Monday, March 9, 2009

Adventures in Apartment Rentals

I gave my notice to the landlord I have at Princeton Estates. This building is an absolute disaster and my landlord is not much fun to deal with either.

Here's the gist. Samiksha, the HR professional at the office who made a lot of promises that were never kept, told me she would find me a very nice place to live if I took the job offer. She also promised me a car and driver, much better tax incentives that would significantly increase my take home pay, the ability to build my own team, etc., etc. None of which was true.

Akshay, actually, was the guy who arranged properties for me to look at. He's actually a great guy and I take his opinions seriously. Still do. He didn't like this apartment, but Samiksha did. There wasn't much to pick from, so I picked it.

Let me back up a little. In Kolkata, I dealt with Ravi Prasad, who tried to get 3 months rent as his brokerage fee (90K rupees). Then he tried to get more brokerage fees from the owner of the property, and threatened her sister when she refused. He had been hired by a guy at the office who was totally untrustworthy. I'm pretty sure they were working together on the deal. I have a lot more to say on this, but it's another post. Since then, I have no nice things to say about the apartment rental experience. I'm not looking forward to this at all.

I took the apartment, signed all the paperwork and THEN the landlord said that he didn't know that I had pets, even though I brought my dog with me to visit every space. He doubled my security deposit. I've been told not to expect to see my deposit again by Samiksha. This REALLY disturbs me. He has 1,00,000 rupees of my money and I'm not walking away without it. He's not getting my keys back and that's about all the recourse I have, since he lives in frickin Malaysia. I actually have no address for him because I had to give him post-dated checks to pay the rent. Getting things fixed, like leaking faucets and toilets, has been a nightmare - he thinks he's doing me a favor and I think I should be getting all the amenities in working order as part of the rental agreement. Funny thing is, he doesn't agree.

Okay, back to looking at properties. I need to move by the end of May. I posted a thread on Yuni-Net asking about properties in Gurgaon... Two areas I'm looking at are behind Sahara Mall and Iffco Chowk/DLF Phase II. I'm sick of paying exhorbitant prices for properties, so I'm stating that my rent budget is 7 - 15K/month. I saw one of my employees properties behind Sahara Mall and it's gorgeous. He's paying half what I pay for this sh**hole. I think I've gotten sophisticated enough now to understand that when I negotiate, I'm not even going to bother with landlords that a) are not local, b) ask for more than one month's deposit, c) require post-dated checks, and d) I'm buying my own damn furniture from now on.

I've gotten two calls already and will be looking at these properties on Saturday. I am really excited about this. Yu Yu is moving to Gurgaon, at least in the short term, while she's investigating funding options for her solar project in Burma, and that should be fun. I think this second year in Gurgaon will be MUCH better than the first. I'll continue posting on this project as things get updated.



  1. Apartment hunting is a real terror. Since we were new in Delhi, we too were extremely nervous about the entire process. Especially the agents etc.
    But we were not pressurized and we moved in only when we found that the landlords are educated and well behaved.
    Do not let anyone bully you into committing. The agent takes one months rent as his commission. Any other way, please change agent.
    Also landlord should take 3 months rent as deposit, not any more.
    Since you have time in your hands, go slow. if your like a place, do not say so the first time. go to that place a couple of times and make a list of questions to ask as a guide.
    There are plenty of apartments and plenty of agents, so take your time.
    Good Luck

  2. Mate, don't take it otherwise, but you sound like a real snobbish bitch. I lived in your so-called country for a while as well, a few decades if you may wish to call it, and whilst being there, have had to face some of the same problems that you have had outlined here. The crux of the matter is: anyone, whoever the fuck the person maybe, when in a foreign land, gets screwed. Since no one asked you to come here, you can always return home. The only place of earth where am sure you wouldn't be treated like shit, and come across polished gentlemen, ever wanting to assist you in all aspects of life is London. I lived and worked there for many years. You better move there.