Housing societies in Kolkata scramble to tighten rent rules

May 24, 2024

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KOLKATA: The murder of the Bangladeshi MP inside a complex in New Town has prompted gated complexes in New Town, Rajarhat as well as other parts of the city to scrutinise their existing rules about renting out apartments, particularly to foreigners.

Bidhannagar Police have asked resident welfare associations (RWAs) in New Town to identify rented-out flats for cops to conduct surprise visits and cross-check the identity of the tenants with the information submitted to them. “We have been requesting RWA members under our jurisdiction to prepare a list of tenants in a specific format and send it to us. The exercise will help us create a fresh database of tenants living in the complexes where we plan to conduct verifications,” said an officer.

Officiating members of some housing complexes have convened a meeting on Sunday to discuss the issue and strengthen renting rules, especially to foreigners. While most condominiums have rules for tenants and expatriates in keeping with the advice of local police stations, the murder has prompted many to revisit the norms and check if they are being adhered to.

City Centre 1 Residency Apartment Complex had barred property owners from letting out their flats to anyone from neighbouring countries three years ago following tensions along Chinese border. “The decision was taken at a general meeting but gradually, it has become lenient. Currently, many Chinese people, working with the embassy here, live in the complex. We follow the norms for expatriates in line with police guidelines. After the murder of the Bangladeshi MP, we will review the rules for expatriates and enhance it further,” Indraneel Choudhury, a resident of the complex.

Manoj Gupta, secretary of South City Apartment Owners’ Association, said they hired a private property management firm to check the antecedents of tenants before letting out the flats. “After rental agreements are finalized, we inform the local police station about it. The New Town incident is an eye-opener,” he said.

Silver Spring off EM Bypass has around 350 residents, of whom 15% to 20% are expatriates. Rajesh Kumar, a member of Silver Spring Apartment Owners’ Association, said, “We follow all the police norms. After the New Town incident, we have called a meeting on Sunday to discuss how the rules for expatriates can be made more stringent.”

Manav Mehra, a resident of Siddha Pines at Rajarhat, said, “Be an expatriate or a tenant from within the state or country, the person has to submit all details, along with a police verification certificate. We are going to discuss the expat issue in our next meeting and step up security further.”

Biplab Basu, secretary of Greenwood Park in New Town said, “We have CCTV cameras. The entry and exit of all are monitored. Now, we plan to discuss a few more measures to improve the security of our complex.”

  • Published On May 24, 2024 at 12:00 PM IST

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