HYDERABAD: Renting out real estate premises as paying guest (PG) accommodation is now a lucrative business in the city. Many of these accommodations have signboards that claim that they are a PG but function as hostels. GHMC only keeps track of trade licences given to guesthouses but not that of hostels masquerading as paying guest (PG) accommodations in the city.
Souvik Ghosh, a Google employee paid `7,500 per month for what he thought was a PG accommodation at Hi-Tech city when he first arrived in the Hyderabad in 2017. “It was a four-story building, had a severe cockroach and bed bug infestation and there was a general lack of proper maintenance in the kitchen that was located in the basement. There was no bill for the rent I paid for a room that had three beds. The whole building was converted into a hostel but called a PG accommodation,” said Ghosh who later moved to better living quarters, “It was only after I moved to my new PG that I realised that the one I was previously staying at was an unregistered hostel,” he added.
A building when rented out and converted into a hostel becomes a commercial building for which a trade licence is a requirement to operate, however, this is not a must if one rents out a room of your own house or apartment. But GHMC does not have an accurate idea of how many such unregistered hostels masquerading as PG accommodations operate in the city.
“At the time of Telugu Maha Sabha, the state government had asked GHMC to provide details of how may service apartments are there in the city, they wanted to rent these PG accommodations for the delegates, but there was no data that was being recorded. GHMC only keeps track of the number of guesthouses for which trade licences are being issued in the city,” said a GHMC official who did not wish to be named.
For 54-year-old Madhav Chakravathi, who with his wife runs Princess Paying guest accommodations at Begumpet, renting out a few rooms of their home to women is a steady source of income in as they approach their old age. “There is no need to register with GHMC for doing this. But what is happening now is that many hostels are calling themselves PG accommodations. They make an agreement with the building owner and rent out beds like in a hostel and most of them has no valid documents,” said Chakravathi.