Pay, Stay & Regret?

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Published on October 28, 2021 by

Students and working professionals who were living in co-living spaces are still waiting for the refund of their security deposits.

Bangalore: Many people who used to live in co-living spaces are still waiting for the refund of their security deposits which they were supposed to get when moving out.

Co-living spaces are a modern form of communal living where people get well-furnished private rooms with attached bathrooms while they share common. They are more popular in areas where students and working professionals migrate. Such places are affordable and flexible as various amenities are available.

But students or working professionals who move out of such co-living spaces are struggling to get their security deposits back. According to residents, co-living spaces take a security deposit between Rs.22,000 to Rs.25,000 while moving in but refuse to pay the full amount back or do not pay the money at all.

Manvi Jauhari, a 23-year-old working professional with a media firm, shared her experience with a co-living space called FF21. “It is pretty misleading. They take an unreasonably high amount of deposit and they do not give it back despite saying that they will do it. As per the agreement they said they will give it in a bit. But it’s been five months now but they haven’t.”

She also said that after a certain period the people at the sales department stopped answering her calls or replying to her mails. Manvi is still waiting to get her Rs. 12,500 deposit back.

According to the reviews on various platforms, the customers are happy with the amenities and facilities that these spaces provide. But when it comes to the refunding process, the reviews are not as good.

“We follow the agreement process thoroughly. We are doing business here and we are not running away with the people’s money. If the people complete the notice period then we will give back the money and it is also mentioned in the agreement. But people sometimes, leave the place before completing the notice period and expect us to give the full amount,” says Vaibhav Vyas, the sales and marketing head of Colive.

The police, who is the regular mediator of such, said that they do not file FIRs in such cases as it is a non-cognizable offence. According to the police, even though few FIRs were filed, they have visited co-living spaces a lot during the lockdown to sort out disputes.

Chitra, a property lawyer says, “It is very important to have proper agreement contract between the tenant and the owner. All the clauses should be mentioned in the agreement. Such cases are not criminal cases and hence, police can’t take any action. A lawsuit has to be filed and then the procedure begins.”

According to the statistics of the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Bangalore, every month, around 7000 cases are filed in the consumer court against property owners. During the lockdown, the number of cases to do with housing had gone up because many tenants and paying guests went back to their home towns and the owners kept on asking for the rents. Because the tenants were being troubled by the owners, the government asked the courts to consider all such cases under the National Disaster Management Act of 2005. 

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