Rawalpindi:Seeing the plight of the Pindiites these days, one can easily imagine how the rents are leaving a big hole in their pockets.
“Visit the real estate office and you will find its employees indulging in playing cards. They work only to oblige those from where they see some benefit accruing and end up using the received money to buy houses,” says Zain-ul-Abideen.
“I work as a composer at an advertising agency and have to sacrifice privacy for lower rent. I share space of just one bed in a flat and split the monthly rent of Rs. 20,000 with some of my friends. Not long ago a single room in the same flat was available for just Rs. 800,” says Musa Kazim.
“Rent is not the only thing troubling us. During my four-and-a-half-year stay in the city, I have moved into new flats five times. In 2018, I was forced to move out of a flat because the property owner wanted to increase the rent,” says Fahd Hussain.
“Mostly the property owner has the say. Contracts usually do not mean anything. If you do not agree with a rental increase, you have to move out. The problem is, no matter how much the rent is there will be people willing to pay. That is why housing rent keeps soaring,” adds Fahd.
“Where the rent hurts most? The hike is significant for the two- and three-bedroom flats categories where the salaried and students live in groups to share the financial burden. Large parts of tenants are not comfortable with moving to far-flung suburban locations. As a result, they are holding on to their existing rental houses,” says Ali Akber, a real estate owner.
“Moreover, not all new suburbs are completely habitable. A lack of schools, hospitals, and markets could stop you from relocating to such places. Therefore, living on rent in these places makes little sense,” says Mehdi Reza.
“When I am looking for a rented house, I look for suburbs that are well connected with central areas. I may have to compromise on the surrounding amenities, but I will get cheap rent payment,” says Zegham Abbas.
“The way I reach a decision is to compare the overall living cost. I add the commuting cost to cheap rent in a faraway location and the overall expenditure may come close to what I would spend living close to my workplace,” says Muhammad Taqi.
Darian Haider says, “If you are already living on rent, the best strategy is to continue living in the house you are already living in. Chances are your property owner will hike your rent as specified in the rent agreement lease. On the other hand, if you look for another house in the same area, your rent could go up by up to 20%.”