Landlords face tenant crisis

  • আপডেট টাইম : November 29 2020, 22:49
Landlords face tenant crisis

Amdadul Haque:

City’s landlords are facing serious financial hardship for eighth moths due to acute tenant crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from the capital Dhaka, landlords of other metropolitan cities and district towns are also going through the same critical juncture.

In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of common people left the city and they have not returned yet.  

As a large number of residences in city and other metropolitan cities and district towns remain vacant, placards containing ‘To-Let’ are seen almost everywhere from the posh area to common one.

As many landlords rent their house out to a get quick cash money to bear his or her family and other expenditures.

Besides, many other also consider the renting house as an investment which gives them financial supports for long.

It found that many middle- and lower-income families are leaving their current residence to move to cheaper accommodation, while many others are leaving Dhaka, unable to afford housing in the city anymore.

As the pandemic situation continues to deteriorate and second wave started, landlords are passing a difficult time with no one willing to rent their vacant flats.

Mashuk Ahmed, a landlord owning five apartments at Lalmatia in Mohammadpur, said, “My four apartments have remained vacant since May. The previous tenants had shifted to cheaper places, and no new renter has come yet.”

The rent for a single apartment Mashuk owns is Tk20,000, excluding service charges.  The landlord has never gone through such a crisis of renters.

As the coronavirus pandemic is racing around with no sign of stopping anytime soon and new fear of second wave started, searching for new accommodation or shifting houses has become very difficult. The internal cause is that many tenants under the spectre of losing employment cannot afford to rent costly accommodation anymore.

Dilara Jahan, a flat owner who manages 3 apartments at New Baily road, said two of her apartments had remained vacant for the last six months. And some of the current renters in the remaining apartments had informed her that they would move elsewhere in December. Some others are delaying rent payments.

“One of the renters, a school teacher, left my apartment in October after he failed to run the school with neither any student nor donation. This month, he has shifted to a classroom of the school with his family members,” Dilara said.

This correspondent, while walking through the streets of Mohammadpur, Lalmatia and Dhanmondi area on Sunday, saw a lot of to-let signs and posters on notice boards of many buildings.

Many flat owners were unwilling to speak about their financial crisis. However they expressed frustrations over utility bills and service charges which have to be paid every month, no matter if the flats are empty or occupied.

Experts and affected people said if the landlords do not show lenient view to the tenants and the government does not take step to address the problem, more people will leave the city deteriorating corona situation.

However, a survey report of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) said the house rent in the city on average increased by 16 percent in 2011 while Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics report shows 11 percent rise in inflation in the year. The report also says house rents in the capital have increased by 249.62 percent in the last 19 years. The house rent in the capital jumped by 23 percent in 1991.

The house rent rose by 15.83 percent in 2011 compared to that in 2010. House rent of a two-room flat in a concrete building increased by 13.27 percent, tin-shed by 14.71 percent, bachelor house by 17.39 percent and slum house by 17.95 percent in the year while 14 percent in 2006, 22 percent in 2007, 21 percent in 2008 and 15 percent in 2009.

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