Rent dispute panels’ ruling may be final

January 30, 2014 - 2:59:55 am

DOHA: Soon one might not be able to challenge the decision of a Rent Dispute Resolution Committee in court and drag on a dispute for months on end.

Measures are being taken to make sure that disagreements brought to a rent dispute settlement committee are decided on a fast-track basis — within a month or 45 days.

At present, as most decisions of Rent Dispute Resolution Committees are taken to the Court of Appeals for review, cases take several months to decide. 

A proposal under study, if implemented, would bar people from challenging the verdict of a Rent Dispute Resolution Committee in court.

The five Rent Dispute Resolution Committees in the country are headed by judges from the preliminary court.

The committees, thus, have the legal status of a preliminary court, so one can move the Court of Appeals against their decisions.

This causes undue delays in settling disputes between landlords and tenants as the cases drag on for months.

Given this situation, there is a proposal to appoint a judge from the Court of Appeals and station him at the premises of each Rent Dispute Resolution Committee.

The judge would hear appeals against the verdicts of the Committee and pronounce his verdict on a fast-track basis.

The heads of Rent Dispute Resolution Committees are appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, while two members of each committee are from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.

The Court of Appeals judge to be stationed at the Rent Dispute Resolution Committees would single-handedly hear appeals and decide a case without wasting time.

“If the proposal is approved and enforced, rent-related disagreements would be resolved in 90 percent less time than they are presently,” said Ali Mohamed Al Hammadi.

Al Hammadi is in charge of the headquarters of all the five Rent Dispute Resolution Committees, which was set up recently vide a Cabinet decision.

The official told Al Watan in an interview published yesterday that last year the committees heard 1,834 disputes and decided 1,130 of them. 

Some 289 of them were not admitted for hearing.

In 2012, some 1,675 disputes were brought to the five committees and the settlement rate was quite high as 1,420 of them were resolved. 

Al Hammadi said that given the fact that the population of the country was going up due to a heavier influx of foreign workers, rent disputes were quite low in number. 

The committees hear disputes only if rent contracts are registered with them.