Being evicted for Refurbishment
Is anyone else tussling with greedy landlords? Our complete 10 villa compound has just been given notice to vacate the premises as they want to refurbish. When the new Law # 4 of 2006 was pointed out to them we were told that they have a letter form the municipality giving them permission to do this as major renovations are required. The compound is only 5 years old and this just appears to be a ruse to kick us out and refill the compound at a hugely increased rent. Anyway. we are waiting for a copy of this letter and then off to the lawyer I suppose we go since the law seems to be perfectly clear on this - if they're not knocking it down or moving relatives in, then they can't kick us out. Anyone have any tales of successful litigation?
That's great to hear Thazza.
That's what I've always advised people. The law is here to protect people, you just need to stand up for your rights.
Mr. Q's Blog - A Qatari's view on Qatar.
Just noticed that it's been 2 years since this was posted. Thought I'd give an update to encourage anyone in a similar position. We are still here along with 5 out of the original 12 tennants. We have been paying our rent to the court at the original rate every month for 2 years now with no response from our landlord. Would recommend standing your ground if your landlord is trying to screw you
So here we go. The contract is up and our lawyer has posted the next months rent down at the courts and we wait to see what happens. Lawyer seems 100% that the law will protect us. Landlord offered everyone a free months rent to give more time to find somewhere if we agreed to move out but we're staying put. He has also locked the pump room for the pool and turned off the pumps letting it go green. Someone took things into his own hands, gained access, turned on and cleaned the pool putting their own lock on. a week later the police were round demanding the lock be removed but ignorance was claimed by all. On advice from our lawyer one neighbour phoned the police complaining that the landlord was misusing the police to his own end, as he is obliged to maintain the pool. The police agreed and supposedly contacted the landlord and we've been left alone ever since - albeit paying for and maintaining the pool ourselves.
Sounds very positive. Good news... :)
so we went to see a lawyer who took one look at the letter and confirmed it wasillegal. he phoned the landlord who feigned ignorance of the law and confirmed that he wanted to do renovations and not demolish the place. he then said that he would be willing to allow us to stay until July which is the end of our contract,but once again the lawyer pointer out that under the law we can stay here for the next 2 years with only a 10% increase in rent per year to which the landlord replied he would need to see this in writing. so the letters have been sent and the lawyer seems confident that this should stop he landlord in his tracks. Here's hoping. we wait to see the outcome...
Well, just an update. We finally got tired of being stonewalled by the unreasonable landlord contracts, that I am sad to say, we are probably not moving (at least for the time being) to Doha.
I am astounded that these people are so greedy in their requests, that it eventually pushes prospective movers away.
With the current level of alert in the region with regards to iran, I am hardpressed to believe that individuals would risk so much by signing contracts that offer no protection whatsoever to the tenant.
Hopefully the qatari authorities will wake up and realise the damge this will do to the economy.
So long everyone, it was nice chatting with you all. If I do ever make it to Doha, I'll check in again.
Take care, and good luck to all.
Yes there are properties about - we've seen a couple reasonably priced (by Doha standards) in the last few days, but
1) I hate the fact that I'll have to move on because the law won't protect me.
2) who's to say the same thing won't happen in the next place I go to.
Anyway I continue to drag myself round Doha searching for information about the landlord's plans. Have to say the people at the municipality and ministry of justice are pretty helpful. The question will be whether to stand our ground and fight, trusting on justice prevailing or to bite the bullet and move house while the opportunities exist. I do believe that any slack in the housing market will temporarily be fully absorbed as the Asian games approaches especially since the lack of promised hotel space as documented on this site will have to be addressed.
Hi Moudir and tg1234, the biggest problem now is that the landlords / agents are using the excuse that demand is higher than supply to create panic. I absolutely agree with you tg, there are things available and you need time. That's not the problem. The problem is the contractual obligation an INDIVIDUAL faces when signing a contract for a house.
Many expats get their accomodation through their company and never have to worry about the legal aspects.
Compounds are lately seeking to rent their premises to one company. They no longer care for the individual tenant. Therefore it is very difficult for one person to find a house. Plus most agencies and landlords want the company to pay (they feel more secure that way), and hence will refuse you if you are on an allowance.
My experience of this deals with villas. I'm not sure if it's any different with apartments.
Moudir, one thing I know for sure, is that if an individual has an outstanding debt to the bank or landlord etc. and has been reported to the authorities; they can be stopped upon exit from the country and jailed until such time as the debt is fully paid.
