Neerja Pahwa Jetley, Amit Prakash June 26, 1996 00:00 ISTThe Satellite Kingdom
When 65-year-old Mrs Batra's husband died three years ago, she decided to rent out her 500-sq yard ground floor bungalow in Maharani Bagh, south Delhi. The chosen one was a Dutch manager with an Indian firm, who had to cough up a neat Rs 35,000 every month after a security deposit of Rs 5 lakh. Two years down the line, she discovered that the neighbour's bungalow was rented out at a neater Rs 80,000 per month, plus a Rs 12 lakh security deposit. So when the lease came up for renewal, a wiser Mrs Batra upped her rental demand to Rs 1.5 lakh a month. With this caveat: only transnational corporations need apply. For three months now, her house has been lying vacant but she would rather wait for the 'right' rent than compromise.
Mr and Mrs Sharma built their house on a 1,000-sq yard plot in West End, south Delhi, in the '70s. Since 1990, when the youngest of their children flew abroad for a Harvard degree, the couple have been giving out their bungalow on a two-year lease. Just two conditions. First, the tenant should be a 'white man', not even an NRI with a US passport...