Renting a property in Mumbai

Expats renting a property in Mumbai will find themselves immersed in the cutthroat competition that defines the city's rental market. Rental prices are high, supply is low, and getting a decent apartment is critical for one’s quality of life in the city.

Property is prohibitively expensive to buy, so most expats will end up renting. This provides the flexibility to seek accommodation closer to work at affordable pricing and an exit option in case of any dissatisfaction.

Mumbai is changing fast. There are a number of infrastructure projects underway and lots more cars on the road, and consequently travelling by road is a time-consuming affair. It is therefore vital to get a property close to work in order to enjoy a better quality of life.

Types of accommodation in Mumbai

Depending on one’s budget, social needs, community and preferences, rental accommodation can be found in almost any part of the city. Almost any kind of residential accommodation is available from fully furnished, semi furnished, and unfurnished houses and apartments, to shared accommodation and fully serviced apartments.

Serviced apartments are very popular with single and younger expats, and those on shorter assignments. This category is also convenient for expats who may not want to get involved with official formalities of renting an apartment. Several 5-star hotels such the Taj, Hyatt and Four Seasons have serviced apartments which are used by expats, especially when they first arrive, before they have decided on their rented accommodation. The rates here are always more than INR 100,000 per month.

Tips for finding a property in Mumbai

  • Understand the geography and location of your place of work or primary activity and figure out the fastest and most cost-efficient mode of transport from home to work.

  • Arrive at a budget... then increase it by 10 percent.

  • Visit multiple properties: thoroughly study the neighbourhood, quality of the structure, water supply, quality of fittings, features and amenities provided by the society and the surrounding social infrastructure (shopping / entertainment / restaurants / healthcare / security / type of neighbours).

Consider rental property proximity

Mumbai has a big expat community. Anyone with a reasonable knowledge of English should be able to find life in Mumbai comfortable. Where expats have limited knowledge of English, choosing the right area becomes even more important. In addition to living in close proximity to the work place, for the expat population, choosing accommodation in close proximity to shops must be an important deciding factor.

Expatriates living in Mumbai with their families would also have to factor in the quality of education for their children. The American school is in Bandra and the German and French schools are in South Mumbai.