Renting rights of bachelors across Indian cities
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Finding the appropriate place to rent is often a challenge, especially for bachelors and spinsters across India. When looking for rental housing, they frequently face discrimination, prejudice and restrictions due to their marital status. However, it is important to understand that everyone, regardless of their marital status or gender, deserves fair treatment and equal opportunities during renting.
Bachelors and spinsters, especially those living away from their hometowns for work or education, encounter numerous challenges while renting a home. Landlords and housing societies have biased approaches where they assume that unmarried individuals would be irresponsible, disruptive or involved in illegal activities. As a result, they implement arbitrary rules and regulations, which unfairly target bachelors and spinsters, making it difficult for them to find rental housing.
Some landlords expressly state that they only want families or married couples as tenants, while others subtly discourage unmarried applicants. Rental advertisements frequently include phrases, such as ‘family-only’, ‘no bachelor’, or ‘only for married couples’, fostering an environment in which discrimination is normalised. Furthermore, housing societies and apartment complexes impose strict rules on single occupants, effectively excluding them from certain residential areas.
The Indian law upholds the right to equality and non-discrimination. The Constitution of India prohibits discrimination based on marital status or gender. Several acts and legal provisions protect bachelors’ and spinsters’ rights in the rental space. The Equal Opportunity Act of 2020, which is the most visible of these, ensures equal treatment and opportunities for all citizens. This act eliminates discrimination and promotes inclusion in all aspects of life, including housing.
Most housing societies in India have a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) whose objective is to work for the improvement of the homeowners by maintaining the facilities and ensuring the society’s upkeep. However, there have been several cases where RWA judgements have violated the legal and constitutional rights of those living inside the society. At times, the regulations appear arbitrary, imposed by the whims of a small group of people in power in the RWA.
Landlords, in such circumstances, are forced to make choices, such as preferring families or married couples as tenants.
Furthermore, local rules and regulations change between states and cities. Some cities may have special rules for renting to bachelors or spinsters. To understand the unique legislation and requirements in your area, check with the local municipal authorities or seek legal assistance.
There have been debates about implementing rental housing legislation, which would provide extensive controls to both landlords and tenants. Hence, modifications or adjustments to rental laws and regulations may be possible in the future.
One must ensure fair treatment and equal opportunities for bachelors and spinsters in home renting. It is crucial to promote awareness and enforce existing legal protections by strengthening legal provisions. The government must strengthen and enforce existing laws, which prohibit discrimination in housing. Strict penalties and consequences for the guilty can act as deterrents. Alongside, there is a need to launch awareness campaigns to educate people about the rights of bachelors and spinsters in home renting. These campaigns must emphasise the importance of equality, challenge stereotypes and promote inclusive housing practices. Rental portals can play a vital role in eliminating discrimination. They could include the option to filter out discriminatory listings and encourage landlords to treat all tenants equally. Furthermore, they can display guidelines promoting fair housing practices. Establishing effective complaint mechanisms could empower individuals to report instances of discrimination and seek legal recourse. Dedicated helplines or online platforms could be created to ensure easy access to justice for those facing housing discrimination.
Sensitisation programmes for landlords, housing society members and real estate professionals could address stereotypes and biases, encouraging inclusive housing practices.
Giving equal access to housing is a fundamental right, which should be enjoyed by every citizen, regardless of marital status or gender. Therefore, discrimination against bachelors and spinsters in the rental market violates their rights and hinders social progress. By enforcing existing legal protections and raising awareness, this could be mitigated in the future.
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