On Monday 16 March, Lebanese MP Tarek El-Merhebi expressed on Twitter that tenants in Lebanon should be exempted from paying their monthly rents during these sensitive times.
Apparently, this is not just an opinion since the MP seems to be ready to act on it, too. This is what he tweeted:
“In light of this health and economic crisis, I am thinking of proposing a law with colleagues to exempt tenants of homes and commercial stores from the monthly rent for a period of three months, as well as exempting three installments for citizens who have housing and industrial loans, an exemption not only from legal prosecution but also exempting the owners from paying the financial and municipal tax due for this year.”
في ظل هذه الازمة #الصحية و #لاقتصادية افكر بتقديم اقتراح قانون مع الزملاء النواب يعمل على اعفاء مستاجري المنازل والمحال التجارية من الاجار الشهري لمدة ثلاثة اشهر كما اعفاء ٣ اقساط للمواطنين الحاصلين على قروض سكنية وصناعية اعفاء مش بس عدم الملاحقة القانونية
— Tarek El Merhebi (@TELMERHEBI) March 16, 2020
Tarek El Merhebi is a member and one of the few young faces in the Lebanese Parliament, and a member of the Political Bureau of the Future Movement. He is the son of the former Minister Talal El Merhebi.
Merhebi’s proposition is on point, and it will be a huge relief for many Lebanese citizens if the government actually goes through with it.
Lebanon officially declared a state of medical emergency a few days ago, so most businesses are shut down and the people are self-quarantined.
This means that a big number of Lebanese aren’t working at the moment and, consequently, they will receive little to no money at the end of March.
This is also adding to their previous struggles with the deteriorating economy of the country, the high taxes, and the dollar exchange rates.
Several campaigns appeared online under the hashtag: Don’t Take This Month’s Rents. This is to encourage owners not to collect March’s rent from their tenants.
But as said, everyone is struggling, so it would be helpful if a convenient law, that protects both the owner and the tenant, is issued soon.