This is in reference to the article ‘Oman’s real estate sector faces serious challenges’ (Muscat Daily, Page 13, August 31).
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and weak oil prices globally have affected all sectors of the economy, especially the real estate sector.
In Oman, our tenancy agreements specify that either party – tenant and landlord – must serve a three-month notice to vacate the premises before the expiry of tenancy agreement. However, despite falling rents in recent times, a few landlords are not willing to reduce the rent during the contract period. In these circumstances, tenants don’t have any choice but to move out from their rented houses when landlords are unwilling to negotiate the rent agreed upon in the contract.
They are obliged to pay the full rent amount till the contract period is over even if they wish to move out in between.
I would request concerned government authority to look into reducing the three month-notice period as this will give relief to tenants.
It would also help to add a clause in the tenancy law to factor in cases of disaster or poor maintenance. In such circumstances, alternate arrangement or another accommodation must be provided by the landlord. Most landlords do not willingly enter into a maintenance contract and pass this burden on to tenants.
These are tough times, and with white-collar expatriate workers moving out from the country, there will be a further impact on the real estate sector and the economy without the suggested interventions.
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