Nigeria

What landlords should do during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm from January this year, and by mid- March, most nation’s began to go on lock down, up till May ending, what this means is that beside government and some big public or private firms’ workers, a lot of folks running small businesses may not be able to generate income, hence surviving will be hard, even after the easing of the lockdown, throughout this year, business will be dull and millions will lose their jobs.

In the West, the government paid for house and office rent for up to three months for their citizens, but in Nigeria this has not happened and it may never happen. We appeal to landlords to have mercy on their tenants (both business and residential) for the next one to two years. This is the period we need to show maximum love. We are not saying the tenants shouldn’t pay rent again, but the landlords can collect rent monthly, quarterly or bi-annually as opposed to the yearly or biennial rent collection which is common in our country.

In the West, they pay monthly. We know most landlords also need the money to survive this period  but they should understand this trying period, some have tenants that have been steadfast for the past five to ten years. Those with enough houses can give three months free rent to tenants and still collect quarterly house or office rent for the next two years. This will ease the burden on the citizens, because the post-COVID-19 era may be very tough economy wise.

COVID-19 is still ravaging the world and its end no one can predict, but we believe that within the next year, a vaccine will be available. This tragedy has never happened for a long time and it may not happen during our life time again; so, let’s be patient and show maximum love. As long as we are alive we shall still make this money, but for the years 2020 and 2021, let us sacrifice. The government should intercede. They should dialogue with landlords on behalf of tenants.

David Atta,

Abuja

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