Double whammy for tenants

new delhi: Azhar has switched off his mobile phone ever since his landlord in Delhi started calling him asking for rent. Just before the lockdown, he went to meet his family in Muzaffarnagar and got stuck there. "How can I pay the rent when my shop is closed? The landlord is not understanding this. All he wants is money, forget about rent, if the lockdown continues, it would be a survival issue for us" Azhar said.

Azhar is not the only tenant who is facing the problem. Several tenants are seen having issues over rent with the landlords which sometimes turn into arguments.

"My landlord has asked me to vacate if I am unable to pay the rent. Is it justified?" said Mustaqeem, a barber in Jamia Nagar.

Its not just the lower-middle class or the middle class which is facing the heat. A man refused to pay the rent of his 4 BHK accommodation in Gurgaon as his business was shut. Some argued that landlord should waive off the rent while others said that if the tenant can afford a 4BHK then he surely can pay the rent.

It also depends on the nature of earning of the tenant. If he is salaried and is getting the full amount many say its unethical to skip rent. If he is a business owner, it depends on the monthly income and the loss due to lockdown. Many said that they have entered a mutual agreement with their landlord. Moreover, any tenant-landlord dispute is settled in court.

"We have requested our landlord to slash our rent from Rs 15,000 to Rs 9,000 per month. He agreed," Guatam, a tenant said.

Earlier, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal urged landlords to not pressurise tenants to vacate homes. However, the ground reality seems different.

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