India Today, 01 October 2012
Delhi landlords just refuse to give up their discriminatory ways. Live-in couples, Muslims and people from Haryana are among the "least preferred" tenants, according to a recent survey conducted among property brokers in the city.
The survey, which has been conducted by the Centre for Civil Society, states that a vast majority of landlords specifically state their preference against tenants from certain backgrounds. Unmarried couples who want to stay together are the biggest anathema to landlords according to the survey.
As many as 88 per cent of the landlords surveyed said they did not want unmarried men and women as tenants. "Most landlords would not even consider unrelated, unmarried men and women who want to live together. This is especially true where the house to be rented is close to the residence of the landlord," the survey observed.
Even brother-sister duos have difficulty in finding accommodation and often have to furnish proof of their relationship.
"People are still conservative. They don't want live-in couples as tenants, especially if they're staying right next to them. They believe that it would be a bad influence on their children," said Yogesh Sachdeva, who runs a property brokerage near Jangpura in South Delhi.
Among the landlords surveyed, 56 per cent expressed unwillingness to have Muslims as tenants.
"The reasons they gave for their preference for non-Muslim tenants related to the fact that Muslims eat beef. Some also said that Muslims are unhygienic whereas others feared that they might have terrorist links," the survey said.
Rishav Thakur, who conducted the survey, also narrated the torrid experiences of some of the Muslim tenants he spoke to.
"One of the tenants was asked to vacate her apartment the day she finished moving in her luggage as the landlord 'discovered' that she was a Muslim. Another tenant surveyed told me of the time when he and his sister had to hide their Muslim mother's identity when searching for apartments in Vijay Nagar because their broker advised them to do so," Thakur said.
He also added that many landlords were open to considering Muslim tenants if they are from a good college or in a respectable job such as a professor at the university.
Unexpectedly, landlords are also reluctant to have people from Haryana as tenants.
The survey quotes one broker as saying that a 'Haryanvi' finds it even more difficult than a Muslim to find housing. The survey contested the perception that people from the North-East face discrimination in the city. Only 13 per cent of landlords said they did not want people from the North-East as tenants.