Of the many concern of Indian landlords, one is apparently the prospective tenant's marital status. Why? Indian bricks are known to disintegrate faster if placed in the vicinity of single people. Jokes apart, there's no scientific explanation to this but one can guess, landlords tend to associate unmarried people with 'trouble' or a basic lack sanskaar.
Add to this ever-growing list of concerns the fact that the tenant is 1. a man and 2. unmarried. An unmarried Indian man is a supposed threat to every safety and decorum guideline, plus they are petri dishes of everything immoral. True story. Or why do you think landlords are so terrified of them?
We asked a bunch of unmarried men living in cities across the country and an overwhelming number of respondents were refused homes for a single reason --- that they 'might get girls home'. Because a girl in the house of a single man could spark an apocalypse, right?
1. Abhinav Mukherjee*, 26, New Delhi: So, two years back when I was looking for a house, a landlord asked me how can a Bengali be from Uttar Pradesh. He saw some jhol in this and refused to let me rent his place.
"Then he added, very unapologetically, that he will not let the house to a Muslim."
2. Atif Jamal, 27, Lucknow: Mine was a double whammy. In 2015, I was looking to rent a place in Dehradun and initially was told by a particular landlord that they will be unable to give me the house because I might get girls to my house. Then he added, very unapologetically, that he will not let the house to a Muslim.
3. Sunny Nagpal, 31, New Delhi: I was rejected as a single tenant at Jaipur once because I was told that the owner's daughter had 10th standard board exams coming up that year and she could have been distracted by a single male living in the same building.
4. Anil Sharma, 35, Kolkata: About two years ago when I was looking for a house in Lajpat Nagar, I was told, "Friends, brothers, sisters, sab allowed hain lekin woh nahin." I asked what does he mean by woh, and the landlord said, "Prostitutes".
5. Joy Sarma, 29, Guwahati: I was looking for a house earlier this year in Mumbai and was told that they don't rent out houses to single men because there is a high chance of them getting involved in illegal activities. To this day, I have no clue what he meant.
6. Arun Singh, 31, New Delhi: It was around 5 years ago, when I found a house in Delhi and had made up my mind to take it. So, I told the landlord that I will be living alone. He looked at me like I had stabbed him in his face and said that he does not want to let his house to an unmarried man because the likes of us sneak women in and smoke and drink. I don't really know what else he was expecting since I had gone to look for the house alone.
"The landlord asked if I drink and I said that I don't. He didn't believe me and showed me the way out."
7. Rishabh Mishra, 25, Kolkata: I was told by a landlord three years ago that he will be unable to let the house to me and a friend as the other part he had rented out another floor to three girls. His concern was that it would not be 'safe' for the girls and not having single men and single women under same roof will keep the building 'clean'. It was my first month in Delhi and I was quite taken aback by what he said.
8. Piyush Kapoor*, 28, Mumbai: This is a standard occurrence here. I have been told multiple times that there are society rules against renting places to bachelors. By now, I know better than to ask why. We all know why.
9. Abhijit Mukherjee, 28, New Delhi: I was once rejected in 2012 because the landlord asked if I drink and I said that I don't. He didn't believe me and politely showed me the way out.
10. Abimanyu K., 30, Mumbai: This was in Delhi, two years ago. I was looking for a house on rent with a friend and we were refused by one landlord because he said that single men never come home before 12 am. I wonder where he got that information from.
*: name changed on request