COVID-19: Virus rent relief plan

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Premila Kumar. Picture: RAMA/FILE

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission is developing a policy aimed at providing relief to tenants who are renting during the COVID-19 crisis.

This, according to Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar.

She said the ministry and FCCC were in discussion on the issue.

“I’ve asked FCCC to work out a policy because we do have distress of rent and I know there are a number of consumers who are facing this difficulty,” she said.

“If they don’t have a job then the question is how will they pay rent?

“We are trying to work out a policy that would provide some relief to tenants as well as residential landlords.”

Ms Kumar said the ministry understood the complexities surrounding the issue.

“It is a very difficult situation because as a residential landlord they will also have an argument and say that ‘it is my property and it’s up to me how I decide regarding that particular flat — whether I want to give it out for tenancy or do I want to give it to my son or daughter to come and live in it.

“We are trying to find the balance between the tenants as well as the residential landlords. It is a

very difficult process and we don’t want the residential landlords to lose out, but at the same time we want to provide that relief to the consumers,” she said.

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