is their choice.
They can choose to rent it out or not.
I have no objection,” says Gauri, adding that they were happy to rent flats in other parts of their city.
The same thing happened to Gauri’s neighbour in Vizaganap