With the COVID-19 cases increasing every day and Chandigarh administration giving cautious relaxations in the curfew in the city sans the six containment zones, the pre-coronavirus life is still nowhere to be seen. The repercussions of this dreaded disease has started hitting hard people financially in Chandigarh. One lesser talked segment of people are the outstation students living in PGs in Chandigarh.
There have been reports how students are forced to pay rent or vacate their paying guest accommodations. Most of them are not even in their PGs as have left for their homes. However, the students allege that they are unable to pay rent and landlords are forcing them to take away their belongings from their allotted rooms.
What do the rules say?
In an order released by Ministry of Home Affairs on March 29, it was clearly stated that ‘owners cannot ask for rent for a month and in case of non-payment, a student cannot be evicted’. In the absence of any instructions from the administration thereafter, confusion has ensued. Manoj Parida, UT Adviser, has said that Chandigarh administration will decide on the future course of action after receiving clear directions from the centre government.
Distressing experiences of students at the hands of landlords
Many students share their experiences of being coaxed by landlords with the Hindustan Times.
- Sector 22- A girl living in PG owned by Joginder Mahajan reached out to Chandigarh Police complaining the landlord was forcing her to pay rent or vacate the accommodation. He was issued a warning by Chandigarh Police.
2. Phase 9, Mohali: Student living in PG on monthly rent of Rs 11,000 cannot keep paying till August, when her college is expected to resume classes.
3. Sector 11, Panchkula: The student was given an eviction notice and asked to vacate by the month end as she and her roommates had not paid their dues.
4. Sector 19, Chandigarh: As reported in Hindustan Times, a student said, “My landlord is forcing me to pay rent for two months. I paid half the rent thinking they are dependent on us. But, they are still forcing us to pay the entire amount otherwise and threatening to give us a month’s notice to leave the place.”
5. Another student of DAV College, Chandigarh said, “When I told my landlord that I won’t be able to pay rent, he asked me to collect my belongings and leave. I am based in Delhi, how can I go back now with no transport available?”
Chandigarh colleges and Panjab University Students’ Forum have showed concern on this issue and requested a waiver in this hour of crisis.
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