KAMPALA —Tycoon Rajiv Ruparelia has expressed fear that Uganda’s real estate business could lose tenants, citing COVID-19 disruptions.
Rajiv whose Ruparelia Group has massively invested in the sector said due to the current lockdown, many of their tenants might not return to their work places over swelling rent arrears and unfinanced loans.
“The real estate business is going to shrink, we are going to lose tenants after the crisis due to rent arrears,” Rajiv said during an online Business Forum organized by the Indian community.
The youthful businessman advised fellow property developers and managers to talk to their tenants in an attempt to have a solution for the issue of arrears.
“As Ruparelia Group, we have waived penalties on the late payment of rent and have deferred arrears to three months and six months for big tenants like those occupying warehouses.”
He further revealed that the cost of operating properties has gone up ever since COVID-19 reached Uganda [because] “you also have to employ people who oversee the procedures of everything”.
President Yoweri Museveni in March this year suspended among others operations of arcades as a way of controlling the spread of the pandemic in the country.