Landlords Play Moral Police
10 Feb 2009, 0435 hrs IST, TNN
It’s one thing to check out potential tenants for possible links with unwanted elements, but quite another to cast aspersions on
House owners in the city are now asking single working women to furnish character certificates on company letterheads, before renting out their houses.
Given that a majority of the upwardly mobile in the city is single, this demand is proving to be a tall order - not to mention dented egos. A 29-year-old finance professional was left fuming last week when a house owner asked her for a “character” certificate. “My family and I were interested in the place as it was cheap and geographically accessible. The broker took us to the owner’s house in Koramangala to negotiate the rent and deposit amount. It came as quite a shocker when he asked us for character certificates, because none of us was married!” said Claire Roberts (name changed).
She also had to face to ignominy of being asked if she ever came home past midnight. “What does he mean by that? I asked him if one has to be married at 20 to be of “good” character? I worked very hard to be where I am now. I am not going to allow some moneyed guy to disrespect me like this.”
Ironically, Claire is not alone. Even very “posh” apartments in residential areas are particularly harsh on single people. The association secretary of Sena Vihar in Kammanahalli said that for reasons best known to the office-bearers, unmarried working people are denied apartments there. “We’ve nothing against them, it’s just the association policy,” the secretary told The Times of India.