Realtor’s murder brings service apartments under radar
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Realtor’s murder brings service apartments under radar

March 7, 2020

Convenient and profitable for owners to rent out as they do not come under commercial tax net

Mysore/Mysuru: The murder of real estate dealer, rowdy-sheeter and a small-time politician Anand alias Vadda Anand in a drunken stupor at a service apartment on Lalithadri Road near Lava Kusha Park at Kuvempunagar in the wee hours of Friday has brought the focus back on mushrooming of service apartments in city and the lack of rules to govern and monitor them. Forty-year-old Anand, a resident of Janatanagar in city, was murdered by his friends due to old rivalry and he was stabbed multiple times on the day of his birthday. 

Service apartment is an easy-money business as they do not come under hotel business category and many rules that are applicable to lodges and hotels do not apply to them. Those who earlier preferred to stay in hotels and lodges are now looking at staying at service apartments due to certain relaxation of rules and regulations, 24/7 facilities available there and less monitoring by the Police and civic authorities. 

High demand

The demand for service apartments is increasing at a fast pace as they offer a wide range of services and amenities like kitchenette, internet, cable and Wi-Fi connections and more for either short-term or long-term stays. It gives the experience of staying at a home away from home. Service apartments have become popular as they are less expensive compared to hotels. This kind of apartments in Mysuru can be rented out for long term as well as short term.

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Such apartments are becoming the best option in cities with flourishing corporate culture. For homely atmosphere, people are opting for service apartments than a five-star hotel. Families too come and stay in these apartments during vacations. Students from abroad, who come on assignments to Mysuru and foreigners who come to learn Yoga also prefer to rent service apartments.

Daily basis rent 

The rent for service apartments is on daily basis and the rent for 1BHK is around Rs. 1,400 to Rs. 2,000 per day and for 2BHK it is Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,000 per day. However, rent for these apartments differs and depends on the location. In Mysuru, service apartments are found in Kuvempunagar, Ramakrishnanagar, Dattagalli, Sharadadevinagar, Gokulam, Vivekanandanagar, Vijayanagar and Hebbal and there are many apartments dotting the Chamundi Hill Road. 

If a person who wants to book a room in a hotel has to produce identity cards and Aadhaar Cards mandatorily, no such thing is required in service apartment. 

Preferring privacy 

While there is no law that prohibits consenting adults from booking a hotel room, many hotels, with the exception of high-end four-and-five-star establishments, are wary of providing rooms to adults who aren’t married. Many establishments insist on seeing either a marriage certificate or identity proof before checking couples in. Moreover, cases of Police intervention make things worse for people who are just seeking some privacy away from prying eyes.

While hotels and paying guest facilities have to submit details of the people staying or have stayed in their rooms, no such requirement is demanded from service apartments and as such, some service apartments have become a safe haven for people who indulge in gambling, prostitution and other illegal activities, Police say. 

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Not under commercial tax net

Almost all service apartments offer kitchenette and mini fridge in all rooms, air-conditioned rooms, food facility with home-cooked dishes, 24-hr check-in and check-out, internet and telephone facilities. They are fully serviced with house-keeping, food and beverages and laundry services. 

The Karnataka Municipal Act 1974 does not bring service apartments under tax net as it is a new concept. Owners find it beneficial to rent out an apartment as a service apartment, rather than as a house. As of now, service apartments pay tax just like any other residential units. Once they are considered commercial centres like hotels and lodges, they must obtain  trade licence from MCC, operate as per commercial norms and pay property tax as per commercial tariff, said an officer in MCC. 

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