The government of Punjab has withdrawn its notification that stopped landlords from collecting rent on their properties during the coronavirus lockdown.
The notification issued in this regard on April 10, was rolled back with the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Momin Agha’s signature. The withdrawal has been made citing difficulties faced by landlords who solely depend on rent collection for their livelihood.
The early notification said that no landlord can evict tenants forcefully, illegally, or without due process of law over non-payment or delayed payment of rent during the lock. The notification was valid for two months, however, the withdrawal has made it null and void.
It came into the provincial government’s knowledge that the notification was exploited by tenants who were well off and could easily afford the rent, as they had stopped paying rents.
However, there were also a large number of daily wagers, laborers who were hit harder by the lockdown and were facing financial constraints to pay rents.
The provincial government now wants to make amendments in the notification in such a way that it only benefits deserving people and protects the rights of low-income tenants or those who have lost jobs, or stopped going to work under the current circumstances.