While some landlords have offered flat reductions in rents to people staying in their residential buildings, others have asked their tenants to provide them a part of the rent now, and pay them the rest later.
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“My landlord has been kind enough to reduce the rent after he had learnt I had gotten a salary reduction,” he said. “All he wanted was a letter from the company stating the same. After providing him with that, a reduction of close to 40 per cent reduction has been given to me.”
“I am really glad that he understood my situation and offered to help me out by reducing the rent. In times like these, reduction in rents are a huge support,” he added.
An Omani who lived in Qurum also received similar treatment. “My landlord knew of the financial troubles people have at the moment because of the coronavirus, so he gave me two options. He offered a choice between reducing my rent by 40 per cent immediately, with the rest payable whenever I could afford to, or I could accept a 20 per cent reduction in rent and he would do away with paying the rest of the amount due.
“I chose the first option because yes, I am having a tough time with the rent, but my landlord is being nice enough to offer me a reduction now so I need to pay it back, otherwise he will have problems as well,” he said.
Ahmed Al Hooti, a board member at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and its head of economic research, said many companies that owned buildings had approached his organisation to discuss with the concerned authorities the possibility of reducing rents.
“The government has been asking those ministries that own residential buildings in which flats are rented out to families, to reduce their rent, because the cost of living in these flats is currently too high for the tenants to afford, ever since their salaries were reduced to the ongoing COVID-19 problems. They have asked this to be done for both Omanis and expats.
“We get many requests from tenants and building leasers to ask companies and landlords to intervene on their behalf to reduce the rents,” added Al Hooti. “So far, it has worked in the case of commercial establishments, and we hope that it will be extended to residential buildings as well.”
A senior employee at a leading real-estate firm in Oman did say that they had received many requests from tenants to reduce the rents of their properties, at least for the time being, or offer a deferment of rents due for the coming months.
“We are a property management company, so we do pass on any requests we receive to the owners of the buildings we manage,” he explained. “We have received requests from the commercial and residential buildings that come under our property management portfolio, and have passed them on to the concerned owners. Some of them are coming up with a plan to help their tenants.”
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