“Arrey bhaiya, please gate khol do, kal se time pe aayenge… Nahi party nahi kar rahe bhaiya, TV chalu hai, kam kar dete hai.”
If you’re a youngster, or bachelor, who has ever taken up a flat on rent in Pune, you’ll definitely relate to this. For a city that is flooded with students, it is rather sad that Pune’s societies still look down upon youngsters with so much scorn. The restrictions set by the society and landlords often defy the purpose of staying in a flat, basically turning it into a PG. Yet if you’ve moved as many times as I have (5 times in 6 years), you become somewhat of an expert in not only finding flats but also dealing with their absurd rules and restrictions. It also doesn’t hurt to be aware of some of the laws protecting the citizen and tenant.
Live where you please!
It is not uncommon to come across a ‘Bachelors Not Allowed’ sign plastered shamelessly at society gates. But did you know, as per the law, an Indian citizen has the right to reside anywhere in the country without discrimination based on religion, caste, sex, eating habits, or marital status. Thus, if the landlord has no objection in renting the flat to you, but the society does, you can actually file a complaint! In fact, even if an unmarried couple wants to live-in, and the owner has no complaint against it, the society by-laws cannot restrict you. At most, they can ask for an NOC (No Objection Certificate) and that’s the end of it.
The more you know…
30 days, 30 new rules. The number of absurd rules that seem to crop up on a daily basis exclusively for the bachelor tenants are WAY too high! As a tenant, you have every right to a copy of the by-laws of the society. Ask for it! In fact, every new rule that the society initiates for all of the society members must be added to this. A tenant is also considered a resident of the society, and therefore cannot be imposed with unlawful restrictions.
They do not have the right to violate your privacy
Noticed how they keep tabs on you indirectly? They keep an eye on you and your friends through the neighbors, the help, the watchman, etc. That is because they aren’t allowed to legally keep a check on you or what you do in your house. As long as you are not damaging property, disrupting the neighbors, or doing anything illegal, you are allowed to do whatever you want in your house. Although the society can set its own by-laws, they cannot infringe upon the rights of an Indian citizen or their freedom and privacy.
Come and go as you please!
The by-laws of the society apply to everyone living in it equally (not just the bachelors) – which means, if you cannot enter the society after 11 PM, neither can the neighboring aunty. Now, they wouldn’t have petty restrictions like in-timings imposed on the families, right? So as long as you or your guests aren’t disrupting the society, most by-laws say nothing about what time you can come and go from the society and about your friends coming over. Neither can the society restrict you from owning pets that are not dangerous. At most they can ask you to register your pet. Common household pets including dogs and cats are very much acceptable.
What the by-laws are actually for
As much as the society threatens our freedom with their by-laws, they are actually meant to provide for the management of the society namely – election of Board of Managers, powers and duties of the Board, compensation if an, removal of Board members, roles, nature of meetings, maintenance, etc. The greatest problem lies in that landlords and societies don’t provide the young tenants with the by-laws and neither do we ask for it. Know your rights. According to the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act of 1960, the society can create rules for the members of the society to follow. However, these rules do not have the stature of a law; therefore, they cannot violate the basic rights of an Indian citizen.
The generalisation that youngsters play loud music and host disruptive parties because of a one-of case is highly unfair. If you don’t want us around families, then are you willing to give us an alternative option? If there are Family Only societies, then give us Bachelor Only societies where we will be of no influence to your children (and so very happy about it). It is a rather sad state of affairs that we call ourselves a modern society; yet continue to think of bachelors as some sort of nuisance.