Published: 09th May 2020
Delhi students write to Kejriwal, demand rent waiver until the lockdown ends
The Delhi government had previously issued an order asking landlords to waive off the rents. However, it was valid only until April 29
The Students' Tenants Union Delhi, a group formed to connect with student tenants across Delhi has written a letter to the Cheif Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking him to waive off the rents for student tenants until the lockdown is lifted. During the beginning of the lockdown, the Kejriwal government had issued an order which had asked the landlords to not demand rent from their tenants for a month. However, this order was valid only until April 29.
The Union has not only put forward the demands of the students but also asked the government to pay a compensatory amount to the landlords, who are dependent only on the rents for their survival. "Since many students are facing issues related to the payment of rent and eviction, we request the concerned authority to issue a revised order as soon as possible and explore the possibility of a rent waiver for students and compensate to the landlords by the government for the period of the lockdown," reads the letter.
Students have been earlier threatened to leave even during the lockdown or have been asked to pay the rent even if they are not currently living there. "A lot of these students are on the verge of being evicted from their accommodations. The lockdown has left a lot of them and their parents without an income and they have no means of paying the rent. They also have nowhere to go if they get evicted since we are under lockdown," says Varkey Parakkal, a Delhi University student and a member of the union. "Also, the previous order from the government had no clarity on rent waiver and the landlords can demand rent from the tenants for the previous and current months after the lockdown," says Varkey, who is also a member of the SFI Delhi State Committee.
The union has also set up a helpline for students who are evicted or are on the verge of eviction. "We have intervened in a few cases and got the landlords to agree on a rent waiver. Previously, we would receive two to three calls every day. However, these days, we get 10-15 calls per day," says Varkey.