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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Local politician calls for residential rent controls

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forrent

As housing costs continue to climb in Qatar, a Central Municipal Council member has called on the government to impose a cap on residential rent increases, according to media reports.

Mishal Al Dahnim, the councillor representing Al Hilal, wants rents to go up by no more than 10 percent every two years, the Peninsula reports. Citing Al Arab, the daily quoted Al Dahnim as saying:

“Rents should not be left to supply and demand. Supply is much less compared to demand and will lead to an unprecedented crisis … There must be a law to control rents.”

Local firm Al-Asmakh Real Estate Development estimated that rents climbed 5 to 10 percent in the first three months of 2014, compared to the end of last year.

A separate report by Colliers International estimated a slightly lower increase of 4 percent during the same time period.

Looking ahead, Qatar National Bank has predicted that rent will climb even faster in the second half of 2014, driven by rising land prices.

Precedence

The Qatar government has previously frozen rents in an attempt to keep a lid on inflation. In 2008, the country imposed a two-year moratorium on rental rate hikes for most residential leases.

That same year, Dubai and Abu Dhabi capped rent increases at 5 percent, Reuters reported at the time.

On the non-residential side, the Emir in February ordered commercial landlords to give retailers and tenants a one-year lease extension, effectively freezing rents for many businesses.

Non-residential rents were also frozen in 2008 and, two years later, capped at increases of 5 to 20 percent.

Alternatives

Rent control measures provide short-term relief to tenants, but can exacerbate the problem in the long term by acting as a financial disincentive for investors and developers to construct new homes.

Already, some real estate firms say homebuilders are not constructing enough villas and flats for Qatar’s rapidly growing population, leading to a looming housing shortage.

Colliers estimated that 22,000 new homes will be constructed by 2018, adding to the country’s existing supply of 122,000 units. However, that still falls short of the 266,000 homes that will be needed to meet demand during the same time period, the company said.

A recent crackdown by authorities on illegally partitioned villas threatens to exacerbate the shortage, especially for low and middle-income expats.

One expert recently suggested the solution to Qatar’s lack of affordable housing may be public-private partnerships between the government and developers.

Speaking at the annual Cityscape Qatar real estate exhibition in June, Ramy Echo – the chief investment officer of Kuwait-based Alargan Investment Co. – argued in favor of authorities selling homebuilders vacant land at a discount or providing contractors with favorable financing.

Do you think the government should cap rental rate increases? Thoughts?

45 COMMENTS

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DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Clearly a local politician looking out for his district. Let’s hear it for Mishal Al Dahnim!

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

He’s highlight a negative aspect of Qatar, that is racism, surely you don’t support racists now do you? Mishal is a self-hating Qatari.

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago

Agreed. DavidRSS8. This is the most sensible thing I’ve heard this year. The cost of rent in Qatar is ridiculous and it is a completely manufactured market controlled by the land owners’ cartel. The 5%-10% figure is way off. I have friends who were recently told by their landlord that their rents will increase by 20% when up for renewal this year. A 20% increase despite the fact there have been no upgrades to the accommodation or the compound. It is just pure greed and it is about time something was done about it.

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Are you employed by “The Guardian”? You must be for sharing these racist lies on here. Qatar real estate market is a fair one and offers world class properties at appropriate prices. Pearl residents who were racist had complained of faulty plumbing and leaking ceilings causing flooding in the apartments, but the non-racist residents recognized they were being surprised with a free indoor pool by the kind folks at UDC. If you are patient enough, you will find these increases will justify themselves soon enough, like perhaps paying workers who built the property several years ago…

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

You are right, Samuel. I forget how very lucky I am to be offered the chance to live in an overpriced deathtrap rather than occupying the top bunk in a portacabin in the Industrial Area. I am also fortunate in that I have also been given my very own entertainment system which provides scintillating electric shocks when I plug in my toaster. It’s great fun and provides endless hours of amusement for me and visiting friends and family. Wish I had that indoor pool though. I used to love the Guardian but I have now blacklisted it because of all the horrid lies it tells.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

