Paying Guests and co-living space operators are struggling to bring momentum in sales of rental spaces.
Bangalore: Paying Guest (PG) and co-living space owners are struggling to cope with losses post unlock. Bhargavi, owner of Sri Harshitha PG for Ladies said, “We were in debt during the lockdown and there was a loss. Now only 50 PG rooms are occupied out of 180. The occupancy has reduced.”
During the lockdown our PG was non-operational. We opened the PG just recently in February,” said Subbu, owner of Sri Lakshmi Heavens PG for ladies. “The occupancy rate has decreased drastically due to Covid-19 and we are suffering losses. We have reduced the rent of the PGs post unlock in order to get more tenants,” he added.
The occupancy rate of these rental spaces remains low. A co-partner of Cosmos PG said, “During lockdown our PG was only five percent occupied. Some people paid rent while some did not. Earlier we used to give discounts for early bookings but we can’t do that anymore as the market is down and we need to make up for the losses incurred.”
Some PGs are slowly gaining stability in sales as IT companies have started functioning again. People are looking out for rental spaces. “Our PG is 60 percent occupied currently. People are preferring PGs. There is a rebound of sales,” said the co-owner of White House Ladies PG.
The rental or PG operators revenue dropped from 90per centto 10 percent on an average according to a researchby Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS).The sudden shift in requirements and functioning of a PG have not only led to disruptions in these accommodations but also to the relationship between tenants, operators, and landowners according to IIHS.
All stakeholders including tenants and operators have been affected. Some tenants had to relocate to a new space due to a surge in the price of PGs. “During the lockdown, I was paying the rent for the co-living space that I lived in for around two months. I vacated the space in July and shifted to a new space in January as the prices have surged. At the college hostel that I used to live in, two students tested positive for Covid-19, and they were pushed out of the hostel as the college was not willing to take the responsibility,” said a final year student, living in a co-living space.
However, rental property sales are expected to rise by the end of the year. Sharif, a property expert from Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) Group said, “The sales of rental spaces have come down to around 60 percent in Bangalore. The sales might pick up by the end of the year as and when the requirement of such spaces increases.”