Mine is not panic tg. I've lived in the Middle East long enough to know the limits of my rights as an individual. I have seen freinds and family lose everything because of the lack of transparency. My reasoning is common sense. Protect what you have by not allowing the possibility for it to be taken away from you. Simple. Individuals don't hire expensive lawyers to draw up complicated contracts and do not have the moving power of large sums of money, hence we are vunerable.
i understand you need a discharge letter from your Employer to leave the country, which indicates end of employment/residency etc.
Do you also need a discharge letter from your Landlord? that you have no outstanding contractual debts?
My suggestion is a bit less panicky...Take your time..I am sure you can negotiate with your company the initial 1-3 months..of company arrangements...then try with your office colleagues and look around yourself..
Whatever the Property agents say..reduce the rent in your mind by 1 to 3K..
Every agent will try to create panic by saying there are no properties..actually there are plenty..just keep trying harder...Never show any interest to agents in something you really liked....Bargain hard..The acutal value going to the landlord is much lower...its the middlemen who are earning their livings at your cost...
Hint: All Landlords are comfortable with well paid expats..and most of them in the market seeking houses are such..people who live peacefully and pay in time...(Others can't afford anyway and are sharing)..So All is not lost and we are not left at the mercy of agents to groan...Bargain hard.take your time..Make sure the company has a nice min bed rooms appartment fully furnished ready for you when you land here...
For all of those currently searching for housing here.........GOOD LUCK! Doha, is a TINY city compared to London, NY Rome (though the rents are the same) and I can tell you, you'll be lucky if you find a house at decent price.
What is concerning me the most however, is that the rental aggreemnets that people are being asked to sign are in every effect illegal, but if you don't.......voila' you have no house.
Expats, beware what you sign. If you, like most expats don't know 'with absolute CERTAINTY' that you will spend an exact number of years in Doha, you could well be signing a lease that imposes you to pay off the remaining settlement of the rent. Imagine having to pay for 10months rent even though you have to leave the country.
Of course this does not apply to any of you that get their accomodation directly paid for by their company. For all of you that get an allowance....take care what you sign!
We can make a difference if we are extensive in our search..and play hardball before buzzing on the rents ( I know at times situations are desperate)...I guess the market is cooling off a bit...I MET A LANDLORD WHO WAS WILLING TO REDUCE HIS RENT..AND WAS ALSO WILLING TO FOREGO THE AGENTS COMMISSION ( BY ABSORBING IT)...dreaming??
Does anyone know where the Rayyyan Municipality office is? They've supposedly issued a work permit down there for the landlord and I'd like to get hold of a copy.
Curently there are a number of lawsuits against landlords which are active. Eventually it will become such a problem for the courts, that the laws will have to be revised yet again.... (one hopes).
Sadly the landlords will be responsible for overall inflation. The economy will suffer, and so will Qatar. In their greediness they do not realise that they are alienating their own country. Companies will only invest in Qatar if it is profitable. How does the government propose to attract smaller entrepreneurs to the region if the company cannot afford the set-up costs of doing so?
Ultimately be thankful that 99% of us expats have somewhere else to go. Qatari's will be the ones that mainly pay the price for this arrogance.
Thazza, good luck in your endeavor. The courts do know the looming problem, and tenants are being given more importance. So hang in there. If your entire compound threatens legal action, it is very likely that the landlord will back down.
My landlord sent a letter to a neighbour asking for rent of 7500 (from 6000) for a 2 bed apt. The neighbour called him and said he wasnt paying more than the 10% allowed (ie 6600). The lanlords response? a meek "OK then".
So they will try it on because, statistically there will be people who arent aware of the law or its details and may fall for a con trick. Problem is, once you sign a new contract, youre bound by it.
I think the landlord will soon back down if theres any resistance. I am just amazed at the sheer greediness and downright deception landlords will sink to.
Cheers Loki. Yes they've told us 2 months notice but one of our neighbours who's lease is up has been given 2 weeks which is ridiculous and obviously they're panicing cause they haven't got a cat in hell's chance of moving that quick, nor should they have to.
Sounds like you are at least calling what *might* be a bluff by asking for a copy of the letter... and no doubt you will of course confirm its authenticity... sorry but I have no advice, but Good Luck...
We had a similar hiccup a few months ago (before the recent laws were enacted) where they put up one-month-notice eviction notices on all the villas in our (small) compound... seems a company (no idea who) had offered them quite high rents for the whole compound, but only for the WHOLE compound.
My partner was away for a few weeks (I hadn't even arrived yet), so came back to hear about it... it was apparently resolved when a few of the longer-residing tenants pointed out that THEY, at least, did not have the clause in their lease which allowed the owner to evict at one month's notice... whereas a lot of us newer tenants did... so the owner dropped it after being threatened with legal action...
Hopefully your result will be as happy...