KOCHI: At a time when apartment owners’ associations come up with stiff resistance over quarantining people in apartment complexes, a section of flat owners have come forward offering their flats on rental basis for quarantine purposes. It is mainly flat owners who live abroad are taking the bold step of giving their flat to someone who needs assistance.

Harry V S, a resident of an apartment complex at Petta said: “My son who is in Delhi is returning to Kochi next day and he has to go under home quarantine. There are vacant apartments on the same floor of our complex. When we contacted the owner, she agreed to rent out her flat for one month.” The one-month rent comes to Rs 18,000 and Harry has to pay two-month rent as advance.

The owner stipulated that the tenant should pay electricity and other expenses and “also disinfect the entire flat in case my son tests Covid positive”, which Harry considers a fair deal. Neither the apartment owners’ association nor the other people living on the same floor of the building raised an objection to it.

Many flat owners especially those returning from abroad and other states view the situation as a humanitarian crisis. They have seen tragedies unfolding before their eyes in foreign lands, and they understand the yearning to get back home in a better way. Quarantining family members or friends in another flat will be of help to those who take care of them. They can move around in the building and go out and it will in no way cause harm to others.

“I am more than willing to accommodate friends or even provide the flat on rent for those in need. However, some members of the apartment owners’ association are reluctant to allow even flat owners to go under quarantine in the building. I think it’s elitism or display of privilege,” said Aravind Retnakar, owner of an apartment at Jawahar Nagar.

It is mainly senior citizens and their family members or families having small kids who are too anxious and worried about people being quarantined in the apartment complexes. However, it should be noted that they are the same people who generally raise objection against reverse quarantine.

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