TIRUCHY. ‘The Lord works in mysterious ways,’ goes the saying. For some tenants near Tiruchy, it was as if “the Lord” appeared in the guise of landlord when their monthly rent was waived. An owner of four building complexes in Thuvakudi near Tiruchy, 51-year-old Balamurugan didn’t think twice when some of his tenants, most of them daily wage workers, brought sweat-laced notes to pay April’s rent.
“I know how much they are suffering without any income during the pandemic. This is the least I can do,” says the landlord, who runs a grocery shop on a rented property.
Balamurugan has 14 tenants including construction labourers, salesmen and catering workers. Among them, only two have a steady income.
“I depend on daily wages. When I went to the landlord to pay the rent, he refused to take it. I felt so good because I could use it for daily expenses,” says Nirmala Devi, a tenant who works in a catering company. By renting out small houses (375 square feet), Balamurugan earns Rs 36,000 per month of which Rs 25,000 goes as EMI for housing loan.
Even though he used to earn around Rs 20,000 per month from the shop, the lockdown has affected his profits.
“It was a little tough to manage without the rent, but it is okay,” says Balamurugan. He also teamed up with some friends and provided groceries to needy people. “It was my mother who taught me to help others,” says Balamurugan.