Tenants are no better than dogs in Kathmandu. Not the dogs that humans keep as pets but the street dogs popularly known as pariahs. There are treated with no proper dignity and they only benefit for the landlord who believe them a means of revenue where they can live a live of opulence and subjugate the human spirit in them.
Tenants live in the same house as that which the landlord lives but in deplorable conditions with no proper sanitation and water while at the same time most landlords live in the top most floor with all the modern amenities. There is not shortage of water for them. They sewage comes down and the toilets which at most times is shared among many tenants of the same floor does not get enough water to be flushed.
All the while on the beginning of the new month the landlord comes demanding for his rent and what more the electric bill which in most cases is ganged to his consumption. You might have to pay for water as well when you do not get a drop of it.
I must say that the rent is beyond what most people can afford as so they live with a number of family members sharing the same room. There are a number of families in the same floor which is called a flat. There is disturbance and each one is cutting the next one’s throat. The landlord plays god then and kicks the one out who is not in his favour as he knows replacements are easy to get.
As one shifts out there is another one ready to hop into his place. If in case you want to live in a single flat it is way beyond your salary, sometimes three or four times more. The best part of it all, no tax is paid to the government for making such vast incomes.
Even if you manage to take an individual flat. You have to do your own maintenance and in some case have to fetch water from public sources where you need to wait for hours along with those who live in one rooms. The only benefit is that you have your own toilet with no water to flush the pot.
Most times the flats which you get are the ground floors and you have to make do with the disturbance of the landlord or the person who he rents out the space in front of your window to part his car. They will return in the middle of the night with all the noise and pollution of their vehicle and you need to bear their dirty or take the walking ticket.
You will never be compensated for the harm they will do to you if you try to fight back but will show that you are in the wrong. For the landlords in Kathmandu exist with impunity whether it is legally or rationally. The people who live on rent are second class citizens with not legal rights, just like street dogs.
Steven William Pitts