Renting a flat in urban India is no easy task, specially for single women and men.
Signboards prohibiting “bachelor tenants” are not an uncommon sight in the capital Delhi and its neighbouring suburbs.
Landlords usually have preferences like “vegetarian only”, “government officials only” and “Hindus only”.
But they also have a long list of reasons to not rent their properties to single people.
Here are the top five reasons that landlords give to “not even consider” single people as tenants.
No alcohol please, we’re Indian
Several property agents said that one of the most common reasons that landlords don’t like single people is because they have strict “no alcohol” policies.
“Even if some landlord agrees to rent out his flat to a single person, the first condition they usually set is that the tenant cannot drink [alcohol] at home,” one property agent who works in the suburban area of Ghaziabad said.
He added that “some bachelors lie about this but they are often caught because landlords like to pay surprise visits to their tenants”.
The second reason, according to the agent is that “landlords have this misconception that bachelor people don’t pay their rent on time”.
Kamal Vikram Dhar, a marketing professional who lives in the Ghaziabad area on the outskirts of Delhi, said “it’s frustrating that landlords have these misconception”.
“I had to meet at least 15 landlords before one finally agreed to rent his flat to me,” he said.
Some landlords also believe that single people keep the place dirty and don’t care about hygiene.
“That is just generalisation,” said Ruhi Agarwal, a student who also had a hard time finding a place to live.
“Hygiene has nothing to do with one being single or not. But yes, it’s common for landlords to repeatedly remind us about keeping the place clean,” she said.
‘No boyfriends and girlfriends’
Being in a relationship can also seriously dent any single person’s chances of renting a flat in Delhi.
“You just can’t bring your boyfriend or other male friends home. And if you do, it often become a scandal in the apartment,” a young woman who works in an IT firm in Noida, another suburban area of Delhi, told the BBC.
“Some friends of mine were told to vacate their flat within 24 hours because they invited their male friends to their house,” she added.
Amit Agarwal, a Noida-based property agent, said “landlords are yet to be comfortable with the idea of relationships”.
Mr Agarwal said some landlords also fear that single people are “a bad influence on children because they drink and smoke”.
“Whenever landlords come to us to to put their properties for rent in the market, their first preference is not single people,” he said,
“I do not agree with them, but then I don’t have a choice. It takes too much effort to find a place for single people.”