VIJAYAWADA: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic,'to-let' boards have sprung up at many houses and commercial places in Vijayawada. In several residential areas, where house rents have touched an all-time high before the pandemic, many houses became vacant. Several property owners, who earlier leased their spaces for both residential and commercial purposes, are now looking for tenants to occupy their premises.
In fact, in May and June every year, many people will vacate their rented houses in the city due to transfers. However, this year, people on a large scale have vacated their houses due to the killer virus, which has crippled all the sectors.
Be it Krishna Lanka, Satyanarayanapuram, Machavaram, Bhavanipuram, Yanamalakuduru, Christurajapuram, and Mogalrajapuram, where house rents are affordable for the common man, many people have vacated their houses and left for their hometowns.
Many house owners stated that migrant workers, competitive exam aspirants and families shifted to their hometowns during the lockdown period after vacating their rented houses in the city.With uncertainty continuing to prevail, several property owners are ready to cut down the rentals, but couldn’t find suitable tenants.
Retired RTC employee N Seethapathi Rao, whose tenants vacated the flat in Maruthi Nagar during the pandemic, said, "My tenant, who is a private school teacher, had been staying in my flat for the last six years. Due to financial problems incurred during the pandemic, he vacated it as he was not in a position to pay Rs 12,000 rent for the 2BHK flat."
He added that he didn’t even force his tenants to pay the rent during the pandemic and suggested him to pay at least half the rent amount from March. "Till now, two families have stayed in my flat and I never thought of leasing the flat to bachelors and students. With no option left, I have decided to rent the flat for bachelors as we also need to survive," he said.
Another house owner, J Prakash Kumar at Moghalrajpuram, said that his tenant vacated his two bedroom portion on top of his house in the first week of April. "Since then, some people have approached us, but they turned back without occupying the portion even though rent was reduced to Rs 10,000 from Rs 15,000 earlier," he said.
"Several people are vacating their houses in the city as they are not in a position to meet their daily needs. A section of the public, who can’t afford the rents above Rs 10,000 per month, are preferring to stay at the city suburbs such as LBS Nagar, Kandrika, Rajiv Nagar, Gollapudi and Enikepadu," said Ch Jagadeesh, a rental agent.
Several companies vacate office space
Apart from the houses, several office space in the city are also gradually becoming vacant as many firms have given ‘work from home’ option to their employees since the beginning of the pandemic
Also a few firms are contacting rental agents to shift their office premises to small spaces from the existing ones to reduce the operational costs