Expat Relocation – Preparing to Rent

Relocating your family today to another city could be a challenge. One does not change his house or relocate frequently. Hence you need to take guidance from an expert who has in-depth knowledge about of the vast locations & should be sound enough to provide a locality or residential complex of your liking. Hence it is essential for agents to know their client’s needs and provide them solutions accordingly.

Relocation is not just moving to a new house or a new city or a new place. There are legalities like paperwork registration police verification society interviews and no objection etc and cultural factors. With convenience one also prefers facilities in the surrounding areas – schools, markets, hospitals, theaters & importantly if it is close enough to their work place. If a family is relocating to Mumbai the first preference should be given to properties that are within walking distance from children's new school. This is important because the city transport and communication gets affected in monsoon. The second priority should be given to the place of work in terms of the distance from the workplace. Places like Bandra, Powai and Colaba in Mumbai are popular because they are located close to the commercial hubs of the city and have quality schools in the vicinity and tenants have numerous choices of apartments in in terms of quality and price.

In terms of size a typical 2BHK area is about 1000 square feet built up area. This is ideal for small families with one child. A 3BHK size can range between 1400 square feet built up to a premium 2000 plus square feet built up and is ideal for larger families or for those who entertain guests frequently. Most tenants especially expats prefer spacious apartments and newer buildings since most new constructions have modular style kitchens and bathrooms that come pre fitted with quality sanitary ware and also there is less possibility of any repair or maintenance cost for a tenant in a new building compared to older properties.

A tenant needs to understand and follow the below listed pointers in order to make renting a property an easy and seamless process . This will eliminate any hassles that one would usually encounter and is the ideal process to follow while looking for a dream house.


Understanding Rentals
Real estate in Mumbai is expensive than most other cities . The rent one pays for a large 3BHK in Banglore or Delhi is lower than what one would pay for a 2BHK in suburban Mumbai. Typically each apartment has its own characteristics and the price of the same is depends on its Merits like condition, floor, view, furnishings, location, etc.


Step 2
* Un Furnished (UF) – Bare Apartment with lights, fans and kitchen cabinets.

* Semi Furnished (SF) - Apartment with Kitchen Cabinets, Wardrobes, AC's.

* Fully Furnished (FF) - Includes Beds, Wardrobes, Sofas, Dining, White Goods etc.



Step 3
Company or Individual Lease
In a company lease the company signs the License agreement as a Licensee. The monthly rents and deposit will be paid by the company to the Owner/Licensor. In case the flat occupant relocates the company can bring in another employee to occupy the same apartment. In a company lease the monthly rent is subject to deduction of TDS upto 10% as per the income tax rule.
An employee can choose to sign an agreement with the Owner/Licensor as a Licensee and pay the monthly rent and deposit to the Owner/Licensor directly and claim reimbursement for the same from the company subject to submission of the copy of the agreement and monthly rental receipts. In an individual lease there is no deduction of TDS.
In most cases if the employee is an expat the company would usually sign the lease contract as a Licensee and pay the monthly license fee and deposit on behalf of its expat employee .


Step 4
Understanding mode of payments
Typically there are 3 Ways you can Transact:

1. High Deposit - Low Rent
Typically this is an option which large corporate's having large cash reserves exercise and to save on the Fringe Benefit Tax and even from the Taxation perspective this kind of transaction is appealing. The only down side is that you need to have a water tight agreement if you are placing high Security Deposit.

2. Low Deposit - High Rent
With dipping interest rates and bank deposits not becoming lucrative, a lot of conservative investor type or even second home owners prefer to take a higher rent per month and a lower deposit. This usually is a practise in the market. The owner needs to feel safe with the Company or an individual and then it is all easy to go on from there.

3. Advance Rent - Nominal Deposit
The advance rent. The company or the individual pays the owners 1 years rent in advance. A small deposit of 1 to 3 months comforts the owner from any pending bills or damage to the apartment.


