Coronavirus: Telangana govt asks landlords to defer rent collection for 3 months

Violators of GO are liable for punishment under Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and Sections 51 to 58 of Disaster Management Act, 2005

The Telangana government on Thursday directed residential property owners to defer collection of rent from tenants for three months, apparently due to hardships being faced by people following the ongoing lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread.

The District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) under the Chairmanship of the District Collector shall empower the local authorities, including Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and other Municipal Commissioners in their respective jurisdictions to implement the order, a government order (GO) said.

Violators of the GO are liable for punishment under Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and Sections 51 to 58 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, it said.

"...Hereby direct the property owners in the State of Telangana to defer collecting rentals from tenants, wherever the property (permanent, semi-permanent and temporary) isrented for residential purposes, for a period of 3 months w.e.f. March 2020, withoutinterest for the said rented premises and further, to collect this amount ininstalments subsequently after three months," the GO said.

The order said a large section of the population lives in rented accommodation and that rentals constitute a significant proportion of the monthly income, in some cases as high as 40 per cent of the monthly income. These people will be adversely affected, if payment of timely rents is insisted upon by the property owners at this point, it said.

The GO warned that any coercion such as eviction of tenants on account of non-payment of rents would be viewed seriously by the government as it puts the tenants at great risk towards getting infected with the virus by exposing them to unwarranted unknown open spaces.

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