Dear Zimbabwean Landlord, You Need To Reduce Your Rentals…

If you didn’t know that Zimbabwe has been going through a rough patch economically then I’d love to know under which rock you have been hiding. Since the end of 2014 cash has not been flowing as smoothly as it used to and to all those on the ‘food chain’ both big and small.

As such, this is me trying to reach out to all landlords, on behalf of all tenants, to have a rethink about your rental charges.

House, cottage, rentals reduced

Yes, this is your property. You made sacrifices for it and now want to benefit from the fruits of your labour, you want a return on your investment, I totally agree. I also understand that I could pack up and go live somewhere else if I’m not happy with your terms and conditions.

But something we all need to agree on is that after the ‘hyper-inflationary’ period Zimbabweans did not know how to charge in the more stable US$. Prices were high, including rentals, as this was marginally adopted from the instability of the Zimbabwe dollar. The ‘hyper-inflation mentality’ ruined us and we’re yet to recover 7 years later.

For some time now, Zimbabwe has been experiencing what is known as ‘deflation‘. This is the situation where you are now able to buy more with your dollar than you could last year. Prices for various goods and services have been going down and this has created a challenge: someone who bought their goods last year, at say $100, now has to sell at $80 because goods have become cheaper, thus making a loss.

Added to this we saw a retrenchment craze that took place starting from July 2015 with the ‘landmark labour ruling’. Companies, faced with a host of challenges, had to ‘right size’ and layoff workers in order for them to stay afloat and remain in business. The laying off of workers had a ripple effect on the economy, as there are now fewer people that are getting a consistent income, translating into fewer people now spending on goods and services.

There are numerous other factors that have changed for the worse since 2014. The weakening of the South African Rand has seen relatives in South Africa being unable to send money back home, because for them to send R500 (that can do a lot for them there) it ‘only’ equates to $31 here, which is at best a couple of days meals. When things are cheaper outside the country, many opt to import stuff (valuable currency going out the country) as opposed to buying local (less money circulating here) thus worsening the situation.

That there is less money circulating Mr Landlord, many have less disposable income to pay for stuff – rentals included. This has now caused a number of tenants to default on their monthly dues as they battle to make ends meet. It is better to get less money from someone who is going to pay, then to keep your rentals at a higher amount and go for months without receiving a bond coin.

I’m not trying to arm-twist you to reduce your rentals, I just want to share with you the realities on the ground.

Oh, should all be ok with you, I think I can now come through and pay last month’s rent…

Consider sharing this post, so that hopefully more landlords can see it and take heed – Share to WhatsApp (mobile only), Twitter, Facebook.

Now Check Out: 7 Awesome Tips On How To Spend Less Money In Zimbabwe…

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