Renting an apartment in Kolkata

#1 Jun 10th, 2010, 17:09
Join Date:
May 2010
  • xaverian is offline
HI everyone

I just got back from two days of apartment hunting in Kolkata. I would like to share my findings with you.

I was looking for a 3 bedroom apartment of around 2,000 sq ft (built-up area) with a budget of Rs 25 - 30,000 pm. I wanted an apartment in a building complex, not as one floor of a house, because I wanted to have power back-up and security, plus amenities such as a walking track, garden etc. That meant either the Rajarhat area or off the EM Bypass.

One thing I found is that the kitchens are uniformly tiny, about 50 sq ft. One barely has room to stand after you allow space for the kitchen platform, sink, fridge etc. Apparently in Kolkata affluent people don't enter the kitchen - there is always a cook - and hence there is no point "wasting" space in a large kitchen.

The next issue is that the newer apartments have smaller bedrooms - 10 ft X 10 ft is standard, perhaps the "master" bedroom could be 12 X 10. Put in a double bed and a cupboard - well....

Where are all the square feet, then?

The living rooms are generally large, about 25 X 12 seems to be standard. Balconies are included in the space number. Usually there is a tiny "maid's room plus toilet" which I personally don't need.

The building complexes I saw were :

South City - brand new apartments, high floors, reasonable balance in room sizes, no pool/gym, attached to a big mall.

Udita - poor quality entrance, building somewhat run-down, good-sized rooms, pool/tennis court/club house etc.

Calcutta Greens - overall the best. Living room is very large, bedrooms are good, no pool/gym but decent lawn etc.

Hiland park - rooms are small, good amenities

Shrachi - a bit in the boondocks (Rajarhat) - small rooms, looks a bit like Cuffe parade !

All were in the 25-30 K range. You have to pay one month's rent to the broker, and pay the landlord 3-6 months deposit plus one month rent. Standard 11 month leave & licence contract.

Hope this is of use to prospective Kolkattans !
#2 Jul 10th, 2010, 07:50
Join Date:
Apr 2006
  • charsobees is offline
Welcome home, Xaverian!

May I ask what kind of terms (length of lease, security deposit etc.) did you encounter? Did you use a broker? From a prospective landlord's perspective, do you think it is better to use a broker or not?

Also, in your opinion, are rents higher in free standing houses (or one floor thereof) in South Calcutta than in the modern housing complexes that you looked at?

Nihil Ultra!
#3 Jul 12th, 2010, 12:39
Join Date:
May 2010
  • xaverian is offline
Hi Charsobees

No, I didn't use a broker for this transaction because the landlord is a friend of mine and the transaction was done privately between us. In fact, we haven't signed any papers yet !

However, everyone uses a broker, it seems. To my mind, the landlord carries by far the larger portion of the risk associated with renting - he may not get his property back if the tenant is nasty, whereas the tenant can, at worst, only get thrown out. Hence if I were a landlord, I would stay away from "walk-in" tenants and rely on a "good" broker to find a "reliable" tenant. I think a landlord should check out the tenant's antecedents, if possible, and above all ensure that the paperwork is correct and enforceable. The broker is responsible for ensuring that the paperwork is perfect.

The broker gets two months rent, one month each from the landlord and the tenant. I am not sure whether the brokerage is payable again when the lease is renewed. I have rented a flat in Mumbai, and I had to pay 2 weeks rent when the lease was renewed after 11 months.

The standard terms in Kolkata appear to be :
- Leave and Licence agreement for 11 months lease
- Agreement has a standard text specified by the W B Government
- Agreement has a clause specifying rent increase on each subsequent renewal, say 5 percent.
- In Kolkata the agreement is not registered - in Mumbai it is.
- There is a basic "verification check". Normally the landlord has to inform the building society that he has rented the apartment to Mr X, and also give the basic details about Mr X.
- Normal terms : first month's rent in advance, and 3-6 months rent as deposit. This amount is negotiable.
- One has to clarify who pays the society charges. It is better for the landlord to pay the charges himself and be reimubursed by the tenant, unless the rent includes the charges.

From what I heard from the brokers, free standing houses, or a floor thereof, gets less rent than an equivalent space in a society because generally speaking there is no power back-up, lift, security, etc. However, there is no hard and fast rule on this.

Hope this helps !
#4 Sep 27th, 2011, 23:18
Join Date:
Sep 2011
Washington State, USA
  • ksan10 is offline
Hi xaverian,

Thank you for your post on this as my husband and I may be relocating to Kolkata very soon. What is the safety deposit of 3-6 months for? Do you get that back at the end of your term (like in the states)?

Thanks again for your help :0)
#5 Jun 25th, 2018, 14:35
Join Date:
Jun 2018
  • Pebbles7 is offline
Does the landlord have any more flats/units to rent?

I'm an Australian lady, I've come to Kolkata to stay for 6 months and am looking for a place to rent.

Many thaks.
#6 Jun 25th, 2018, 16:04
Join Date:
Nov 2010
Ellora, Maharashtra
  • kathill is offline
Originally Posted by Pebbles7 View Post Does the landlord have any more flats/units to rent?

I'm an Australian lady, I've come to Kolkata to stay for 6 months and am looking for a place to rent.

Many thaks.
Umm. Check the date on the post you responded to!
A site like this (there are several) may be more helpful.
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