In a sigh of relief to thousands of workers living in rented apartments across the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday said that landlords can't force their tenants to vacate and ask for rent during the lockdown period. "Landlords cannot ask for rent for lockdown period from workers living in rented accommodation, cannot ask them to vacate," the MHA said, according to news agency PTI.
The MHA guidelines have come as a big relief for thousands of workers living in rented accommodations in various cities across the country, who were left without jobs and some even facing scarcity of food following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden announcement of nation-wide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.
While some companies have asked their employees to work from home, thousands have been laid off due to the unprecedented crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this, several workers were left without jobs and were being forced by their landlords to pay rent or vacate. However, after MHA's order, the tenants can't be forced by their landlords to pay rent or vacate.
Noida DM asks landlords not to demand rent during COVID-19 lockdown
A similar order was issued by the district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. As per the order, all landlords in the area were ordered to demand rent only after a month. The order also stated that landlords can't ask their tenants to vacate in case they fail to pay the rent.
"Order by which Landlords in Gautambuddhanagar can take rent from workers ( tenants) only after a month. No exodus of workers on rent ground will be allowed in present circumstances. Please ensure and cooperate," District Magistrate BN Singh wrote.
Singh sought the cooperation of the landlords in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that it was important to protect these people and that "no exodus of workers on rent ground will be allowed in present circumstances."