Mumbai cops book 18 flat owners for not verifying tenants
With Ganeshotsav around the corner, Mumbai police has decided to take strict action against people who rent out their flats or guesthouses without registering at the local police station. So far, cops have booked 18 people in the western suburbs.
Beginner’s luck: 'Strugglers' who arrive in the city to try their luck in Bollywood prefer to share apartments in places like Oshiwara, Versova, Lokhandwala. Representation pic
According to officials, the police stations in the city recently received a circular from the Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Maria, instructing them to be more vigilant and take action against flat owners who do not inform about tenants at the local station. This year, till date, cops have arrested four people in Oshiwara and six in Versova for failing to notify them after renting out their apartments.
“We have put up notices at societies and are also patrolling these areas and informing society members to notify police before renting out flats, commercial places and guest houses, even if it is for a few days,” informed Senior Inspector, Subhash Velle, from Oshiwara police station. Cops say that while tenants get easily registered when they take an apartment through an agent, when people rent out their flats on their own, they do not complete the verification process, making it difficult for them to keep track of such flats. “We are planning to conduct surprise checks at flats and commercial places to keep an eye on any suspicious activity,” added Velle.
Cops are paying special attention in areas like Oshiwara, Versova, Juhu and Bandra — posh localities where many people from abroad prefer to stay. Special teams have been assigned to keep an eye on new faces in these areas. Sources said that these places are on the radar as it is easier for people to hide in posh areas and agents also earn heavy commission.
Many residents have welcomed the drive by police, as they feel that it will help cops nab people who can cause trouble in the area. Recently, Versova police had arrested four people from the same locality, indicating that agents in the area are giving out flats to people without completing verification work.
Lately, many residential societies have decided not to rent out flats to people who come to the city to try to make a name in Bollywood. According to them, if a person is a ‘struggler’ then he/she clearly cannot afford to rent a place in their society.
Urvashi Solanki, an actress who recently moved to Mumbai, said, “Big celebrities can afford to stay in Bandra and Juhu. But what about newcomers and amateurs who can only share cheap apartments in places like Oshiwara, Versova, Lokhandwala, etc? Even real estate agents charge us double after they find out about our profession.”
Saghir Ahmed Sagar, an agent in Andheri, said, “Most established actors stay in places like Bandra, Vile Parle and Juhu, while newcomers prefer Lokhandwala and Oshiwara. However, security is an important aspect that should be followed at any cost and the recent decision by cops to pull up owners for non-registration is absolutely valid.”