I am writing this post to help people who are moving or have recently moved to Bangalore and looking for house/flats on rent or people who are running startups/small companies. My sole intention is to inform people since there is no such article on the web and to help people to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes which I and many other made when they moved in here first.
I moved to Bangalore in June 2010 so it has been 3.5 years now. It has been a good ride so far with few minor hiccups. Since Bangalore has huge influx of outsiders who are completely new to it, I thought to share my experience and knowledge with people who are looking for house and offices on rent as people learn these things which I am writing after burning their fingers and losing lot of money.
Bangalore has got extremely over crowded and since the city was not built for 8 million people, its infrastructure is collapsing. Those who moved here before 2005 probably got the best deals in terms of place and experience but for those who are moving now or have recently moved, get ready to pay ridiculous amount of money for rental spaces.
The reality about the realty of Bangalore rental spaces –
1. Brokers have inflated the whole market and unfortunately for someone who is new, you will be taken for a nice ride by them. Brokers inflate every flat/house by 20% since they get commission from both sides and often lie about locality, surroundings and the house. Do not trust them and do your own due diligence. Ask local friends about the locality and see if there is power backup as most of the power backups don’t work in old apartment buildings.
2. Broker ask for 1 month as fees which is standard but do try to negotiate it, for example you can pay 18k for a 21k per month flat. Make sure you get this clear the first time.
3. Don’t rush for a place, it will at least take you 6 weeks to find a decent place.
4. The agreement/transactions happens between 2 people – the owner and you with broker as middle man and it will always be you who is taking all the risk. The rest of the parties have figured out the modus operandi and after 11 months when the agreement gets expired, you will come to know how only you lost money. Do not trust the agreement and take it home, read it thoroughly and only then sign it.
5. The 10 month advance is almost a scam and the owners keep this money in fixed deposits and often return you after months (this happened with me once), normaly when new tenant moves. Ideally you should always negotiate the 10 month advance and get it to 6 or 7 months. Most of the owners will do it, if he is not, then some times walking about is the best option.
6. Owner deduct one months advance in the name of repair (the cost of the repair is often just few thousand), this is another way to mint money. Get this specifically in the agreement that the expenses will be shared by both of you or better just deduct a fixed amount from advance. Make sure you get this in agreement.
7. Koramangala is overpriced and over crowded, explore other options. I have lived there for 1 year so telling this from personal experience. There are of course people who work in office and need just a place to sleep and party, for them it works out well but honestly, for my liking the place is too noisy and cramped up.
8. Koramangala and Indra Nagar are two “posh” areas, they are crowded because of north Indian food joints and if you are a first timer, you probably want to stay at these places too but look for places near to them too like BTM layout, HSR etc (for Koramangala), you can find places 30% cheaper.
9. If you are first timer, always find a partner to give you local knowledge. This will also help you to cut down the expenses and avoid overpaying for bad areas. You can find flatmates at rentals section of sulekha.com.
If you are looking for office space
1. If you are a startup or a small business, do not look for office space but look for nice flat or a nice house, they will be much cheaper as IT office space is very costly.
2. Bangalore has 4-5 places where office space is given on terminals/seats. You can explore that option (search in Google) though personally I feels you should avoid it. Paying 3.5k for small seat looks to be too costly to me with not much freedom but if it works out for you, go ahead.
3. Most of the startups are based out of Koramangala and Indra Nagar, it happened because the earlier once (2004 to 2010) started from here so the rest just followed them. If you are a bootstrapper you probably want to avoid these places. If you need help, try to read older threads in OCC (open coffee club) and headstart google groups mailing list and see where other offices are located, try to talk to them and see if they can help you with local knowledge. You can also post in comments here and I will try to help you too.
I will update this post as I remember more points but this looks to be good enough, most likely you will find this post through social media and Google search so if you can add to what I have listed and can share useful info, please do it in comments since we need to make sure the entropy of the universe increases.