A self-isolation regime has been introduced in Moscow and the regions of Russia, many Russians are in quarantine and cannot leave their homes to work. As a result, the incomes of some of the population began to fall. The consequences of this are already visible on the rental market in Moscow: tenants ask for discounts from landlords, and if they are not given, they move out.
Maria Kutdusova with her husband and two children rents an apartment near the Rechnoy Vokzal metro station in Moscow. Before the crisis, they paid 50 thousand rubles a month for rent. But after the start of the pandemic and the introduction of quarantine, their lives changed.

The family business - a website with a database of real estate under construction - has ceased to generate income. “Since, due to self-isolation, people stopped going to the facilities, the first thing that the developers did was to remove the advertisement,” says Maria.

Property owners began to reduce rental prices
As a result, she asked the landlord for a discount, and after weeks of deliberation, he agreed to reduce the payment to 30 thousand rubles a month. While these conditions are in effect during April, but if the self-isolation regime is extended, the landlord agrees to extend the discount, says Kutdusova.

Stanislav from Moscow (he refused to give his last name) found himself on the other side of this situation. He rented an apartment to the family for 25 thousand rubles in the Moscow district of Perovo. During the quarantine, he said, the tenants left for their native Veliky Novgorod and asked to reduce the fee, since they would not live in the apartment. He gave them a 50% discount.

“It's difficult to find a good tenant,” Stanislav explains his decision. - There are characters who will kill an apartment in a month, and repairs will need to be done. And this one paid for the insurance of the apartment for a year in advance, and re-pasted the wallpaper at his own expense ... Plumbing is always ideally, if something leaks or deteriorates, he changes it to a new one. "

According to him, while the agreement is valid for a maximum of a couple of months, and then the tenant will pay as before. “I myself have only debts. In the form of loans, which no one will cancel me and will not even give me installments, ”says Stanislav.

These are far from special cases: the demand in the rental market has now dropped in almost all segments, except for the cheapest, realtors say. Many people leave their rented city apartments and move to larger houses outside the city.

Demand for rental housing in Moscow fell by 20% since the beginning of self-isolation
“Proposals that are now entering the market are stalled, since there is no demand and activity either in the sale and purchase or in the rental sector,” says realtor Daniil Pyatetsky. According to him, demand "has shrunk dramatically and continues to shrink."

“Landlords are usually willing to consider a rent cut,” the realtor continues. "Now the tenants themselves are offering them to reduce the cost of renting."

“This is happening everywhere, both in the market of economy housing and expensive,” adds Pyatetsky.

Another realtor, Peter Masharov, agrees with him. According to him, in conditions of reduced demand, tenants come up with a proposal for a discount of 10 to 30% - and "everyone goes to these conditions calmly." Demand for the cheapest apartments has even grown, Masharov notes, but for expensive apartments it has fallen sharply.

Forced relocation
But landlords do not always make concessions.

Yana Nekredina, in a discussion in one of the groups on Facebook, writes that, without agreeing on a discount with the landlady, she simply moved out.

Expert: discounts on rental housing in Moscow reached 30% due to self-isolation
In an interview with the BBC Russian Service, she says that she tried to discuss a discount of five thousand rubles from mid-March until April 6. The cost of renting her apartment near Polezhaevskaya was 37 thousand rubles. A woman works as a visiting manicure master, and her daughter works as an administrator in a beauty salon. When both the salon and the company for which Nekredina works were closed, the question of paying for housing arose sharply.

“The hostess says: you are a master, you can run around private clients,” the woman says indignantly. "She throws off posts where manicurists are required, but why should we risk our health?"

In the end, she decided to move out of the apartment. The deposit, which was the amount of the rent, was not returned to her. Nekredina moved to a colleague in Voskresensk and pays her 10 thousand rubles. Thus, she helps her friend pay off the mortgage, the payment for which is 20 thousand rubles a month.

The woman confesses that the other day she had a "Sabbath": she went to Moscow at the request of her clients and gave them a manicure. This allowed her to earn money for groceries.
Valeria Putanova had to move to her native Nizhny Novgorod from Zelenograd, who worked at the point of issue of orders for an online store. She rented an apartment alone for 22 thousand rubles not far from work.

