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Tue 30 Mar 2010 07:48 AM

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Qatar puts freeze on commercial rent hikes

Ministerial decision bars owners of commercial premises from raising rents for a year.

Qatar has put a one-year freeze on rent rises on commercial properties, including shops, it was reported on Tuesday.

Owners of commercial properties have been barred from increasing rents for a year, according to a ministerial decision which was ratified by the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Under the new regulation, owners of commercial space, including shops, are not allowed to raise rents for a period of one year, The Peninsula reported.

It added that owners will be allowed to raise rent by 20 percent annually if the monthly rentals of properties are less than QR3,000.

If the monthly rentals are between QR3,000 and QR6,000, the raise permitted will be 15 percent. The increase allowed will be 10 percent if monthly rentals range between QR6,000 and QR10,000, the paper added.

If the rents are more than QR10,000, a five percent annual increase will be allowed.

In February, Qatar removed the cap on residential rents, allowing landlords and tenants to negotiate more freely over price.

The Gulf state's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani passed a new rent law ending the two-year freeze on residential rents which had been imposed amid spiralling inflation in 2008.

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