September 22, 2020

when the rent is no longer a slab

Santi, who could not finish the procedures to install the terrace in his Madrid bar, got up on Tuesday with a WhatsApp from his landlady: “Don’t worry, you are exempt from paying the rent in April”. 300 kilometers away, in Zaragoza, Félix told his tenant, now without a job: “These two months, don’t pay me.” Examples of solidarity at a time when the state of alarm about the coronavirus has sowed uncertainty the houses of many citizens who have lost their jobs or have had to roll down the blind in their businesses and have to keep paying the rent. Beyond the measures taken or to be taken by local administrations in the matter of rent, stories such as those of Santi, Félix, Juanjo and Vidalina, or Ana and Jorge teach, probably unintentionally, that lend a hand to the one next doorFor those who can afford it, it is more necessary than ever.

After taking a short vacation in Hervás (Cáceres), Santi was making efforts to open the terrace of his “neighborhood” bar, in the middle of the Ronda de Segovia in Madrid, when the obligatory closure caught him: “In the end I did not open. A bitch. ” But the script turn came on Tuesday, when he looked at his mobile: “I woke up the other day and (my landlady) had sent me a WhatsApp. That I didn’t worry, that was exempt from paying the rent in April” “I have an impressive luck,” he tells Efe. A gesture that, he admits, did not surprise him too much because his landlady is “the pump”, and that comes to him like May water because, although he recognizes that his situation is not so bad because he does not have employees, “those of the hospitality industry are going to be one of the most affected ”.

With the money he earns for renting his apartment in Zaragoza, Félix pays for his 94-year-old mother’s residence. But, when the restrictions began, she did not hesitate to dial her tenant’s number: “I told her: these two months don’t pay me” “It is something that came out, I do not regret it. If I can, why can’t I do it? ”, He explains to Efe, downplaying this action, which will surely take many headaches away from his tenant, a separate cook and with three children. Félix is ​​aware that there are many who cannot afford to forgive the rent because their economy depends on that income, but he asks that “the example be spread” among those who can make that effort: “We all have total uncertainty, what are we going to do? do? Well, help each other. “

This week Juanjo’s mother, Vidalina, called him. He had been talking to Isabel, who has rented the bar for them since Christmas and who “was, poor, annoyed, about the money issue”, and said: “Don’t worry, As long as it’s closed, I’m not going to charge you” From the living room of the house, where his small children scamper and constantly demand him, Juanjo speaks with Efe proud of his mother, already retired. For him, he says, “it is an example.” “I understand that there may be people who may depend on collecting that money to live, but my parents are retired, they can afford it,” says Juanjo, who speaks with some emotion of that bar in the neighborhood of La Calzada, in Gijón, formerly run by his parents, where he grew up.

Ana’s is a different case, but it also shows that there are people who try to make the confinement of the other a little less hard. To her suffers from claustrophobia, he had never entered the “yoke” of the burden because he did not usually spend a long time at home with his partner and his two-year-old girl. However, she began to feel “anguish” shortly before the state of alarm that forced her to confinement, when that “stay home” began to spread, a motto that Greta, her daughter, like most children, neither understands nor wants to understand. “I only see walls”, he came to tell a co-worker and friend. Jorge, his friend’s name is, he did not hesitate: “He called me two or three times. That we should not think about it, that they had canceled all the reservations for March and April in the house that he rents in Teo (A Coruña), a few kilometers from ours, and that we moved there ”. “I am very grateful,” Ana confesses, although with some difficulty, aware that her story is less serious than that of many others. EFE


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