Soaring rents unsettle middle-class residents

Rising rents in many localities in the city have made life difficult for middle-class residents.

Estimates show that house rent has shot up considerably in places such as Vyttila, Kadavanthra, Panampilly Nagar, Tripunithura, Palarivattom, Kakkanad and Edappally over the last two years.

Getting a two-bed house or an apartment in Vyttila costs between Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000 on an average. The rent was varying between Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 8,000 two years ago. For a three-bed apartment of around 1,500 square feet, the rent may be anywhere between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 15,000.

The situation is no different in places such as Panampilly Nagar, Kadavanthra, Tripunithura and Edappally. A two-bed house or an apartment in Tripunithura now costs between Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 9,000 while the rent for a three-bed apartment in Kadavanthra varies between Rs. 12, 000 to Rs. 15,000 and above.

Real estate agents estimate that rentals have shot up by 20 to 30 per cent in city localities over the last two years. A two-bed apartment in Palarivattom would have cost Rs. 8,000 two years ago. But it has now shot up to Rs. 10,000 and above. For the middle-class resident, getting a house for rent in Panampilly Nagar will remain a dream in view of the rising rent.

Most of the houses on rent are occupied by commercial establishments.

A three-bed house in Panampilly Nagar is being given on rent anywhere between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 25,000. A three-bed apartment or a house in Edappally now costs between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 15,000. For a two-bed apartment, it varies between Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000.

Single-bedroom studio accommodation (450 to 550 square feet) in places between Palarivattom and Kakkanad costs between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000. It was below Rs. 5,000 a year ago. Rent for a three-bed apartment in Kakkanad is between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 15,000 against the previous rate that varied between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 10,000

Apartment owners pointed out that rentals fluctuated according to the location, easy access to key areas in the city and the quality of facilities provided to the residents. They also refer to the increase in property values as a reason for the soaring rent.

Many salaried middle-class residents find it difficult to shift to the fringes of the city despite the soaring rents in city localities.

Petrol expense will shoot up for those using two-wheelers or a car to reach their offices located in the city. Bus commuters will have to compromise on time once they decide to take a house or an apartment on the outskirts of the city.

Several house owners prefer not to include a clause in the written agreement that there will be a 10 per cent rent increase annually.

Interestingly, some of them hike the rent by 15 and 20 per cent once a new tenant occupies the house.

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