NATION

COVID-19: 5 Month Rent Holiday For Penioni Sale And Family

Sixty-nine-year-old sole breadwinner Penioni Sale is relieved after his landlord gave his family a five-month rent holiday on Wednesday.
03 Apr 2020 10:24
COVID-19: 5 Month Rent Holiday For Penioni Sale And Family
From left: Tenant Penioni Sale with his daughter Sera Tuicakau and wife Olivia Matanisiga. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Sixty-nine-year-old sole breadwinner Penioni Sale is relieved after his landlord gave his family a five-month rent holiday on Wednesday.

Mr Sale, who has been working in the tourism sector for 45 years, was one of those employees in the industry whose jobs were affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Sale said he was really touched by the landlord’s selfless gesture.

His landlords Opposition member of Parliament Anare Jale and his wife Emele Duituturaga said Mr Sale’s situation was beyond his control and they simply wanted to help ease the burden for him and his family of eight.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun yesterday, Ms Duituturaga said they had been analysing the economic situation and were aware of the difficulty hospitality workers were facing.

“When he met with my husband yesterday (Wednesday) my husband sensed the heavy burden and pain he was in when he relayed that he had lost his job,” Ms Duituturaga said.

The couple decided to give their tenant a rent holiday after he told them that the money he had was only enough to feed his family.

“That’s when my husband decided in line with our prior discussion to give him a rent holiday from April to the end of August. It’s about five months and we also told him that we will not recover that rent anytime in the future and that was our contribution,” Ms Duituturaga said.

“He has been a faithful tenant; he’s been paying his rent on time and he has also looked after the home well.”

The couple encourages other landlords to follow suit and give relief to their tenants, who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The whole country is in a very difficult situation and we just want to encourage other landlords to do the same. I’m sure a lot of people have mortgages but the government is saying that you have a mortgage you can get some relief so if we can get some relief why can’t we give our tenants some relief because they’re struggling to make ends meet?

“We are all in this together. My husband just took a 20 per cent cut in his wages and I don’t get a regular fortnightly wage but we are better off than other people. No matter how small we can offer relief and help everybody because having a roof over your head is very basic security.

“Right now, the government is telling everyone to stay home and if people can’t afford to pay their rent and they get sent out on the street it doesn’t make sense.”

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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