Nepal | August 06, 2020

Lockdown relief for tenants

Supreme Court tells government to ensure they don’t get evicted for not paying rent for the period

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The Supreme Court has issued an interim order telling the government to ensure that no landlord evicts a tenant for failing to pay rent in the face of coronavirus pandemic.

A division bench of justices Tej Bahadur KC and Kumar Regmi issued the order in response to a writ petition filed by Central Chair of OBC Federation Gajendra Thakur and others against the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

The court observed that the issue of rent was a matter to be settled between tenants and landlords on the basis of their mutual understanding, consent and humane thinking and the government should ensure that tenants were not evicted from their rented place just because they had not been able to pay rent for the lockdown period. The SC also ordered the government to ensure that no tenant was subjected to mistreatment by landlords for not being able to pay rent for the lockdown period.

The apex court also asked the government to tell local bodies to monitor and supervise the court’s order. The court observed that the government should not deny anybody relief announced during lockdown just because somebody does not have a receipt of house rent.

The petitioner had urged the court to issue an interim order to landlords telling them not to seek rent from hair salon operators since they had been barred for operating since the lockdown was imposed. The government had imposed lockdown on March 24 and lifted it on July 21 with some restrictions.

The apex court observed that it did not need to issue an interim order telling landlords not to seek rent from hair salon operators for the lockdown period as the issue would be addressed in the final hearing of the case.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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