Hyderabad: Earning a few extra bucks by renting out that extra room in your home might be a good idea. But wouldn’t it be a better idea to know whom you are renting it out to as well?
There are many in the city, for whom renting out a portion of their homes is not just a mean of earning a little extra cash, but a major livelihood option as well. The issue is, though most of them are very particular about signing agreements on tenancy periods and rent amounts, they just forget one important aspect – to check the background of the prospective tenant.
And this, the Hyderabad Police said, has landed many in trouble. From small time crooks who pose as decent persons to get a hideout till they carry out their next offence, to terrorists who want a den to hatch their conspiracies, the city has seen many landlords being taken for a ride and then landing in trouble for providing shelter to criminals.
Keeping this in mind, the City Police has launched a campaign – ‘Know Your Tenant’ – to create awareness among house-owners on the importance of checking the credentials of prospective tenants before renting out their properties.
The campaign gains significance here following regular inputs from Central Intelligence agencies on terrorists getting shelter easily in the city, police said.
The campaign, which will be taken up on a larger scale and cover all areas of the city soon, will first have the police concentrating on thickly-populated areas dominated by the working class as these are the areas where criminals take shelter.
“We are asking house-owners to collect identity documents of the tenants and verify it with their place of work. They can contact the local police station and seek our help as well,” said a senior police official.
The city, with a population of around one crore, is also home to several migrants who come from other States to earn a livelihood.
“During our cordon-and-search operations, we noticed that many are letting out their properties to people without verifying their credentials. In a few houses, bangle workshops and other hazardous units, which engaged child labour as well, were running,” DCP (South) V Satyanarayana said.
A little earlier, during the investigation into the Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts of 2013, police found that those involved in the blasts rented a house at Abdullapurmet near Ramoji Film City. Similarly, police caught several notorious criminal gangs who had taken shelter in rented houses.
As if that was not enough, raids on gambling houses and brothels revealed that property owners had not visited the rented units for months together, thus enabling such businesses to run smoothly. The tenants were asked by owners to deposit the rent online through net-banking, a police official pointed out.
“We are also planning to prepare a database of all rental agencies and brokers in the city. The help of youth associations is also being sought,” another police official said.
House-owners have also been asked to register their tenants through the Hawk Eye app. The app has a facility to upload photographs and other details of the tenant.
In the Rachakonda Commissionerate, police have already put in a tenant verification system in place. The individual residential welfare associations in Hyderabad have also been handed out special tenant verification forms.