Chennai Woman Denied Flat; Why Is Relationship Status Crucial When Renting?

Single Woman Denied Flat
Renting an apartment in any Indian city is a Herculean task for gender, caste, class, religion, food preferences, relationship status and all the other irrelevant information is pivotal for the process. Often unmarried people are turned down by landlords looking to rent their flats and apartments. With single women, things can be tricky as they have to abide by restrictive norms rooted in patriarchal thought even when away from home. For how long will the society provide accommodations based on gender and relationship status?

Landlords often prefer renting their property to families instead of single women under absurd pretexts like they will be partying all night, will have male friends and boyfriends over or at the persistence of some tenant who thinks that having a single girl in the next apartment will be provoking to him.  That is exactly what happened in the case of a single woman who shared her experience on the social media platform Twitter.

Single Woman Denied Flat Because Of Next Door Bachelor

Bharathy Singaravel, a Chennai-based journalist, on May 22, 2022, shared her story about how she almost confirmed an apartment but at the last moment, the landlord turned the offer down on the absurd demand of her next-door neighbour. She wrote, “So I nearly zeroed in on place today. Met landlord, everything. In an independent house. Until some advocate renting on the same floor fought with the landlord saying he’s a bachelor, how can you let the next house to a single woman? Bring a family…”

In an even absurd response, the landlord, apparently afraid of the advocate’s power, did as said and cancelled their agreement. “He’s an advocate, so the landlord is scared and men listen to men. So the landlord backtracks and says will only rent to a Family. This city’s obsession with renting to only families, where single women renters rate the lowest is. And the damn search starts all over again.”, she wrote further.

So it was basically that the bachelor advocate can have an apartment for himself but when a woman does it, she would be triggering others around her and making them uncomfortable. Bharathy wrote in another Tweet, “It’s cool for a bachelor to have rented out a place for himself, but god forbid a woman does the same thing. Near him. The sheer audacity to strong-arm the landlord, the landlord’s god-like fear of some advocate. Men are exhausting”

Societal Problematic Approach

The problematic approach of society when it comes to renting apartments to single women is a widespread issue. People think that single women are prone to problems and can be a bad influence on women around them. With very little knowledge of their life, they are readily branded as “wild” who bring a lot of men back home and their presence is seen as threatening and provocative which can cause mishaps. It is like we single women are walking a ‘ticking time bomb’ that can explode anytime.

Why are women subjected to this discrimination every time they house hunt? Why does society not hold the men responsible for their degraded mentality instead of blaming women for their existence?

This is so impractical that it almost seems like a joke. But it is the harsh reality. Women are blamed for merely existing while men get away with literally anything.

It is not right to judge a girl by the time she returns home, when and with whom she parties and who she brings home. Why is society concerned with the personal matters of a single woman? If a male friend of a girl creates a ruckus, it is the man’s fault, he is not a kid who will be given instructions on how to behave. As for the other men in the society, are they not supposed to behave themselves around other women and not make them uncomfortable?

Society should rather focus on schooling men on how to keep it in their pants instead of cracking down on women for taking space in society. These excuses are so lame to be used in the 21st century, to be honest, and considering how far we have come in terms of technology and culture, we should at least throw that misogynistic and stupid mentality out the window.

Views expressed are the author’s own

Feature Image: Istock

Suggested Reading: 15 Lessons In Feminism I Will Share With My 16-Year-Old Self