Finding an affordable paying guest accommodation is a real challenge in Gurgaon. Here is a list of things which should matter to you while choosing an option.
Locality is the most important factor to consider while selecting a Paying guest accommodation. There are few notorious PG blocks in Gurgaon which you should avoid for sure. The list includes but not limited to Sukhrali Village, Silokhara Village near Sector 30, Jharsa Village, Sector 17, Sector 21 and 22, DLF phase 2 and U Block near Cybercity.
These PG blocks host 80% of paying guest accommodations in Gurgaon, mostly overcrowded with lack of basic facilities and often with overused resources. You will struggle with everyday issues like water supply, frequent power outage, rude owner/caretakers.
If at all you choose to stay in one of these PG blocks (Because of accessibility and proximity to the office ), never look for THE cheapest option. You will face frequent issue with housekeeping, Internet, water supply, power backup etc. No doubt, you will find a few well managed PG as well.
For your peace of mind, look for options outside these PG blocks. Always go to a facility which is professionally managed, sharing food with the family is never a good option, you may often find it difficult to adjust to the food habits, timings, and tantrums.
A professional cooking staff is always a better option in long run. Ideally, you should be tasting the food for lunch and dinner before finalizing the option.
Food is the most important part of your stay. If you get driven by the price you may end up with pathetic food at PG, and forced to eat outside or order online.
Role of a broker
Unless you are totally naive, you hardly need a broker to find a girls pg for you. Most PG owners are business savvy with a decent google presence. A simple google search will get you enough PGs to visit. A broker has nothing to add to your knowledge and they are best avoided. If you are new to the area and need a broker, negotiate the deal upfront, or you may end up paying 50% of your rent as brokerage.
Safety and security
This is the basic yet most important factor. Clarify following doubts before finalizing the option
Who owns the safety inside PG Premise? Do you have a professional security staff?
If it’s not a professionally managed PG, you will encounter a lack of proper security inside the premise. If its side business of a family, often overexcited male members will act as intruders making your stay uncomfortable.
Do you have male visitors? If, yes who all visit and their purpose!
This is another question which needs to be probed. Often PG premise is overcrowded by unknown visitors, relatives of the owner, friends of caretaker and other freeloaders who enjoy the facilities without much concern. Their unwanted presence and wandering will often make you uncomfortable, you might keep ignoring them but, there would be an air of discomfort in the environment. If you do not get a clear answer to this question, avoid and move for next option.
Do you allow parents (especially Mother and Sister) to visit and stay with Me?
If things are in order, the PG owner will not say no to this request. Afterall, it creates a bond and you tend to stay longer if your family also likes your accommodation. If they outright reject this option, then be sure there is something fishy which you don’t know upfront.
What are the safety arrangements (CCTV, Door Locks, Closing timings)
What are all entry options? How many gates are there? Do they lock all entries during the night? Is this within a gated society? How do you monitor and keep a tab on the visitors? All these questions are very important for your safety. Do they have CCTV cameras installed in all common areas? Are you able to lock your room while you are sleeping? Your room should not be a gallery for others to walk in without notice.
Most family PGs (With no professional or security staff) will put restrictions on your movement). You might have to adhere to timings for in and outs. They would restrict going out in the night, will ask questions about your whereabouts. While a safety concern is important for a crime loaded city like Gurgaon, there is a fine line between safety and trespassing.
The aunty might look nice at the time of booking and may turn out to be totally judgemental when you ask permission for a late night office party. Choose a stay option which gives minimum discomfort and do not create an issue about your going out too often.
PGs have limited power backup which does not cover AC and Geyser. The notorious PG Blocks will often experience high power outage thanks to consumption over capacity. The power backup should be able to survive more than 4 hours so that you have your fans running and the place is well lit.
Here are the specific questions you should ask about power backup –
- What is the power outage situation? How often do you experience the power outage in a day?
- What is the status of power back up? For how long can you survive without power?
- Is it a full or partial backup?
- What are all the appliances covered?
- Can I charge mobile during the power outage?
- Check the room ventilation, is it possible to survive during the power outage?
Food Quality and availability
Check for various food options before finalizing. Do they offer a three-time meal? Is it just breakfast and dinner? Check for specific things like food menu, what all is cooked. If possible ask for options to taste the food or try to negotiate a 24 hours stay so that you get first-hand experience and review of the food. Check with other residents about the food quality and food menu options.
Food is the most important part of your stay, look for an option which offers healthy, hygienically cooked food. Overuse of spices would make it tastier in beginning but will impact your health. There are few PG which offer both veg and non-veg food while most of them offer only Vegetarian options.
Best option to have kitchen access where you can have a luxury of making your own tea or cooking food when you crave for home cooked food.
Water supply is erratic in most PG blocks thanks to the excessive uses of water. The supply will hardly be sufficient, you should check about the storage options, what is their storage capacity, are they accountable in case of no supply (Will they arrange a tanker in such cases?). There will be days when you need to go to the office without using the washrooms, so be prepared for that.
Bed, Bedroom and Washroom size
The single motive of running PG is to get more rent out of a small space. Often the greed takes over and you will find really narrow beds overstuffed. It may sound economical to stay in such rooms but over time there will be a lot of friction between roommates. If a two sharing room is less than 120 Square feet in size, and a three sharing room is 160, it is going to be inconvenient.
This is where they get smart, while a standard size of Diwan or single bed is 6*4, they would reduce the width to 3 to 3.5 feet, while it makes the room look spacious but you should be careful while sleeping; a wrong turn can toss you on the floor ?
Size of the washroom is another important factor, in order to save space, the bathing area is reduced to a minimum, which is a daily discomfort.
Electricity and other hidden expenses
PGs will charge the electricity bill on top of the rent. It’s a standard practice which followed across studio apartments, Flats and PG. This helps in regulating the uses and also reduces the anxiety on part of the owner. if you need to pay the bill, please ensure that your submeter is installed, keep a check on the number of units consumed, this will help you analyze the spending pattern. There are other hidden charges in the name of maintenance, TV recharges, Internet etc. Make sure you take a note of all these charges; you may end up paying more.
Believe it or not, the caretaker of the PG will have a crucial role in your life. Most PGs are managed by employees, the homeowner will stay somewhere else. In some family managed PGs, you will not know whom to approach in the event of issues. Take note of all important contact numbers of caretaker/s, if it’s managed by a female, you may find it easy to communicate.
Most caretakers will go haywire in the absence of owners, clearly understand whom to approach for escalation if your issue is not resolved.
Market proximity, hanging out places
If you are staying at a place which is too far from the market, you will have to depend on the local grocery store for your basic needs, they overcharge and lack options. Proximity to a full-fledged market, malls, food courts is very important. You can not be totally dependant swiggy or foodpanda for your food needs.