Archive for the ‘Housing in Qatar’ Category

Note: This is the experience of a expat Mufeed Ahmed trying to get a house in Qatar for QR6000 rials. I didn’t edit the original entry.

tonight, as i sign a new contract to shift to a newly rented place, i cant keep myslef away from sharing my past three week’s experience of ‘House Hunt’ in doha to find a ‘livable’ flat / villa within 6000 rials, it cost me a fortune of petrol and phone bill.

Question: My current house rent agreement expires on 30.09.2008. The real estate agent is asking for 10% increase. Do we have to cough up? What is the way out? Possible pitfalls?

Review the Rent Law in Qatar here.

Honestly, I think the rent law is crap. It’s all about having this "law" posted in the papers so that other people/media/investors would believe that Qatar is doing something about the skyrocketing and outrageous rents in Qatar. But that’s just it.

I myself insisted this law with the company that handles our building. They just denied having heard of the new law. And to think that the owner of the company is a member/relative of the Royal Family. We still paid the increase of 10%. Other than that, you may want to go to court, pay them the old rent and have them pay the landlord. This is possible. However, the implications might be more of a problem as the landlord might decide not to maintain your building so that you’ll be forced out of it. But I’ve heard of people getting this matter to court and actually winning. It’s up to you if it’s worth the hassle and time to pursue it in court.

THE new rent law, which comes into effect from today for two years, stipulates that landlords cannot increase the rent until the Cabinet decides on the relevant regulations, timeframe and percentage at a later date.

This is mentioned in Article 10 of Law No 4 of 2008, which was signed by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday.

The law provides for a committee with judicial powers to arbitrate in disputes between landlords and tenants and spells out various provisions to prevent evictions without adequate notice period.
Some legal experts have explained that Article 27 of the law says that all contracts in force today will continue till February 14, 2010 (when the new rent law expires), provided both sides agree to maintain the status quo.

The three-member ‘Committee for Solving Rental Disputes’, to be formed within three months, will work under the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture (MMAA) and will have a judge as its presiding officer.

All the decisions of the committee, which is ordained to dispose of disputes quickly, will be immediately binding on the parties and they can be challenged only in a court of appeal. Appeals have to be filed within 15 days of the committee’s ruling.

The committee’s functioning will be facilitated by a proposed secretariat general at the ministry.

The law calls for the establishment of an ‘Office for the Registration of Rental Contracts’ where all contracts between landlords and tenants should be registered. Only contracts registered with this office will be valid in case of any dispute arising between the two parties.

Contracts that have already been signed are still valid but should also be registered with the proposed office.
The law states that the caution deposit payable to the landlord should not exceed two months’ rent.

The tenant shall not have the right to sublet the premises nor surrender it to a third party without the landlord’s written permission.

The landlord can seek the tenant’s eviction only with the committee’s consent, in the following conditions: non-payment of rent, subletting of the premises, and usage of the premises for purposes other than what is stipulated in the contract.

If the landlord wants to evict the tenant on the grounds that he wants it back for self-use (for the use of wife, son, or parents), a notice period of six months shall be mandatory.

If the landlord wants to evict the tenant for demolishing the building, then the building should be more than 15 years old.

If a residential building is to be demolished and a commercial facility built in its place, the landlord has to get prior approval from the authorities concerned.

If the landlord wants to carry out eviction on the grounds of adding more floors to a building he should prove that the work cannot be carried out with tenants living in the building.

In the event of the landlord getting permission for demolition or renovation and needs tenants to vacate, he should give notice for not less than six months after getting the permission to carry out the activities.

Such works should be started within six months from the eviction date. If the landlord rents out the building again before demolition or renovation, the evicted tenants can claim compensation.

The law provides for the setting up of several mechanisms in the MMAA to oversee the tenancy laws. A fee of 1% of the annual rent amount shall be payable by the landlord to the ministry office for each contract.

It is obligatory on the landlord to register the rent contract with the office within 30 days from the date of signing of the contract.

Cases currently being heard by courts will continue to be under the jurisdiction of those courts even after the new law takes effect.

Properties rented out for residential, trade, industry and other purposes fall under the ambit of the new law. However, it does not apply to State property, agriculture land and hotel apartments.

In the event of a dispute, the tenant will be allowed to prove his point with any supporting document that can be admitted as evidence.

Complaints will be decided mostly on the basis of the terms of the contract, “and nothing else”.

Contracts should be written and comprise the basic elements of a bipartite agreement.

If a tenant continues to use a building even after the expiry of the rental contract and with no objection from the landlord, then the contract will be considered as renewable for the same period and terms.

If a tenant dies during the validity period of a rental contract, his wife or son who were living with him in the same accommodation will replace him with the same rights and obligations.

Chapter 2 of the law deals with the rights and obligations of the landlord and the tenant. The landlord is bound by law to carry out all the maintenance work of the premises rented out. If the landlord fails to abide by this condition, the tenant may approach the committee concerned for permission to carry out the maintenance and deduct the costs thereof from the monthly rent.

Rents have to be paid within seven days of the prescribed date. If the landlord refuses to accept the rent and issue a receipt, the rent can be deposited with the committee.

The law says the contract will continue to be valid even after the ownership of the property changes hands.

The new owner should inform the tenant and the registration office about the change of ownership within 30 days.

Gulf Times – February 2008

A friend of ours wants to advertise the availability of a Villa at Mamoura Complex for sharing with tenants.

Available rooms:

2 x with attached Bathroom  = 3,500QR/month

2 x with attached bathroom, bigger room = 4,000QR/month

1 x common bathroom = 3,000QR/month

Bedspace = 2000QR/month

 For those interested, please call Judith @ 6438395

 

We got an email today from one of our readers asking life and about practice of religion in Qatar. Lets me share with you some of our answers.

1. Exit Permit scenario is it true that employer supposed to hold the passport and you need permission from employer everytime  you want to travel or leave Qatar.
You get to hold on to your passport (unlike Saudi). However, government procedures impose that you need to get an EXIT VISA if your planning to go out of the country. That means, you need a written permission from your company that they’re allowing you to leave the country plus approval from Immigration once you submit the requirements. This is applicable for anyone holding a WORK VISA. Families of the employee can leave Qatar anytime they want without the need for an EXIT PERMIT.

You can ask your company to give you a MULTIPLE EXIT PERMIT so you don’t have to apply for an EXIT PERMIT nor get their approval everytime you leave. However, not a lot of companies give this to their employees.


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