Accommodation in Delhi

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Accommodation in IndiaFinding accommodation in Delhi can be considerably more difficult than in other expat destinations. The high demand for housing has sent prices through the roof and the availability of apartments and alternative property is limited.
 
Increasingly, companies that provide accommodation to relocated expats are opting for luxury apartments rather than more costly, spacious homes in the suburbs. Most expats prefer living in South Delhi, the most developed area of the city. 
 
Those who don't want the stress of navigating Delhi's property market will find that it is best to hire several real estate agents to help with the process. Expats should negotiate to pay less than a month's rent in fees to the agent for finding suitable accommodation. A large deposit is often required for extended lease agreements. These can often be negotiated, as can most things in India.
 
One redeeming quality associated with the cutthroat, high-priced housing market is that domestic help in Delhi can be hired and financed easily and cheaply; a luxury that expats often wouldn’t be able to afford in their home country.
 

Types of property in Delhi

 
Property developers are taking advantage of the high demand for property in Delhi and as a result expats will find a range of property types available to them. 

Closer to the city centre, most of the housing will consist of  modern high rise apartment complexes, villas and condos. In some suburbs, expats might find old colonial properties available as well. An individual's choice of accommodation in Delhi will depend on their lifestyle and the neighbourhood in which they wish to reside. 
 

Finding accommodation in Delhi

 
 
Most expats who relocate to Delhi for work purposes will find that their employer is willing to assist in the search for accommodation. In many cases, the employer will in fact have accommodation already secured for their employees. Although this limits the expats choice to some degree, it actually saves them a lot hassle as well. Usually, the accommodation provided by employers is comfortable and located in close proximity to the expat's workplace.

Those that are not lucky enough to receive support from their employer may find the search for a home in Delhi, somewhat more difficult. It is possible to do some research online before arriving in India and this ensures that expats have some basic knowledge about Delhi's property market and what is available within their budget. 

While internet and newspaper listing are a good source of information on property, the best option for an expat is to enlist the help of an estate agent. These professionals do charge a fee but have intimate knowledge of the property market and understand the process of securing a rental property in Delhi. 
 

Renting property in Delhi

 
Rental prices vary according to neighbourhood and often depend on the age of the house. New buildings can be up to double the rent of older buildings next door.
 
Price is not equated with quality when it comes to accommodation in Delhi. Also, there is no ‘rule of thumb’ for price calculation of the rental of a property in a certain area, as in many Western countries. Landlords can generally ask for whatever they want, so the agent should then be able to tell the buyer if an asking price is in line with the rents that are being asked for at comparable properties in the surrounding area.  

Tips for renting a property in Delhi:

  • Manage expectations and be flexible
  • Be very clear with the agent on what is being looked for (budget, number of rooms, etc)
  • Make notes on the properties, especially when working with several agents. Show the list of properties that have been viewed to the other agents, so that they don't arrange the same viewing.
  • Negotiations take a few weeks, so do not feel pressured into a making quick decisions.
  • Try to avoid paying too much for the security deposit – a maximum of three months is fair. Many tenants have difficulty getting deposits back at the end of their lease.

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