Tenants feel the pinch as house rents soar

Updated January 28, 2016


KARACHI: As property owners bask in the soaring prices of houses and flats, getting home on a rent has become ever more difficult for many low- and middle-income families.

Many apartment projects have been built in various areas of Karachi in the last few years, but prices are still beyond affordability of many low-income people.

But the plight of tenants does not end at settlement of monthly rent. Those who acquire home through estate agents have to pay at least one month rent to them. With rising trend in property prices, some owners warn tenants at the outset to vacate the house after two to three years instead of five years, despite mutually agreeing on five to 10 per cent annual increase in the rent. Besides, tenants are required to deposit three- to six-month rent to the owners as security.

Muhammad Shafi Jakvani, owner of Citi Associates in Clifton, said rents in posh areas have gone up by 15 to 20 per cent in the last one year. For example, the rent of a three-bedroom old flat in Clifton is at least Rs50,000 while a new ones carries rent of up to Rs100,000.

Rent for an old 500-yard bungalow (ground plus one) in DHA is around Rs125,000 while new bungalow rent hovers between Rs175,000 and Rs225,000, he said. A 1,000-yard old bungalow (ground plus first floor) goes on rent of Rs150,000-175,000 while new bungalow’s rent is around Rs350,000-500,000.

The owner of Nazimabad Estate, Mohammad Najeeb, said a 240-yard bungalow (ground or first floor) has Rs40,000 rent, which was Rs 28,000-30,000 a year ago. New bungalow carries rent of Rs45,000. A 400-yard bungalow (one portion) is rented out at Rs50,000-60,000 which was Rs40,000-45,000 a year back.

The rent has risen to Rs40,000 from Rs25,000-30,000 for a three-bedroom flat (good condition), and to Rs30,000 from Rs25,000 a year ago for the old one.

A broker in Gulistan-e-Jauhar said the rent of a 240-yard bungalow (one portion) in block 15 has increased to Rs35,000-40,000 from Rs28,000-30,000, while that of a 400-yard bungalow (one portion) has gone up to Rs45,000-50,000 from Rs35,000-40,000 a year back. A three-bedroom apartment is rented out at Rs35,000 as compared to Rs27,000-28,000 a year back.

Owner of Marksman Associates in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Mohammad Zafar said that a year back tenants were paying Rs25,000-30,000 for a full portion of 240-yard bungalow in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Now the rent is in the range of Rs35,000-45,000 depending on the house condition.

He said a 400-yard portion is rented out at Rs45,000-50,000 compared to Rs35,000-40,000 a year ago. A 120-yard full portion rent is Rs25,000 as compared to Rs15,000-18,000.

He said three-bedroom flat goes on a rent of Rs30,000-35,000 as compared to Rs25,000 while four-bedroom flat rent, which was Rs 65,000-70,000, is now Rs80,000-100,000. The rent of a three-bedroom flat (old and new) located in the boundary wall comes to Rs45,000-70,000 rent which was Rs35,000-40,000 a year back.

A broker in FB Area said an 80-yard house can be taken at rent of Rs10,000-11,000 as compared to Rs6,000-7,000 a year ago, while a 120-yard portion is available at Rs16,000 as compared to Rs11,000. A 400-yard full portion rent is Rs45,000 as compared to Rs35,000.

He said a three-bedroom flat carries Rs30,000 rent which was Rs20,000 a year ago while owners and tenants strike a deal for a two-bedroom flat at Rs18,000 as compared to Rs10,000-11,000 a year back.

The rent of a 120-yard house in KDA Employers’ Society Korangi ranges between Rs10,000-18,000 depending on the house condition as compared to Rs6,000-10,000 a year back. In Darussalam Society of Korangi, the rent for a 120-yard is Rs20,000 as compared to Rs15,000.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2016