With many houses falling to ground in the April 25 Gorkha earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, getting a rented room has become a challenging task in Kathmandu.
The day-to-day life of many people living temporarily in the capital for various reasons including for work, studies and business has been hampered in the management of their rented room, which was also damaged in the quake. Many people left for their home towns while some are living under tents since the quake struck.
Furthermore, some of the tenants have complained of the landlord’s decision to hike the rent charge following the quake. The Hello Sarkar, a hotline telephone service of the government, has been receiving increasing complaints of people not getting a room on rent and landlords charging them exorbitantly.
However, there are also some landlords who actually waived a month’s rent considering the sufferings that their tenants suffered. “The quake actually also helped improve relations between the landlord and the tenants as they were all together inside the same tent during and after the quake”, says Rupesh Yadav, originally from Saptari and now living in Kirtipur of Kathmandu.
Uttima Bhandari, who owns a house in Kalanki, said she decided to waive a month’s rent so as to provide some relief to her tenant who suffered loss during the quake. “This was a time for everyone to come to one another’s rescue”, she said.
Meanwhile, many people who are living on rent in higher floors in the capital houses too have been searching for rooms in the first or second floor. “Though the house I was living did not suffer any damage, I was living in the fourth floor and hence I am looking for a room in the lower floors so that I can run out soon after an earthquake strikes”, says Hari Adhikari from Dhading. Adhikari has been running a vegetable business in Kathmandu.
It may be noted that the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a statement urging all house owners in the capital and urban centres not to raise the rent amount. However, with renting service yet to come under the local authorities’ radar, enforcing the directive is a challenging task as well. RSS