Desperate times call for desperate measures and due to the housing crunch in the country some have resorted to living in trailers, families and all.
They are being "supported" by helpful landowners, who provide them with vacant land to park their trailers. The vacant plots are usually located in close proximity to the landowners' villas or houses, from where the trailer-dwellers source their electricity.
A man who lives with his wife in one such trailer told The Peninsula yesterday, under condition of anonymity: "Cases like ours were rare until a few years ago. Now it is fairly common because of the high rents."
The landowners generally charge the trailer owners in the region of QR1,000 per month for use of their land, mostly located outside the city in places like Abu Sidra.
The person living in the trailer draws electricity from the landowner's nearby residence free of charge and the water is supplied by tankers. The man said: "However, seeing the cable between the house and the trailer can only carry a minimal amount of current, it is barely enough to keep one air-conditioner running. If the load becomes too much, everything shuts down."
The practice of residing in trailers is clearly illegal but landowners believe should there be any trouble from the authorities the matter of having the trailer moved is a simple task.
The man said: "A one-room trailer with a bathroom costs QR15,000 while one with two rooms can cost QR20,000. There are many local manufacturers these days while earlier most were imported from Saudi Arabia."
The more enterprising rent out parts of their trailers and tenants can pay QR1,000 per month as rent, which may sound expensive for a trailer but pales in comparison to prevailing rents being charged for a single room — as much as QR3,500 per month even in locations like the Industrial Area.
Such trailers are generally used for temporary worker accommodation or as offices on construction sites, but high rents have now made them residences for those unable to pay the amounts being charged for rent these days.
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