Moving to a new country is difficult. It is a bold step to take, and although a lot of information is available online, it can still be an overwhelming experience to find a job, and to move to a new country. It seems that it is difficult in Kuwait to understand rental laws, especially since they are available only in Arabic. I think important laws should easily be accessible, as well as their bylaws. Although the laws are very fair to the tenants, a lot of people are not informed of what they are and what to do in such situations.
Q: I have been living in an apartment for 18 months, but only had a one year contract. Does that mean that my contract automatically renewed itself for a year? And if so, does that mean I cannot leave till the remaining six months are over?
A: If the term of your rent contract ends, yet you continue to occupy the space and pay the rent in a timely manner, then your contract is renewed for the period of your rent payment. For example, if you pay monthly, then your contract is renewed month by month even though you initially had a one year contract. To put it in simple terms, anything beyond the initial term of your contract is renewed according to what you are paying for.
Q: My question to you pertains to the raising of rents by landlords. What is the criteria that landlords use to raise the rents? Is there any law stipulating the maximum percentage that a landlord can raise the rent to, or does the law leave it to his discretion?
A: Well, if the landlord is raising the rent (after five years of you occupying the space, as mentioned above), then he can only raise it if it is 50 percent less than the market price and can only raise it up to the average market price. How do you calculate the average market price? You see how much a place with the same standards as your building in the same location is going for. That might not be so easy to determine as places differ all the time.
Q: My landlord does not want to accept my rent. We have had no issues for the last year or so, but suddenly we had new neighbors move in, and although my dog is very quiet, they have been complaining about my dog, and ever since my harris (janitor) is refusing to receive the rent. What can I do about it?
If your landlord is not receiving your rent then please pay your rent at court. I know this may sound weird to some people or it may be confusing on where to go. I must say though it is not as easy as it sounds; some paper work needs to be done beforehand.
Should you have any questions or concerns, or you require a consultation, please email me at [email protected]
By Attorney Fajer Ahmed