Former media professional Preetam Chakraborty and high-school teacher Pihu decided to take the next step in their relationship and move in together. But for an unmarried couple to find a rented apartment in Delhi was a herculean task.
“While looking for a house during our live-in period, my partner had to officially say that she would be staying in the 2-BHK flat alone, and sometimes her family would come to stay with her. The rent agreement also mentioned her as the sole tenant and not my name,” Preetam shared.
But now, an online platform is changing the way unmarried couples find homes. CoLive is a Bengaluru-based platform that offers fully-furnished, secure and serviced homes to students and single professionals.
The house-renting platform recently ventured into space for renting flats to couples in Bengaluru and as it goes, it is already a hit. After the success of their venture in the IT-city, they are now planning to expand their services to Chennai. “After Bengaluru, we are now planning to expand our services to Chennai,” shared Adeem Syed, who is the Digital Marketing Manager at CoLive.
For all the couples who are living in Bengaluru and looking to move in with their partners, CoLive not only provides flats from developers and owners but it also provides house-keeping, repair, and maintenance services to couples and individuals (no need to worry about wi-fi, gas, electricity etc).
As it goes, finding a decent place to stay with all the basic amenities is not the only issue that the couples face. In fact, they are often harangued by the brokers and landlords who view them perversely. Dev Roy and his partner Jennifer had a similar distressing experience when they decided to move in together. The amount of difficulty that the couple faced by can be ascertained from the fact the real-estate agent had a set of instructions for them to follow before they met their potential landlord.
“The brokers also have strict instructions for you to follow. They always instruct you not to reveal it to the landlord if you are not married. ‘Always remember you are married, at all times. Always say the owner ‘family ke liye room chahiye’ even if you are not’– is what they tell you before meeting a landlord,” Dev shared.
Even the landlords would bombard them with questions. “The landlords always ask questions like– are you guys married? When did you get married? What about the marriage certificate? Why you haven’t put any sindoor?,” Dev shared recalling his ordeal.
Not sharing their marital status is one of the many ways couples use to rent flats. Even so, lack of customary symbols used by the married couples often gives rise to doubts and hence extensive questioning about their relationship. For all those who have faced a similar situation, CoLive is one of the many flat-renting platforms that is gradually venturing into the couple house-renting space.
The company rents out apartments to couples by listing them as co-tenants in the rent-agreement which is usually valid for a period of six months. The couples have to deposit an advance amount equal to the rent of two months as a security deposit which can be paid in installments. Adeem believes that the societal mindset is the biggest hurdle couples face while looking for a place together.
While the website does offer stylish homes at affordable prices for extended periods, it also leases apartments to couples for a shorter duration varying between two to three months.
People in the metropolitan cities are gradually warming up to the idea of couples living in together before marriage. Even so, landlords still have their reservations and are usually hesitant in renting out their flats to young couples. Amid the present situation, it is upon house-renting portals like CoLive to make it easy for the unmarried couples to get flats and in the process help in changing the mindset of the society.
(Names of some people have been changed to protect their identities.)