My parents lived in the pearl. They certainly aren’t racist, but what they do expect for their hard earned money is not to live in a smelly apartment that stinks of sewage, listening to idiots driving their ridiculous cars and motorbikes up and down the street putting the safety of pedestrians at risk. I don’t think these increases justify themselves or ever will.

sicti
sicti
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

Dude, Samuel was sarcastic 🙂 No one is accusing your parents of being racist

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

considering what we pay, world class property does not apply to Qatar…..if you want to see that I think you should take an airplane! The increases are not often justified. It is just mere speculation.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

It’s not really the land owner’s cartel. It’s more the middle men’s cartel. The property owners themselves aren’t getting the big cut. Other than that, yep pure greed, absolutely.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Greed? Qatar? Nooo, surely not. Richest country in the world per capita, but lets pay our maid 250 USD a month. No sharing of the love here.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

It is a good way for the government to redistribute money to the locals and especially the locals in the government legally. Many people work for the government here or indirectly, so the housing allowances given or housing that is paid for by the comapny is actually paid by the government. The government is made up of the very same people who are major landlords, so viola, a virtuous cycle of cash flow…….

So telll me, why would they want to change anything?

Diego
Diego
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I agree with you here.Rent money comes from housing allowances.Housing allowances come from Companies.Property owners and on the receiving end of the circle and often part of the giving end.I’d say 6 months after the every moving target date for the 2022WC, the supply/demand theory may take a licking.

Elizabeth Wardle Walker
Elizabeth Wardle Walker
7 years ago

The Pearl rents are rising by a large amount each year for most of us living here…would welcome a rent cap, along with everyone else who rents, I would imagine! Hope they do it soon!!

Rony
Rony
7 years ago

This year Al Asmakh Real Estate Development increased the rent by 35% in my contract renewal, i dont think this is legal.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Rony

Everything is legal if you have the right surname/citizenship. Even smoking in Starbucks!

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Even smoking crack openly in Starbucks!

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

Well I know where I’m going tonight….

sicti
sicti
7 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Wait for me 🙂

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

Really, crack? Surely you jest ?

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

The crack part yes. Illegal drugs though, no, I seen a local smoke something that reminded me of Amsterdam, he was driving a triple digit plated range , so I doubt he would be touched or spoken to.

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

What ever… “Huff and puff!” Nothing changes just like Kafala… “Huff and Puff!”

McTunder
McTunder
7 years ago

Text book monopoly market! In many places in Europe, comparable (but better quality!) objects are way cheaper than “hot spot” Doha. In my book they should not even be 50% of today to be justified

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago
Reply to  McTunder

Correct. I could have an apartment in Rome overlooking The Coliseum for less than I pay here.

McTunder
McTunder
7 years ago

Oh, and before I forget: supply and demand would be fine. Given the fact that thousands of newly built appartments are EMPTY

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
7 years ago

Ok whatever great story…. But there’s councillors?? You mean each area has a representative of the residents? So we can go to their office and talk about issues? Just like home? This is the person I can petition for compulsory child seats 🙂 Rents, yes driven by greed, the owner of Beach Tower & DTZ should be ashamed of the increases for older, less maintained, worse serviced apartments. All around us are vacant towers in West Bay.

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago

Everything and anything in Qatar is perfect thanks to the National Vision 2030, if you have any problems with your residence then you are just being racist, and if your councilor agrees with you, they too are a racist.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

You have got a future; you’re a great comedian!

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Haha no representation of residents, only citizens. Your Qatari passport is in the post….

greg
greg
7 years ago

If someone knows…
Is it true thay if a local gets a loan from the banks to built a building(hotel, offices, apartments) , he will need to repay the loan only after her reach 50% occupancy?

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago
Reply to  greg

You seem to be talking about an old rule from the banks. Basically, they didn’t need to start repaying loan till atleast one house/office was occupied. That is why they prefer to rent it out whole to the real-estate agents/ companies.

