Landlords in Noida can’t force tenants to pay rent for one month, orders district magistrate

Updated on Mar 28, 2020 04:11 PM IST

The order was issued by BN Singh, the district magistrate, following reports that migrants workers from the district were going back to their villages as they had no money for food and rent.

The district administration has issued this order in an attempt to stop hundreds of migrants from leaving.(Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)
The district administration has issued this order in an attempt to stop hundreds of migrants from leaving.(Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)
Hindustan Times, Noida | ByPreety Acharya

Landlords in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar cannot force their tenants to pay rent for the month, the district administration has ordered in an attempt to stop hundreds of migrants from leaving after they were forced out of their jobs amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

The order was issued by BN Singh, the district magistrate, following reports that migrants workers from the district were going back to their villages as they had no money for food and rent.

Singh said the order was issued as the movement of migrants can lead to the spread of Covid-19 and it was also important to ensure people have food and roofs over their head.

Landlords can ask for rent after a month or even later if the time period is extended keeping the situation in mind. The order has also said migrants include both daily wage workers and employees of companies engaged in providing essential services.

“We are expecting that this move will encourage migrants to not leave their houses and the district. We will lodge an FIR against the landlords who will not follow the order. Strict legal action will be taken as per the disaster management act,” Singh said.

Under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, a person can be imprisoned up to one year along with a fine and it can reach up to two years if any life or loss of assets takes place following the act of the defaulter.

Also read: Food, shelter in government’s aid plan for migrants amid lockdown

Officials have also provided a helpline number—1120-2544700—for tenants to lodge a complaint if they are harassed by their landlord for the payment of rent.

Migrant workers in the district said the order has come as a relief.

“I live on rent with my family in Shahdara village and we were worried that how are we going to pay the rent on April 1. If the district magistrate’s order is followed then at least we will get some relief,” Maya Rani, who works as a housemaid in a high rise in Noida’s Sector 137, said.

Rani’s family is from Madhya Pradesh but they have decided to stay back.

Also read: Noida fixes vendors for each sector for home deliveries of essentials amid coronavirus lockdown

Sachin Bhati, a painter and resident of Shahdara village in Sector 142, said there are many who live in the area and are trying their best to reach their respective villages following the coronavirus outbreak.

“This decision of the administration is a relief but it will be great if they arrange vehicles for these people to reach their villages. Migrants really want to go back to their loved ones and home to feel comfortable,” Bhati said.

The district administration has also formed committees headed by sub-divisional magistrates to ensure that migrants are getting food and are not harassed by their landlords.

“I have been providing food packets to around 5000 migrants every day. There are migrants in every part of the district whom we are trying to reach out to provide food. Many locals have come forward who are providing for these people,” Rajiv Rai, who is responsible for giving food packets to the migrants, said.

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