Editorial: Aftermath of COVID-19, Ownership preferred over Rental Housing

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By Dr Sanjay Murari Chaturvedi, Editor in Chief

Growing grudge among landlords and property owners with tenants is giving more fire to the sentiment of owning a property rather than renting. During the Lock down where entire nation is locked, owners wants their regular income to be paid by the tenants irrespective of any situation including lock down, economic crises etc. Uncertain income with certain expenses like rent, utility bills and to up keep the grocery in homes is biggest task. All the savings are over in paying utility bills.

Although banks have given moratorium period till August 2020, but then what after that? Is the question in the minds of tenants which is compelling them to think to buy the properties instead of renting it. A question of Buy or Rent is always a big question when it comes to office premises. Since office premises can be shifted immediately after giving one month’s notice, big corporate, business persons and professionals are shifting to outskirt of the cities and areas where the rent is less. This Lock down gave us a lesson that we can do the business and profession even from home, so why to waste money on rents? Aftermath of COVID-19, there will be new normal of web meetings instead, so why to spend on costly office spaces?

A big question comes in the minds of tenants that with uncertain incomes can we survive by paying rent every month? The liabilities are mounting hence either shift to lesser rental premises or buy. Lot of cases are been filed or in the pipeline where landlords and owners have given notice to the tenants when the tenancy period is under lock in period. This is the time where Force Majeure clauses to be provided in the lease agreements. Situation beyond someone’s control is one of the factor for impossibility of performing under a contractual obligations. We are waiting for a huge litigation in coming months between owners and tenants of commercial premises. Now, lets see what is the scenario in residential accommodation. In residential accommodation, many landlords have given leverages to tenants either by reducing rent for some time, waiver or even giving time to repay rent on later dates.

Tenants are sailing in the same boat as of a business entity. The uncertain income with certain expenses. Hence sentiments are high for buying instead of leasing. Although much ease is given by govt urging landlords to go easy on tenants but now feeling of owning a house is much stronger, world wide. Chicago, New York, London and Dubai markets have seen spurt in property buying. The same is reflected in Indian cities. After Lock down is over, a huge rush to buy properties is awaited. Housing financiers are gearing up for such a unprecedented rush for home loans. A good time ahead for Real estate in the world.

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