I don’t think the same loan facility applies since some changes were introduced in banking sector in 2013. But then again, I might be wrong.

greg
greg
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

ok, thanks

dohadude
dohadude
7 years ago

Seems to me the problem is too many empty luxury buildings in West Bay at the expense of decent middle and low income housing. Building more and better labor camps is not the solution. Perhaps the government could promote an Inclusionary Housing program like that of New York City. The Inclusionary Housing Program (IHP) promotes economic integration in areas undergoing substantial new residential development by offering an optional floor area bonus (above that allowed by MMUP or zoning department) in exchange for creating affordable housing on or off site for lower income households. A win-win for everyone you’d think, except that some developer in NYC figured out you can still keep the elite away from the unwashed masses by creating a ‘poor door’ (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/many-nyc-poor-doors_n_5685686.html) I guess in some ways people are the same all over the world.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  dohadude

Dohadude, the difference is the construct of society. In USA the poor are citizens which the governments of all levels have an obligation to assist and create ‘human flourishing’, social inclusion and personal capital etc. Here the poor and even middle class can not become citizens, are mere ‘residents’ and the governments have no obligation to them whatsoever. We are all just hired help and the citizens could not give a tinkers toss about any of us. We are here as their workforce, nothing more, and at times depending on who you are a lot less. There is no sense of community, togetherness etc in Qatar. it is a disjointed, uncaring, everyman for himself society, where you and I are just looked down upon as hired help. Perhaps that is exactly the way Qataris want it, and so be it, it is their country. I only have the power to change policy etc in my home country, here I am but a moment in time with no power or influence. A face amongst the thousands who come and go each year. So really the Qataris couldn’t care less what we think of the rising rent prices or the driving or the labour issues or what we post on Doha news….(Wow that was deep).

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Deep but true, Observant One, and very well put.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Thanks Grantley, I’m in the process of checking what the heck was put in my Shisha last night, it tasted like strawberry, but who knows what those scallywags at the Shisha lounge get up to for a laugh ;-)…

dohadude
dohadude
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Observant One I agree with everything you say above. I think discussion can be cathartic. I can either despair over everything I see or I can make a small difference along the way, within the limited power to affect change I am given. I am lucky enough to have the trust of an employer who values my opinion, although I know it only goes so far at the end of the day. Things here are changing for the better but not at the pace I’d like being from outside Qatar. If I was only in it for money and didn’t care about leaving this place a little better before I leave I don’t think I’d have survived the past 4 years. I also find mint shisha works best for me when debating with my friends over the way this place works 🙂

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  dohadude

I like your attitude!

Illusionist's wife
Illusionist's wife
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Indeed very deep, and true … and I guess we all know this … if we don’t like it, we still can leave, no ?!? 😉

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Of course we can, some of us westerners have that luxury, I am its not for me, the lack of social cohesion, the human rights abuses, the animal welfare issues, the whole master servant attitude, the lack of care for other humans or human life, the ridiculous murderous attitude on the roads, the lack of a equitable justice system, exit permits, owning other humans, racism, etc. My other half will fulfil the contract. I’m off soon to a well paying job in a country that is a lot more civilised. “Love it or Leave it” will be happy!

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Where you intend to go if you don’t mind me asking?

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

Why so you can point out all the wrongs of the country? No country is perfect, but a lot of them are better in the areas I highlighted.

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Why would I care about the wrongs of another country? lol. I was just curious what countries people can go to after Doha while the job market is not as great as it once was.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Samuel

Australia.

Muraleedharan
Muraleedharan
7 years ago

Qatar banks are the reason for the rent hikes. If they are not concentrating building finance, the rent will not increase. The main business of Qatar banks are finance to construction of housing. Then they are in a hurry to return their money with unlimited interests. Being the duration of the repayment is short, the cost of sale will increase and the rent will increase. The owner of the building will not object the mode of rent collection, because he is getting his property within a short period, which will help his income so easily. If banks are doing their business like other banks in democratic countries, it will not happen in Qatar.
Qatar banks are paying dividend more than 100%, this our money, from rent income. If the banks are distributing the money for national production, it will benefit the whole community. And Government have no control in banking activities. Banks are collecting our salary and paying some minority individuals our money, and Qatar is a commercial country, where all services are commercialized.

expat viewer
expat viewer
7 years ago

root of the problem is GREED!…. sad reality… 🙁

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