The capital of Karnataka state has become a major economic hub, and international companies are increasingly establishing operations in the city. Consequently, there's a huge demand for commercial property and residential accommodation in Bengaluru, both within the city limits and on the outskirts.
Construction projects are constantly being undertaken to meet the increasing demand for real estate in Bengaluru, but not all housing options will necessarily meet expats' standards.
Types of accommodation in Bengaluru
Housing in Bengaluru comes in the form of apartments, independent floors, townhouses, bungalows and villas. Apartments usually come at a reasonable cost, and people often rent what is called an 'independent floor' – an entire floor, usually in a low-rise building, as opposed to a single unit.
Many expats choose to live in independent (freestanding) houses for the space and freedom they offer. That said, independent houses, as with villas and bungalows, often don't have amenities attached to them, so homeowners must make arrangements for extras such as security.
Many expats feel more secure living in gated communities or large apartment blocks. These mega-complexes provide convenient access to social activities with other residents and can be a welcoming space for expat families.
Residential property prices in Bengaluru vary widely. Most high-end apartments offer facilities such as clubhouses, swimming pools and tennis courts. Luxury bungalows and row houses are available for expats with an above-average budget, but these exclusive properties don't stay on the market for long due to the high demand.
Housing in Bengaluru can be unfurnished, semi-furnished or fully furnished so, while shipping is an option, expats can leave many of their belongings at home if they don't wish to deal with the hassle and costs of moving furniture.
Finding accommodation in Bengaluru
Companies in Bengaluru often purchase suburban villas or high-rise apartment blocks and hold them for employees in top-level and management positions, so expat employees may not even need to look for accommodation when relocating.
For those not in this position, housing agents can provide a listing of available rental properties in the city and point out popular areas and suburbs to focus on. House hunting can be exhausting, daunting and time consuming, so it's a good idea to consult a reputable real-estate company.
Online property portals, such as 99acres.com, makaan.com and Magicbricks, are a good starting point. Online real-estate listings can give an idea of popular areas and estimates of expected rental prices.
Renting accommodation in Bengaluru
Some landlords may try to rent out their property informally to side-step tax. This arrangement is not advised as expats could be left without legal tenancy support. We recommend that expats familiarise themselves with all aspects of renting in Bengaluru before signing any lease.
Expats are likely to find 11-month lease agreements in Bengaluru, and those staying for a year or more can sign longer rental agreements. Note that leases valid for longer than 11 months must be registered with the relevant authorities.
Lease disputes are not uncommon, and we recommend taking careful note of all regulations on the rental agreement to avoid potential future disputes.
In the past, landlords were known to take advantage of prospective tenants by asking for large amounts of money upfront as a deposit – sometimes as much as six to 11 months' worth of rent. The deposit amount is now limited by law to a maximum of two months.
Tenants usually cover the costs of utilities, including electricity, water and any maintenance charges. Be sure to negotiate this in the lease agreement. Bengaluru has encountered some electricity outages and expats may also consider buying a back-up electricity generator.
If tenants or landlords wish to terminate the lease early, they usually have to give at least three months' notice.
►Learn about expat-friendly neighbourhoods in the city with Areas and Suburbs in Bengaluru
"As far as neighbourhoods go, I'd recommend Whitefield, it has a large expat community with lots of restaurants and shopping malls etc.," says Striddle, a British expat living in Bengaluru. Check out his interview with Expat Arrivals.
Are you an expat living in Bengaluru?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bengaluru. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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