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Changes in Qatar Rent Laws

From today’s Gulf Times Qatar

New rent law seen a victory for tenants
By Sarmad Qazi

In a major victory for tenants, rent disputes can now be taken up with the Rental Dispute Resolving Committee (RDRC) regardless of whether the contract was registered or not, a senior official said yesterday.

This follows amendments in the rental law.

Law number 20 of 2009 sees changes to some provisions of the previous law number 4 of 2008 issued by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on October 25, the official said adding it further protected the rights of tenants in Qatar.

“There are two things in the new rule: you can come here, whether or not your contract is registered and speak to a judge, and secondly the landlord must now give at least six months notice of eviction,” the official said.

The law number 4 of 2008 was aimed at regulating the market by making registration of rental contracts mandatory and by establishing the RDRC with its own jurisdiction to take up grievances at a time of near-record inflation in the country.

“But we know the law missed out on rental contracts made prior to the 2008 law or based on goodwill and word only. In these cases we weren’t able to address any complaint,” the official at the RDRC’s headquarters in Muntazah (now Rawdat al-Khail) said.

“This amendment changes all that,” he added.

However, according to him, with the rents showing declining trends, the number of disputes is also falling; currently only 15 new cases are being filed at the RDRC every day.

The nature of cases varies from landlords wanting to hike the rent despite a two-year freeze since 2008, to non-payment claims and eviction notices.

A year ago the RDRC was registering 1,500 cases a month.

The official also dismissed questions about the effectiveness of RDRC saying so far this year its five committees have addressed and closed 1,205 cases. Only “600 or so are ongoing,” he said.

The committees have three members and one judge each.

“Yes it is true that 50% of RDRC decisions are later challenged in the appeal court (in Dafna), but 90% of the time the judge there upholds the rulings,” the official said.
Veteran lawyer Ala’a Hamad, a partner at the Arab Law Forum, yesterday said every new law requires takes time to prove its effectiveness.

“This was a new law and the more it’s practiced, it will prove its effectiveness.
“The tweaking is an ongoing process just as with foreign investment and other laws,” Hamad said.

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November 4, 2009 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions, Values

3 Comments »

  1. I wish they had it in Kuwait.

    Comment by Desert Girl | November 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. Intlxpatr :

    You know that most rents in Kuwait is paid on monthly basis for apartments , few rents are paid on 3monthly basis and even fewer is paid on annual basis . I know in the UAE the rent is paid ahead for the whole year , now i am talking for residence not commercial rent say for companies or shops .

    How is the residential rent is paid in Qatar monthly or yearly

    Comment by daggero | November 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. Daggero, it all depends. It’s like when people ask what we pay for our villa, the answer is that everyone pays a different price, depending on the deal they made. There is a standard price, but if your company has several villas on the same compound, the price per villa is reduced. Our company (I believe) pays one year, but our sponsor is related to the compound ownership, so there is probably some flexibility.

    Many people rent on a contract for like two years, but pay month to month, by bank transfer mostly. There has been a continuing problem with landlords evicting solid rent-paying renters to raise the price and rent to someone else. With all the rising rents, there are also some villas rented (appearantly) by a couple and then each room subleased to families, or bachelors, so there may be many more people living in a place than you would think.

    So the answer to your question can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or yearly.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 5, 2009 | Reply


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