Property Head-to-Head: Mumbai versus Chennai

We head to Asia for our latest city head to head, looking at life in both Mumbai and Chennai, with a focus on relocating and finding a rental property.



Depending on which list you read, Mumbai is in the top 6 of the world’s largest cities in terms of population. It serves as the financial and commercial heart of India, and is home to colossus institutions including Deloitte, Unilever and J.P Morgan. The city, formerly known as Bombay, is also known for its contrasting cultures and classes, as well as its multi-billion rupee Bollywood film industry.

  • Where? Mumbai is the capital of the Maharashtra state, located on the west coast of India overlooking the Arabian Sea. Debate still rages as to whether Mumbai is an island or a peninsula but whichever is correct, the seven main islands make for an attractive setting.

  • Premium addresses: Mumbai is India’s most expensive city in terms of real estate, with gated compounds and soaring skyscrapers juxtaposing with slums and co-living chawls. Bandra is a popular location for upscale relocators, while you’re likely to bump into Bollywood stars as much as businessmen at Peddar Road and Malabar Hill. Worli and Lower Parel are well connected to offices, while Lokhandwala Complex is known for its 24-7 buzz.

  • Average rental costs: The cost of renting in Mumbai has always been heavily affected by location: proximity to the beach, the business district and the length of commute but the impact of the pandemic is also showing in property statistics. Despite this, Mumbai remains the most expensive city in India in which to rent. reports that a two-bedroom apartment set just outside the city center or in the suburbs will set you back approximately INRs 40,000-50,000. Edge closer to the city centre and a one-bedroom apartment nudges INRs 60,000, while you’re looking at in excess of INR 80,000 for three bedrooms.

  • Schools in Mumbai: Education is taken extremely seriously in Mumbai, and there is intense competition to secure places at the very best performing facilities. These include Campion School, The Cathedral and John Connon School, The J.B Petit High School for Girls and R.N Podar School. Relocators with families love the strong international school scene, with Ecole Mondiale World School, Ascend, Dhirubhai Ambani, Seven Rivers, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School and Podar International School achieving stand-out success.

  • The rental process: Rental choice in Mumbai is bewildering, with thousands of results from internet searches. The deposit is everything, so expect to be asked for six to 12 months’ rent upfront as security, and gazumping is also rife – higher offers may be accepted right up until moving day. In addition and differing from the UK, Indian tenancy agreements for expats can be prescribed for a minimum of 2-3 years, and tenants can expect rents to rise by 5% every year. Changes in the country maybe afoot, however, as the Indian Government is close to approving its Draft Model Tenancy Act 2019. As a result, our agents in Mumbai are indispensible when trying to broker the right tenancy agreement for professionals.



Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is renowned for its quality of life, diverse culture and burgeoning number of IT parks, which have become home to blue chip businesses including Dell, Sony and Nokia. As a centre of high economic output, job opportunities in IT/ITes, manufacturing and finance are in abundance.

  • Where? Chennai is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, South India. It’s a city divided into four main zones: North, Central, West and South, with the outskirts referred to as Greater Chennai. It’s setting on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal means residents enjoy miles of sandy coastline,

  • Premium addresses: Chosen for their commutability, lifestyle and location, Nungambakkam, Boat Club, Thiyagaraya Nagar, Purasaiwakkam, Padur, Alwarpet and Choolaimedu are among Chennai’s top residential locations. Relocators are often housed in Chennai’s beautiful villas, with some of the most attractive beach-view options found in Neelankarai and Adyar. If navigating Chennai’s rush hour traffic is of concern, Tambaram East is a great option as it boasts wider-than-average roads.

  • Average rental costs: Marking Chennai out from Mumbai are significantly lower monthly rents. Solo professionals can expect to pay INR 13,166 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, and an average of INR 8,750 for the same type of accommodation in the outskirts, claim Relocators will need an average of INR 32,250 per month for a three-bedroom property in the city center and around INR 17,625 per month in the outskirts.

  • Schools in Chennai: Women’s Christian College, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Chettinad Vidyashram, Chennai Public School, Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Sishya and St Patrick’s Anglo Indian are just a handful of schools in the city known for their dedication to educational excellence. The choice of international schools is equally as impressive, and includes British, American and German International Schools, along with M Ct M Chidambaram Chettyar International School and Vaels International School, to name just two.

  • The rental process: Unlike Mumbai, security deposits are lower in Chennai as the Tamil Nadu Regulations of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act stipulates a deposit must be capped at three months’ rent. A thorough inspection of any Chennai tenancy agreement is essential, as it may contain caveats about overnight guests and the number of people permitted in the household. This is in addition to the aforementioned clauses on rent rises and minimum agreement lengths that also apply in Mumbai. For these reasons, working with our Chennai agents is essential.


If you would like to know more about relocating to Mumbai or Chennai, please contact Klippa for our first-hand advice.


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