Step 5
Choosing The Agent
Once you have decided to rent a property, one of the important decisions you will need to make is whether to find the property yourself or employ a real estate agent to do it for you. Real estate agents must be licensed real estate agents with independent office in the area of property search, affiliated to an association either local or National, should have his own website with a testimonial page and a brief about the agency and its services policy and brokerage terms. In absence of a website a LinkedIn profile would also be handy to check on references and testimonials. A technology savvy agent will be able to send you regular updates and share pictures and essential documents in a more efficient manner saving you time and effort.

If you choose to use an agent, then consider:

  • the person’s experience in the business and whether he is a local agent. Ask about the agency’s management portfolio and the types of properties the agency deals in;
  • the property agent approach to search your property and understand your requirement and preferences.
  • the property agents manner in dealing with people; and
  • the brokerage fees charged.
  • In case of company lease where the agent fees is to be paid by company kindly do check if the agent is on empanelled list of company and if not then kindly check if the company is open to enrolling him if you decide to work with him.

An experienced real estate agent helps you to take that informed decision. He knows the nuances of renting real estate in the neighborhood. He has all the answers to your questions and makes sure that your interests are taken care of. The Real estate agent saves a lot of your time by first understanding your exact requirement and then involving you only when he gets the exact match.



Step 6

  • Kindly indicate a precise date and time for the viewings. Most tenants prefer weekends and that is why it is important to share the date and time in advance with us at Aristo so we can schedule viewings accordingly. A few days prior intimation will allow us to arrange maximum properties for you in minimum time.
  • If you are working exclusively with Aristo then do let us know that you trust us to help you find your dream home and we will line up maximum properties for you saving you a lot of time and effort. We will use our entire network to source properties directly from owner as well as other agents and you can be assured that if there is a matching property available in the desired location you will see it first through us at Aristo .
  • Always make notes while visiting properties. Pen down the building name, wing and flat no, furniture fixture description along with your rating of the apartment. If you are seeing property through multiple agents then note down the name of the agent . By doing so you would know whom to contact once the property has been shortlisted. During inspections if you require any further information about the property make a note and share with your agent. Ask him to mail you the reply. This will ensure you have all necessary information about the property that will help you to shortlist accordingly.


Step 7
Make An Offer
Here are some tips to help you write that winning purchase offer and beat out the competition.
1. Write a Friendly Offer
Don’t include too many demands in your offer.
2. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Simply put, this means write your very best offer. You might get only one chance to make an impression on the landlord, so don’t make a low offer hoping the landlord will give you a counter offer. If the landlord has received multiple offers, the low offers most often are not even considered. They are shoved into the rejected pile. Figure out the top rupee you are willing to pay for the home and offer that price.
3. Put Down a Healthy Earnest Money Deposit
A larger earnest money deposit shows you are serious and are willing to put your cash on the table. Landlord will feel you are more committed.
4. Offer to Close Quickly
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, many landlords prefer to close within 45 days or fewer. If you can offer a 30-day closing time frame, that might be more important to the landlord than an offer for more money and be just the edge you need to beat out the competition.


Step 8
Understanding your obligations

Generally, Owner are responsible for

Generally, the tenant is responsible for

The premises being provided in a habitable and
reasonable state of cleanliness and repair; complying with building and safety laws.

The premises being kept clean and tidy and handing it back in a similar condition to that which it was in at the start of the agreement.

Major repairs eg structural, leakages, plumbing

Basic household maintenance - replacing light bulbs, cleaning, maintenance of appliances

Costs arising from fair wear and tear (carpet wear, paint flaking).

Carpet stains, wall stains and breakages etc.

Annual maintenance charges, property tax, non occupancy charges.

Monthly Payment for electricity, gas, telephone, clubhouse charges. Annual maintenance charges to be paid for Air conditioning , Pest Control and Water Purifier maintenance to the service providers and copy of contract to be shared with the property owner.  

Locks to external doors and internal catches on windows being installed and maintained.

Replacing lost keys.