The Peninsula survey reveals soaring rents irk tenants

Doha: A large number of tenants in an online survey have decried sharp and sudden increase in rents of housing units in the country asking the authorities concerned to address the challenging problem.

Most of the respondents in an online survey conducted by The Peninsula on its social media platforms claimed that the rents of their accommodation soared from 10 to 40 percent in different housing compounds or residential buildings.

After receiving quite a few complaints on increasing house rents, The Peninsula in the survey had asked residents two questions: Do you think it is justified to increase house rents to such a large extent? How much percent has the rent increased for your accommodation?

The majority of people termed the increase in rent unjustified further claiming that they had experienced 10-45% increase in rent of their accommodation. They asked the authorities concerned to address the issue for the relief of tenants. Some tenants also believe that this phenomenon is temporarily induced by upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as the rents would drop again once the mega sporting event is held.

A resident wrote on the post that he faced 20% rent increase for his accommodation “with no increase in salaries”. “Regarding the increase, yes we have (seen) an increase when we renewed contract two months ago … they told us (it was) due to World Cup,” wrote another resident.

Another tenant said: “What justifies the increase? There are already enough housing facilities available and new ones have been built in (last) 1-2 years to accommodate the World Cup (fans).”

One reader Usama wrote: “How the rent increase is fair when salaries are not increasing … some private companies are decreasing salaries. It is unjustifiable.”

A number of respondents mentioned the names of some private housing compounds where they recently saw an increase in rents to the tune of 40-45%. “I am really surprised if the government can take any action in this (regard),” wrote one respondent.

Meanwhile, real estate experts have said that the situation of real estate market of Qatar is normal, however, the prices of real estate and rents which rose because of FIFA World Cup will go down by next year gradually.

The experts including CEO of Al Emadi Enterprises Mohamed Abdul Karim Al Emadi and Chairman of Century 21 Qatar Mana Ibrahim Al Mana were speaking recently in a Qatar TV program entitled “The real estate scene before and after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the future of supply and demand”.

Al Emadi said that it was expected that the rents of residential units, administrative and commercial apartments could be more than what are now existing, few months before FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, thanks to government intervention to avoid any type of crisis in this regard.

Al Mana said that real estate investors and companies utilize this opportunity to make profits for a short period but the same situation will not continue after the event.

“After the World Cup, the supply will be more than demand resulting in the prices going down. The prices of real estate at present are higher,” said Al Mana.

Another resident, in online survey, commented: “We all had difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic … we are just trying to recover from it now we have increase in house rent issue. Yes it is true most of the places have increased 40% of rent. We came far away from our country so we could save some money to look after our family therefore I would request (authorities) to please consider our request and I make an appeal to the government of Qatar to give us some relaxation on this matter.”

A similar comment was made by another tenant who said: “The room rents in Qatar are really high … most of the earnings go for the rent. It’s really difficult to manage with family.”

A resident Iqbal wrote: “How can it be justified? When there are no added benefits or amenities that may be considered value addition to an existing accommodation … how can the increases be justified in any way?” One respondent Hussain commented: “My room rents 20% high now … it is too much hard for people with children and schooling.”

A resident also held property agents responsible for hike in rents saying, “Too much rent. Can’t survive with this house rent. Specifically the middlemen have increased house rent to extreme level. About 30%.”

Muhammad Zahid said: “This is not justified. Especially when the buildings and houses are old… Some companies have increased the rent more than 40% for the new or renewal contracts. Is there any platform or authority where we can highlight this unjustified approach?”

Another respondent noted: “It’s too late to have an intervention by the government because, for most of the tenants, the rent has already increased and an extended contract is signed.” One tenant lamented over the phenomenon saying, “Now we can just complain on social media and no actions are going to be taken.” Some residents expressed hope that the phenomenon will end by the 2nd quarter of the next year.

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