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Posted On: 22 November 2008 10:10 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Rents may fall as gap in supply-demand narrows

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Property market sources expect some private players in the services segment of the energy sector to lay off some staff to cut corners due to the falling crude prices in the global market. “This, coupled with the fact that some of these services firms may put their plans to recruit more staff on hold, may ease the soaring demand for housing,” said an official from a real estate agency. The development may see the escalating house rents easing as the yawning supply-demand gap narrows. According to P N Baburaj, who works with a real estate firm, the housing shortage was made worse due to the fact that property owners preferred to give away apartments and villas to estate agencies to let than renting them out directly to user-tenants. Most owners had taken loans to develop real estate so they were under pressure to service the debt and hence the hurry to let the properties out, explained Baburaj. Acting as middlemen, the agencies added some 20 percent as margin money to rentals, thus burdening tenants, he said. Many real estate agencies furnished the apartments and gave them away on higher rent. According to legal circles, an indicator of the rental situation coming back to normal is that the number of disputes between tenants and landlords being reported to the ‘Rental Solving Committee’ for Doha (under the municipal affairs ministry), is coming down. Yesterday, for example, only three cases were listed for hearing by the Committee which is headed by Judge Nasser Issa Al Khulaifi. Information available suggests that not more than one or two disputes are reported to the panel on average each working day, down from several cases earlier. A verdict is given fast—within a fortnight or so. The filing of complaints is simple as one only needs to fill in a form and pay a fee of QR100 and attach copies of ID and tenancy agreement. According to sources, tenants who have signed rent agreements with property owners on or after January 1, 2005 need not pay increased rentals until early February 2010. But landlords have the right to increase the rent by 10 to 15 per cent if a tenancy deal was inked between 2000 and 2004—end. A 15 percent increase is allowed if the monthly rent of a property is between QR2,000 and QR5,000, while the percentage of hike with regard to rents ranging between QR5,001 and QR10,000 is 10. The Pen