COVID-19 pandemic is causing increased stress to people across the globe and Chennai is no exemption as there are complaints that COVID positive tenants are being forced to vacate houses by house owners.
Social activists and political parties condemn this attitude. "Due to the shortage of beds, the State government send asymptomatic patients into home quarantine, ranging from 7 to 14 days. Such houses are sealed and this prompts house owners to force these tenants to vacate," said VMS Mustafa, founding president, Tamil Nadu Muslim League.
He added that in case of institutional quarantine, the patient is put up in institutions and their family members are forced to stay in their houses, which are also sealed. "There have been complaints about house owners forcing familied to vacate while patients are admitted to hospitals. The government should interfere and take action against such landlords," said Mustafa.
Social activists claim that there are rules to prevent house owners from forcing the tenants to vacate. "If the Disaster Management Act is invoked, house owners cannot force tenants. Moreover, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had already instructed house owners not to force their tenants to vacate during the lockdown and even requested them not to collect rent," said M Kalaiselvi, founding president, Tamil Nadu Sudeshi Women Protection Association, an NGO based in Chennai.
When Revenue officials were contacted, they said that rules are in place and if a complaint is made, action will be taken. "The Corporation had already issued stringent guidelines to house owners. The public can contact any Corporation official regarding this," said an official attached to the Revenue Department.