Suspend rent and mortgage payments during Covid 19 pandemic South Africa

Suspend rent and mortgage payments during Covid 19 pandemic South Africa

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Nina-Mari Grobler started this petition to South African Parliament

The current lockdown and restrictions that have been put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, although very important, are having a devastating effect on people who are experiencing an income loss as well as on small businesses. We appreciate that some measures have been put in place, but a big concern for many people remains, namely rent payment.

 

Although evictions won’t happen until the lockdown is ended, people need reassurance that they will not be evicted during any time while Covid 19 is still a big threat to public health.

 

We also appreciate that some banks might allow for pauses or suspensions of mortgage payments, but this is not an assurance that tenants who pay rent will also be provided for. Measures have to be put in place to ensure that landlords also take steps to provide relief to tenants who cannot afford some or all of their current rent costs.

 

A pause on rent and mortgage payments, as well as eviction proceedings, while the pandemic continues to interrupt regular income, will provide a massive relief to people who are in a very difficult situation right now. It could save small businesses and rescue some people from becoming homeless after the lockdown is over. The following is a letter intended to be presented to the parliament.

Letter:

As South Africans, we applaud the steps taken by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 and we are grateful that the situation is being take seriously. Unfortunately, one of the results of the current restrictions and regulations is that many people are experiencing income loss  which means they are unable to pay rent and small businesses find themselves having to close down temporarily because they cannot afford rent payments. We, the undersigned, ask that a temporary pause be placed on the collection of rent and mortgage payments as well as eviction proceedings in order to provide relief to people who may end up homeless and to small businesses. This pause must not only be for the lockdown period, but must be continued for as long as the pandemic threatens people’s livelihoods. 

 

Some banks may already be placing pauses on mortgages and in the case of this, we ask that measures be put in place to ensure that landlord also provide suspensions or pauses on rent for tenants.

 

In Italy, rents have been reduced for shop owners and non-salaried workers can request that their mortgage payments be suspended for 18 months if they can prove that their incomes fell by a third.

 

Some cities in the US have placed a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments as well as eviction proceedings.

 

In the UK, some banks have paused mortgage payments for people who have tenants affected by the pandemic.

 

Many other countries are offering monetary relief to help people pay their rent.

 

People need to be at home and isolated as much as possible even after the lockdown and without homes, they cannot do that. We need assurance that renters will not be evicted during these difficult times and find themselves unable to protect themselves or others from the spread of this virus. A pause on mortgages could help landlords give temporary relief to their tenants.

 

Small businesses are the bread and butter of many South African citizens and if many have to close down over missed rent payments, many more South Africans will lose their employment and their income. 

 

A pause on mortgage, rent and eviction could help everyone get through this time just a little bit easier.

 

We thank you for your time in reading this letter.

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