Pune: The Maharashtra Government Housing Department has asked house owners across the State to allow their tenants to defer the rentals for three months, owing to the economic crisis due to COVID-19 lockdown.
An order issued by the Sanjay Kumar, department’s Additional Chief Secretary, stated that house owners must not throw out their tenants due to the non-payment of rent due to the lockdown.
“A significant number of people in the State reside in rented houses. As the coronavirus lockdown has led to the loss of livelihood for many, it has become difficult for several to pay their rent. In these cases, the house owners must understand the situation, and postpone the payment of rent up to three months,” the notice said.
Earlier, Sakal Times had reported about it when the students’ community in Pune raised the same issue. The aspirants of civil service examinations who lived in Pune in rented houses were finding it difficult to pay the rent. They also said that their house owners had threatened them with evacuation notice for non-payment of the rent.
“We had left Pune just before the lockdown. I belong to a low economic family, so it was not possible for my parents to continue paying for me when there was no alternate source of income available due to lockdown,” said an aspirant of Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination from Karjat-Jamkhed, who has been taking coaching for the same in Pune.
Request from MPSC
Taking up the issue, the MPSC Students Rights Group had requested the government to look into the matter. They had demanded either for the allowance to delay the rent payment or 50 per cent exemption in rent.
MPSC Student Rights Group’s Mahesh Bade also said that several students staying in Pune during lockdown were struggling to find food itself, so paying rent was impossible for them.
The order from the Housing Department has brought relief to these students and their families.
As the infected toll in the State and India continue to rise, the nationwide lockdown has been extended up to May 3.