COVID19 To Increase Cost Of Managing Properties – Rajiv Ruparelia

Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Ruparelia Group COURTESY PHOTO Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Ruparelia Group

Real estate developers and property managers will have to spend money on new costs that have arisen during the coronavirus (COVID19) global pandemic, Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Ruparelia Group Saturday said during a webinar organized by India Business Forum.

Rajiv, who under Ruparelia Group, manages the country’s leading property management firm Crane Management Services and property developers Meera Investments, said the pandemic has created new costs that building owners must now incur.

“The cost of operating these properties is going up. We now have to make buildings safe and with proper hygiene. You have to provide sanitizers and a temperature gun at every entrance. You have to employ people to oversee these procedures. These are all costs,” Rajiv said.

Rajiv, discussing the topic Survival of Business (real estate) Post Covid-19, noted that the real estate market is going to shrink. We are going to lose tenants, he said, adding that many industries will not survive the pandemic or might delay coming back to normal.

He advises that property developers and managers need to talk to their tenants in an attempt to have a solution especially when arrears are involved. Ruparelia Group has waived penalties on late payment of rent and has deferred arrears to three months and six months for big tenants like those occupying warehouses.

He requested that government waives property tax and ground rent in order to incentivize real estate investment.

Tashin Morjaria, the executive director of Orient Bank Uganda revealed that while the real estate market for residential houses is still stable, that of commercial buildings has received a bashing due to the effects of the pandemic.

Going forward, Morjaria suggested that companies need to put in place a contingency plan that addresses pandemics. We should re-strategize how we do business, he said.

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