Rent dispute bodies to be restructured

December 10, 2013 - 3:47:25 am

DOHA: The State Cabinet yesterday ordered reconstitution of the committees that look into disputes between landlords and tenants relating to rent.

Called the Rent Dispute Resolution Committees, their basic structure has been retained but they will have new chairmen and members.

There are in all five Rent Dispute Resolution Committees in the country, each with a head and two members.

The committees were set up by the government in 2008 at the peak of a severe housing crisis when rents were rising sharply. Disputes between property owners and tenants had risen phenomenally as a result. Initially, four committees were set up and their number was raised to five later. 

The head of each of the five committees needs to be a senior judge from a preliminary court, while the members are to be drawn from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.

While the head is to be nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council and approved by the Municipal Minister, the two members are to be handpicked solely by the Municipal Minister.

The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yesterday endorsed a Cabinet Decision (Number 54 of 2013) ordering the setting up of the five Rent Dispute Resolution Committees, Qatar News Agency reported.

The decision becomes effective from the date of issue and is to be published in the official gazette.

The newly constituted committees are likely to begin their work shortly and address the problem of delays in settling disputes.

Observers say there have been complaints of delays mainly from landlords, prompting the Cabinet to ask the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning to study the issue and suggest how the rules and procedures could be simplified.

The Ministry is reported to have submitted its suggestions to the Cabinet, which approved the suggestions.

It is, however, not known if those suggestions have been put in force as backlogs with the committees continued.

Observers familiar with the situation say that with the committees having been reconstituted, they hope the situation should improve and undue delays in settling disputes wouldn’t happen.

The Peninsula

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