Habitat Society, Vasundhara Enclave: 'Dogs and singles not allowed'
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Habitat Society, Vasundhara Enclave: 'Dogs and singles not allowed'

Three sisters and their pet dog were turned away from the gate of the society they were supposed to move into, despite having a signed, legal rent agreement with them.

Habitat Society, Vasundhara Enclave: 'Dogs and singles not allowed'

That today’s gated societies are unfriendly to singlesespecially women — is no surprise, but what Habitat Society in Vasundhara Enclave did to these women is unimaginable.

Imagine finalising a flat to live in, moving out of your present accommodation with your luggage — and your pet dog — and turning up at your new society, only to be refused entry. Why? Because a) you have a pet dog, and b) all three of you are single.

Amazed? Shocked? Incredulous? Or all three?

But this is what Puja, Priyanka and Prerna Singh had to go through on January 15 — the day they had to shift into their new rented accommodation in Habitat Society. The brokerage was paid, 22 months’ security deposit, amounting to Rs 59,000, was paid — but they were asked to turn away from the gate. The RWA was rigid in its stance — no pet dog, and no single women.

The three sisters had booked a 3 BHK flat in the society on January 9, and according to the rent agreement shared with City Spidey, they were supposed to move into Flat No M-204 on January 15. However, when they turned up at the society gate, the security guard refused to let them in, asking for a document signed by the landlord allowing them passage. “The managing committee has not ordered us to allow you in,” he told them.

But the landlord had not given them any such letter. “I immediately called up the landlord, who lives in Safdarganj Enclave, but he refused to give us any letter because we had a pet dog. The society, he said, did not allow pets. I then called up the property dealer we had booked the flat through, but he disconnected our call, saying he was in a meeting. We had the signed, legal rent agreement with us, but we couldn’t do anything with it — we were stranded,” said Priyanka, who is a journalist with a national daily.

Puja is a teacher in DPS, Mathura Road, and Prerna, the youngest, is a student of Philosophy in Kamla Nehru College, Delhi University.

Standing with their luggage outside the gate, the three argued and pleaded with the RWA members for more than three hours, but to no avail.

“It was around 7.30 pm, and we had no other place to go to,” Priyanka said. “We had already moved out of our rented flat in Gujrawala Town in Mukherjee Nagar. We even pleaded with the RWA members to at least let us stay the night, but they kept saying dogs and bachelors were not allowed in the society.”

One of the security guards present at the time, on condition of anonymity, said, “I felt sorry for the girls, but what could I do? I had to act on the orders given to me,” he said.

The incident came to light on Friday, February 15, when Priyanka uploaded a scathing post on Facebook. She wrote, “The first mischief was played by the property dealer. He should have known that the RWA of the society does not admit single woman — whether this is legal or otherwise is a separate issue. This person took commission from us [tenants], and the [landlord], and let both of us down.”

The sisters maintain that it was primarily the property dealer’s fault, as, despite their having told him they had a pet, he had failed to relay the information to the landlord.

When City Spidey spoke to PK Jain, president of the managing committee of Habitat Society, he said, “It’s the landlord’s fault, not ours. He should have known about the by-laws of the society. The landlord is well aware that bachelors and pet dogs are not allowed here. Then why did he sign the rent agreement?”

Thankfully, the three could go back to their Mukherjee Nagar flat that night and manage to stay there till they got their next rented flat about 15 days later. They did get back their security deposit too — and the brokerage — but the experience has left them shaken and fuming.

As it should all of us.