While members of the Muslim community have always known just how difficult it is to get a house on rent, a study has just found out how much more likely it is for a member of the community to be rejected as a tenant.  

Over the past few years, there have been incidents like a Muslim Bollywood actor being unable to buy a house in Mumbai, a civil services entrant having to change his name to rent an apartment in Pune and a blind Muslim professor being denied accommodation in Delhi. But the study by United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), shows just how the odds are stacked against an aspiring Muslim tenant. 

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The study titled ‘For whom does the phone (not) ring?’, was conducted over a period of two months in summer 2015, and co-authored by Saugato Datta and Vikram Pathania. As part of the study, 681 queries were sent to 171 apartments, and calls were received on SIM cards procured for the study.

So what did the study find? 

  • While the probability of a upper caste Hindu applicant getting a response from a landlord is 0.35, while for a Muslim it was a much lower 0.22. It found that it was even harder for a Muslim tenant to get a one bedroom flat than one with multiple bedrooms.
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  • “A Muslim applicant must respond to 45 listings to receive 10 landlord callbacks, while an Upper Caste (Hindu) applicant must respond to only 28.6 listings to receive the same number.”
  • The study also discovered why it was harder for a Muslim tenant to get a one bedroom apartment. It’s because people applying for such flats are perceived as being single and in the case of single Muslim men landlords were more wary of giving them their homes.
  • The study looked at the treatment of SC/ST applicants, and found that they did not face similar discrimination, which could also be because landlords might not identify members from these communities as easily as Muslim ones which had names distinctive to the community, The Indian Express reported.

Feature image source: Reuters