Searching for a House

Contact a Broker

When you decide to search for a house or a flat, you may need to contact a broker for the area in which you want to stay in. Brokers are usually paid only after you finalize a house and you sign the contract.


Depending on the kind of house (furnished/unfurnished) that you want, you should physically inspect the house to see if all your requirements are fulfilled.

Some basic requirements of a house such as permanent fixtures of water supply, electrical fittings like bulbs, fan etc. should ideally be there in any kind of house you take. Try and negotiate with the landlord/licensor regarding any requirements that you have.

Token Money

If you want some time to think about whether you want to take the house, you can block it by paying token money to the landlord. Paying token money is optional and its purpose is to make sure that the landlord does not show the flat to any other possible tenants/licensee. If you have paid token money, ask for a receipt for the same.

Token money payments are a practice that is not regulated by law.

Be careful when you give the money since taking action against a landlord to get your token money back may be difficult.

Steps for Negotiation with Landlord

Steps to Take for Negotiation with Landlord

Ask for Identity Proof

You can ask the landlord/licensor for identity proof so that you can confirm that the landlord is the owner of the house or has the permission of the owner to rent the property. The purpose of asking for identity proof is to check whether the person is who they claim to be. Some of the most common identity cards used are Aadhaar card, Driving License etc. The ID card must have the picture as well as the permanent address.

Negotiate Rent and Security Deposit

Negotiate the rent and security amount with him and try to ask for the receipts for both. In some cases, the brokers can be very helpful while trying to negotiate the rent, so you can also request him to accompany you during the rent negotiations.

Negotiate Requirements in the House

While inspecting the house if you have come across any changes or additions to be made, you should tell your landlord before signing the contract. It is helpful to do it before as you will know whether the landlord is open to negotiations for the requirements you want and to assess whether you are getting your house for the best price. Make a list of repairs and installations so that your landlord can look into them.

Negotiating your Rent Agreement

Process of Negotiating your Rent Agreement:

  • While negotiating you should try to first establish the identity of the person who you are going to enter into an agreement with. Having this information is important to be able to assert your rights and bargain/negotiate with the person you are entering into an agreement with. Further, if you have this information, then it will be easy for you to go to the police/court in case:
    • There has been any cheating or fraud even before signing the agreement.
    • There is any problem or dispute about the agreement or payments.
  • While you are negotiating your agreement it is important to establish all your terms clearly and translate these terms into the written agreement as you have agreed upon verbally. Once the rent arrangement is signed:
    • It cannot disputed easily. Hence, it is important to negotiate and read your agreement prior to signing it.
    • If your landlord/tenant asks you for anything else which is not in the contract then you can refuse since it is not in your contract.

Precautions to be taken while renting a House

You must take certain precautions while renting a house. While trying to enter into an agreement to rent a house/flat, often the legal procedures for rent are not followed properly.

However, since it is a contract and involves an exchange of property and money it is important to understand the following while going through the processes of renting:


The principle of negotiation and establishing clear terms applies to both types of agreements, irrespective of these protections that are available.

You should ensure that you keep proof of what has been agreed upon or of any payments that have made.

This can be done by:

  • Having a written copy of an agreement
  • Having in writing anything discussed verbally either on paper/Whatsapp/Email/Messages (if possible) and
  • Keeping receipts for any payments (if possible)

This ensures that if any person disputes any payment or agreed terms you can show proof the payment of agreed terms.