Russians began to take an interest in abandoned houses in villages
“For two people before, we issued about 100 orders a day. When they announced the need to maintain self-isolation, the number of orders dropped to three, and the company decided to close all points of issue, ”says the girl. According to her, 

the income offered by the company during the downtime fell 10 times: her usual salary before the pandemic was 45 thousand rubles, and now she would receive, at best, a little more than four and a half thousand rubles.

“Naturally, I could not continue to rent an apartment. I had to write a letter of resignation and pack my things, ”says Putanova.

She says that she was "embarrassed" to ask for a landlord discount. “I just wrote that now there are difficulties at work, and the landlords allowed the payment to be deferred for April,” she says. - But it is impossible to predict what will happen next with work and whether self-isolation will be prolonged. Therefore, this option did not suit me. "

Now, due to the quarantine situation, a deferral in the payment of rent payments can only be granted by law for non-residential premises in state, municipal or private property.

There is no mechanism in Russian laws that gives an opportunity to get a discount on rental housing, says lawyer and realtor Kirill Ivanov.

In the civil code, he said, there are four articles (416, 417 and 451, as well as part 3 of article 401), which in one way or another talk about force majeure, however, referring to them, you can only cancel the contract of employment , says the lawyer.

The tenant, justifying his actions by the provisions of the code, may move out without notifying the owner of the apartment and unilaterally terminate the contract. At the same time, he must receive his deposit payment if everything is intact in the apartment, Ivanov notes.
The effect of the articles of the civil code, which speak of force majeure, is not affected by whether an emergency regime has been introduced in the country or not, the lawyer notes.

Decline in prices and demand
Studying groups in social networks for renting apartments without intermediaries, the BBC correspondent noticed that prices in the new proposals have been significantly reduced. Some landlords note that the specified price is valid until the end of the crisis - that is, they set it for an indefinite period.

"The market is in a catastrophic situation": demand for real estate fell by 50-70%
The decrease in potential demand (it is calculated on the basis of viewing ads) is indicated by statistics: according to the data cited by the head of the analytical center CIAN Alexei Popov, in Moscow over the past week and a half, a decrease in potential demand by 25-30% has been recorded, and in cities with a million population deeper - by an average of 32%.

“This is due to the difficulties in organizing views, moving, settling. Many negotiations are now on pause, says Popov. "In addition, many tenants now do not understand what will happen to their income after the pandemic ends, which makes it difficult to make any decisions at the moment."

According to CIAN's observations, the offer is not growing either for the reason that “most landlords are skeptical about the possibility of renting out an apartment right now,” and some adhere to the self-isolation regime and do not want to contact other people (agents and potential tenants).

At the same time, CIAN has not yet noticed a strong decline in rental rates. “So far, it makes no sense for tenants to change something in the requested rates, since even their noticeable decrease does not guarantee the closing of the deal due to external restrictions,” Popov notes.

Massive tenants, according to CIAN, have not yet moved out of their apartments. “Even if the tenant does not have the means to pay the next payment, and negotiations with the owner have reached a dead end, in the overwhelming majority of cases he has one more month of deposit left,” explains Popov.
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“After the quarantine has been lifted, the volume of supply, especially in large cities, is likely to increase,” says Ruslan Zakiryanov, head of the secondary real estate and long-term lease department at Avito Nedvizhimost. "This will, of course, affect the price in the short term."

At the same time, in the medium term, Zakiryanov predicts a recovery, as "the long-term rental market in crises feels better than other segments."

According to CIAN, in April this year, compared to last April, rental rates for two-room apartments in St. Petersburg fell by 9%. Prices in Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk fell by 12 and 11%, respectively. At the same time, in Nizhny Novgorod, rental prices for "kopeck pieces" increased by 15%. In Krasnodar and Voronezh in April, prices for both two-room and one-room apartments increased by 10-12%.

In Moscow, compared to April last year, rental rates for one-room apartments increased by 4%, two-room - by 2%.