in Qatar | Qatar
Real Estate | Buying
Property in Qatar | The
Pearl | Qatar
Utilities | Qatar Rental Agencies
How to Find your Dream Home - Without a Nightmare!
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The Situation Now
Qatar's real estate bubble has finally burst, and it's a buyer's market.
Enthused by falling rents and lots of housing choices, more Doha
residents are venturing out in search of the perfect flat or villa.
Unfortunately, despite a new Qatari law designed to protect them, many
tenants are falling victim to shady agents and landlords, cheaply-built
accommodation and unreasonable and confusing contracts.
Take Ahmad, a 34-year-old expat who paid an agent a year's worth of rent in cash for a flat in Old Airport. The idea was to save money, but instead, the middleman - and the cash - disappeared, leaving Ahmad and his neighbors with eviction notices from the owner.
"This is cheating," said Ahmad, who signed a new, harsher lease with the owner to keep from being thrown out. "After giving money and having everything in black and white, we are still suffering. There has to be some hard accountability - the law should be very strong."
And it is, in some ways, says attorney Kavitha Panicker, CEO of ACE Arabian Court Experts, whose legal firm has a branch in Doha.
"The government is definitely trying to control the high and excessive rentals that are at present in Qatar," she said, referring to a new lease law signed by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani last year that set rent caps and established a Committee for Solving Rental Disputes.
"However, for those who just moved in to Qatar and are not aware of the new law coming into force, the landlords may take advantage of it."
And now that rents have fallen, tenants need protection in other areas too, says Adnan Nadeem, a property consultant in Doha. Landlords, for example, may tell tenants that they will be held responsible for the remainder of the rent on their lease even if they lose or leave their jobs.
"That basically is bullshit," Nadeem said. "If you were to go to court with that contract, it won't stand at all."
Read on: Qatar Accommodation - Dos and Don'ts