Monday, March 12, 2007

Too much information

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They say that knowledge is a double-edged sword, and here's a case to prove it. Rents in Oman have been going through the sky for the past six months and the situation is now heading out of control. In the past month people have been getting notices from landlords increasing rents by unheard of amounts, and with immediate effect as well. I know people whose rent has doubled overnight. A lot of expatriates have been complaining to the press about this, and TheWeek decided to take up their cause. We all know that increases are capped by a 15% limit, right? Somebody has to stop these greedy landlords from sucking the blood of their tenants. Well TheWeek investigated and it turned out that we're all wrong. The 15% cap is not true. There is no rent increase cap in Oman. Oops.

Guess what, most land lords didn't know that. But now that the information is out, I've heard stories of landlords giving their tenants copies of that TheWeek issue along with their rent increase letters.

How's that for the power of information.

10 comments:

Per Your Request said...

Why are the landlords considered "blood sucking"? As if they are taking advantage of the tenants. Although I disagree with the immediate increase on apartments with a lease agreement, I dont think that the landlords are out to get anyone. The market allows them to charge such rent. I don’t think anyone would feel sorry for them, if they had vacancies that they couldn’t fill? So why are we pointing our finger when they are making a profit?

Anonymous said...

Because this is greed and nothing but. If it were not, the landlords would be reasonable and raise rents after fair notice. They are not doing this because they are greedy. And greed, my friend, is one of the seven deadly sins. So ask again why this is wrong? And don't spout capitalist rhetoric to justify greed -- oh whatever the market will bear. No, this is pure and simple greed on the backs of whoever will bear. Qardawi addressed this same issue in Qatar and said it was against Islam, plain and simple. So, across the board, this action is wrong and should be condemned.

muscati said...

PYR - I was being sarcastic. It's TheWeek that went out thinking they were going to give people the information to protect them from landlords who were taking advantage of them and ended up instead giving the landlords the necessary information to increase rents even more.

Anyhow, last I heard salaries haven't doubled across the board in Oman, so how come property owners think people can afford to pay double the rents they used to pay?

Per Your Request said...

Muscati,
My questions were addressed generally, not specifically to you.
I do agree that the salaries are not increasing by 2 fold, however, I do also understand that building materials are increasing, and many other costs as well.
If individuals can’t pay for the rent, how will these landlords still receive payment? Then this increase is unsustainable, and landlords will soon realize when they don’t have tenants anymore.

Anon,
You seem to be in touch with and educated in the religious aspect of this situation, therefore I can not match your skill or religious passion in this matter. I would like to ask though, what is fair notice? 30, 60, maybe 90 Days?
Additionally, from your comment you seem to dislike the capitalist system (rhetoric), however you seem to agree with individuals gaining a profit yet they should not have too much of a profit. How do you measure what a reasonable profit is, and when does it become greed? I look forward to your insight in this matter.

Kishor Cariappa said...

Power of information?? Wish media had so much power in Oman!

Balqis said...

If you dnt ask for it, you'll never get it
You published my dhaba initiative
Lovely cause is for charity
Why nothing on Macki petition ?
I dnt think any would complain if you tell about people safety .
It involved also an important family : isn't it enough to give you little courage ?

Anonymous said...

There may not be a cap on increases, but there is a minimum notice requirement. Your contract is automatically renewed unless notice of cancellation is given with at least three months notice. This means that if your landlord tries to increase your rent within three months or less of your current contract expiring, they can not, not even by a single baiza. How many people might have been helped if The Week had let that be known?

Marianna said...

Seems to me a law needs to be passed so that tenants can be protected. If rent is to be increased give these people time to look for another place and get out of their contract if they cannot make the increase. Sad!

BTW, am marianna from omanforum :-)

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