Rented homes and PGs: Why these are a successful business model in Guwahati

Priyanka Chakrabarty

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Guwahati: Jigyan Deep Kalita from Guwahati founded 4 years back without a business blueprint. The non-profit website sought to connect property owners with tenants. The quirky data-gathering idea attracted a humongous traffic generation and gained people’s trust. Today, the website has 1,500 enlisted properties, with 900 registered house owners, and boasts a traffic of 10,000 visitors every month.

The city has seen several such successful stories. Renting homes and opening paying guest (PG) accommodations have become successful business models in Guwahati, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

And why not? Guwahati is emerging as an important place for education, medical treatments, religious tourism, corporate offices, and businesses. When Business North East reached out to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), we were informed that it keeps self-declared data about tenant homes in the city, but the list is not authenticated. The population of Guwahati city in 2024 is approximately 13 lakh, as per government data. "As per records, Guwahati saw 3..4 lakh property registrations last year", GMC Assistant Commissioner Amarjyoti Borah informed this outlet.

As the number of properties is increasing, the demand for housing has also shot through the roof. This is largely propelled by the rural-to-urban migrations. Assam became the first state in India to implement the Tenancy Act as the state assembly passed the Assam Tenancy Bill 2021 which received the assent of the Governor on September 23 of the same year.

But because of the city's immense potential, it is clear as day that renting and PGs is a very stable source of income in the city amid growing expenses. The latter is seen as more "income-generating."

Take, for instance, Swapna Chakrabarty. The Guwahati resident informed Business North East that she allowed tenants to open paying guests on her premises which helped her earn more. Most tenants we reached out to had nice things to share about their landlords. Juri Talukdar from Pathsala, who lives in a rented home in Guwahati, shared that she gets a lot of "independence" in her rented house.

Business North East spoke to homeowners and paying guests in Navin Nagar, Adabari, Jonali, and Jalukbari and found that the demand for homes is increasing day by day. Many brokers are now seen taking advantage of the escalating demand. At the same time, many youths have also started subletting their homes where they stay as a tenant. Meanwhile, websites like 99acres, Olx, and MagicBricks are also available for homeowners and home seekers.

Huge complexes are also rented to offices and commercial complexes in busy areas. The year-on-year profit of such businesses varies as per the size of the complexes. The usual agreement of tenancy is for 11-12 months. Sometimes owners might increase the rent after the completion of the term. They might also ask the tenant to leave after the term is over.

Tenants have to pay maintenance tax, and security money and sign an agreement before becoming tenants. The terms and conditions of both sides are communicated to each other before the tenancy is undertaken. Many organizations and projects employing people are adding House Rent Allowance (HRA) to their salary structure.

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Priyanka Chakrabarty