There has been much attention to the challenges facing real-estate developers on account of COVID-19. In contrast there has been little focus on the challenges facing another critical segment of the housing industry – landlords. The Maharashtra government provided a helping hand to developers by slashing stamp duty on August 26th, 2020. For apartment owners in Mumbai, however, things have only moved from bad to worse as rentals continue to slump further.
As the COVID-19 induced lockdown started easing in June there were indications that rents had been trimmed by 15% – 20%. Flexible and smart landlords agreed to re-negotiate rents downwards for a limited period with their existing tenants. The ones who remained stubborn and let go of their tenants have paid dearly with the consequences.