Your guide to finding a flat in Pune (from someone who’s done it far too many times)!
Finding the flat
The Shortcut – Through a Broker
If you don’t mind paying the hefty brokerage amount, this will not only save you the trouble of looking at flats which don’t match your taste, but also from going through all the paper-work alone. The brokerage amount itself can usually be negotiated down to 1 month’s rent.
Compared to what a broker charges, the commission fee the watchman asks for will be rather minimal.
The Safest – Word of Mouth
Start off by asking your friends if their societies have any vacancies. This way, not only will you skip the brokerage amount, but you’ll also get to know the behaviour of the other society members as well as any issues before moving in. Alternatively, you can also walk up to some of the societies in your area and ask the watchman if there are any flats available for rent. Compared to what a broker charges, the commission fee the watchman asks for will be rather minimal.
Go Online – Website listings and Facebook Groups
In my experience, the most fruitful results have been on Quickr, GrabHouse and Sulekha, as compared to other websites. Here you can find both apartment listings and rooms to share. If you’re looking for a room to share, you can also check Facebook groups such as Flat and Flatmates (Pune), Rent Flats Without Brokers Pune, Flats in Pune, and PMIT Pune.
Picking the right location in Pune
It is always preferable to stay close to your work place, but with Pune being a small city minus the crazy Mumbai-style traffic, it isn’t really a requirement. Instead, you can pick your area as per your budget and style of living.
The Elite Club
Listed in order of highest to lowest rent, areas like Hadapsar, Magarpatta, Koregaon Park, Boat Club Road, Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar, and Camp will be your posh, commercial, convenient and also more expensive options. On the other side of town areas like Wanowrie, Wakad and NIBM make for your posh areas, with Baner and Aundh quickly on the rise.
If you’re on a budget, surrounding options like Dhole Patil Road, Mundhwa, Vishrantwadi, Nagar Road, and Kharadi make for cheap and good residential areas. On the south side of town Kondhwa, Fatima Nagar, LullaNagar, Salunke Vihar, and Sailusbury Park serve the same purpose.
Keep in mind that Pune is filled with a lot of old societies – so, the older your society, paint and furniture, the more you can negotiate the rent.
If you know you’re staying for long (3 years or more), the best option is to always rent an unfurnished flat and slowly invest in your own furniture
Furnished, Semi-Furnished or Unfurnished
Furnished is obviously the easiest option if you’ve got the budget for it – but in this case, ensure you’re getting the real deal with good furniture that includes more than just your basics.
If you’re on a budget and don’t know how long you’re staying in the city, a semi-furnished flat is a good enough option that will include all your basics, including an old TV.
If you know you’re staying for long (3 years or more), the best option is to always rent an unfurnished flat and slowly invest in your own furniture – because you can always sell it off or upgrade it. Alternatively, you can rent your basic furniture on a monthly basis, and aim to buy one piece of essential furniture per month. There are several websites you can visit to rent furniture such as RentoMojo or Furlenco for really cheap.
You can easily get a contract written up at your nearest public notary for a nominal fee. This works perfectly for most situations, whether you need it for an Internet connection, bank account, etc. However, if some documentation requires a registered agreement, you would have to go the registrar office with the landlord for biometric scans and such. It is recommended you register the agreement.
Avoid paying any large amounts before an agreement is made – pay only a token amount as guarantee that you’re moving in. Ensure to take a receipt from the landlord/broker if you’re giving a token amount, deposit, or rent before a legally signed agreement.