Some landlords 'twist arms' of tenants to extract rent
Electricity, water, and elevators services disrupted – The law does not allow the owners of buildings to use these methods : Threatening tenants of expulsion, cutting water and electricity, disrupting elevators in buildings, and increasing suffering are general methods used by some property owners and landlords with expat tenants who do not generally have high income.
There has been major crisis where many companies have been shut down, expats have lost their jobs where as many of them have not been paid salaries and some expats salaries have been deducted. Due to these crisis paying rents have become more difficult.
On the other hand there are a large number of building owners on humanitarian basis after interaction with low-income tenants some of whom reduced tenants to half the rent for a period of 6 months, and some exempted them for two consecutive months from paying rent and some of them gave relief till the crisis settled.
Lawyer Saud Al-Shammari said “The landlord has no right to cut off the water and electricity on the tenant or force him out of the house even if the tenant refuses to pay the rent, stating that there is a law regulating the relationship between the two parties (the landlord and the tenant).
Al-Shammari said that it is permissible for the tenant to adhere to judge by stopping the implementation of the contract and applying the theory of force majeure (act of God) or applying the proposition of emergency or exceptional circumstances with his right to demand a reduction of rent, in proportion to his conditions and the discretionary power of the judge.
Some expatriates have raised their hands in the face of real estate owners, announcing their inability to pay the monthly rent due to interruption in their work, they have no income from which they can pay the rent, and they cannot even leave their homes and travel back to their country at present due to lack of aircraft’s and airports have been shut .
Some families filed petitions to the owners of real estate to reduce the the rent temporarily until the end of the crisis till their business starts again, stressing that in light of the global pandemic of the Corona virus, they face challenges and difficult times in adapting to daily lives which has impacted greatly and are facing financial challenges.
The tenants stated in their grievance petition “We, as apartment tenants, would like to ask if you can reduce the monthly rent for the coming months to help overcome these difficult circumstances as some of our monthly salary has been reduced and others have no salary at the moment at all. Kindly consider our request during these difficult times“.
Abu Abdullah who is a Butcher by profession, told that he is unable to pay the rent to the landlord and has requested to reduce the rent temporarily until the end of the crisis but till now there has been no response.
Muhammad Saif a mobile shop owner said that during partial curfew and total ban has forced him to stay in the house without a resource or any source of sustenance throughout this period, stating that the current conditions took what we saved before the start of the crisis, now we have exhausted everything we have and to buy food is become a challenge.
Some realtors understood the conditions and promised to consider in reducing the rent, whereas others affirmed that they were unable to make any deductions due to their financial obligations. We do not know how they will act if the crisis prolong.
Hoping that real estate owners and charities will help them to overcome this exceptional circumstance and provide living security for their children and families that have become hostages to anxiety and tension because of interruption in work.
Umm Ala, an employee at a beauty salon, mentioned that the current conditions made her completely unable to pay the rent, as she resides with her colleagues from some Arab and Asian nationalities she said that the financial situation of her colleagues is no better as everyone stopped working and we cannot risk to work from our homes in fear of fines and deportation.
She further said “Previously, I used to save from my monthly salary to help my children who are in my homeland, but now I am almost paralyzed and bound in light of this crisis as I do not know which date the crisis will end”
She called out to the leader of this country of humanity to pay attention to her and her colleagues who work in these professions to provide their living security and save them from displacement in the open if the landlord refused to reduce the rent.
Ismail Al-Hajj, a perfume seller, emphasized that, “From the first moment of the Cabinet’s decision to close the markets and commercial stores, we were forced to sell via the Internet, sending phone messages to our customers and advertising our products online, but unfortunately our sales have been greatly affected, especially after total lock down was implemented”
Al Hajj added, “The current crisis has made the buying and selling process go in depression, as customers do not buy luxuries and perfumes at the present time and currently the demand is for food only. Curfews also contributed to stopping delivery requests, which are usually limited per day”.