The demonetisation exercise has severely shaken up the rental business in Chennai, which is almost entirely run on cash transactions.
House-owners and real estate brokers are vexed, cracking as their usual mode of doing business has been vastly inconvenienced by the November 8 move. On the other hand, tenants are worried about the mode to payment for their December rent. In the past several years, many house-owners in Chennai have taken the ten-month advance and monthly rentals in the form of cash.
Mr. Balaji’s friend S. Sathish said that till date, dealings were not transparent in the rental businesses, but now transactions will have to be made in white.
“Even after demonetisation, my house-owner has made it very clear that I pay this month’s rent in cash, even if I was only able to pay it late.” Balaji’s house-owner had just one apartment that he has let out for rent but there are several for whom rental incomes run into lakhs of rupees every month.
“Landlords who own a portion or two use the rental money to meet their household expenses. They find it difficult to handle the huge money that they collect,” said R. Prabhu, a mediator specialising in locating rental property.
A broker from Saidapet, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “The peak period for brokers is between the 20th and 28th of every month. We get several enquiries and we connect people to house-owners. The last ten days have been gloomy. People who come request us to inform house-owners to accept cheques,” he said. Brokers who were getting 10-20 enquires per day are hardly getting one now. Tenants, who so long have been paying their rent by cash, are now requesting landlords to accept cheques. While some of landlords do not complain, others have a problem accepting bank transfers or cash.
Credits The Hindu