Finding accommodation in Pune is sure to be high up on any expat's priority list when moving to this sprawling city. Aspects to consider include budget and desired amenities as well as proximity to work and (if applicable) schools.
Types of accommodation in Pune
When looking for accommodation, expats may notice the acronym 'BHK', which stands for bedroom, hall and kitchen. So, for example, any property listed as '3 BHK' will have three bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen.
Different areas of Pune tend to have particular types of housing available. In the city centre and around industrial areas, apartments are the main form of accommodation, while suburbs further out tend to be more spacious and may have townhouses, bungalows and freestanding houses available.
Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available in Pune, though the extent of provisions in a 'furnished' home can vary from bare bones to fully comprehensive.
Finding accommodation in Pune
New arrivals to the city might find the prospect of finding accommodation in Pune a daunting one. Those unsure of where to start would do well to hire a reputable estate agent. These professionals know the local property market well and may have access to listings before they're made public. Expats should be aware that they will be responsible for paying the agent's fee, usually equivalent to a month's rent.
Those going it alone should make use of online property portals such as Makaan and MagicBricks, both of which are popular in Pune. It also can't hurt to make use of one's connections when putting out feelers for available rentals. Speak to co-workers, employers and fellow expats about the house hunt. They may be able to give advice or, in some cases, may even know of an open rental home.
Renting accommodation in Pune
The law requires both tenant and landlord to sign a regulated tenancy agreement. Informal letting arrangements made verbally are illegal, so it's important that the necessary paperwork is completed. Most leases are for a period of 11 months to avoid the registration and stamp-duty costs associated with 12-month leases. It may be possible to negotiate for a shorter lease period if required.
Historically, it was commonplace for landlords to ask for the equivalent of several months' rent upfront as a deposit – usually anywhere from six to 11 times the monthly rent. This left many tenants in the position of having to take out loans to afford a deposit. However, laws have now been put in place across India, stipulating that landlords may only request a maximum of two months' worth of rent as a deposit.
Any damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear will usually be paid for from the deposit, with the remainder being returned to the tenant.
In most cases, utilities such as water and electricity are extra costs on top of the rent. Tenants should investigate approximate utility costs and bear this in mind when budgeting.
If either party wants to break the lease before its agreed term is completed, notice must be given at least three months in advance.