Tribune News Service
Bathinda, October 11
When the pandemic began in March, most house owners in Bathinda did not expect that in the months to come their regular source of income in the form of rent would get jeopardised. To-let boards have become a common sight in the district now as many businesses have closed down and there are no takers for buildings on rent these days.
Around 90 per cent of the 200 centres here were operating from rented accommodation as in pre-Covid times this business was flourishing. Over the years, Ajit road in the city had become a hub of ILETS and coaching centres, but now after facing huge losses, many centre owners have vacated the buildings.
Even paying guest and house rent business have seen a slump. Many houses in Jujhar Singh Nagar, Ajit road and Power House road are vacant. These PG accommodations housed a large number of students coming from the Malwa region and also from the adjoining areas of Haryana and Rajasthan, but now lying closed for the past six months. Even many people who shifted to Bathinda city from villages and were staying in rented houses there, have returned due to salary cut, job loss or facing loss in business.
Even commercial complex rentals and city’s office market was on a strong footing with a robust momentum in demand till the first quarter of this year. However, as businesses faced disruptions, office space market and building rent felt the pinch and went into the decline mode. Many deals faced delays and new enquiries were put on hold.
Guriqbal Singh, a property dealer, said, “Many building and house owners are approaching us because their tenants have vacated. Rents have come down because most owners are ready to take lower rates. They feel it is better than leaving the building vacant,” he said. This problem will aggravate in the coming days as more small retail and restaurant businesses may be forced to permanently vacate their commercial spaces as they can no longer afford them.
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