By Elizabeth Broomhall
Owners favour expatriates who pay promptly and take more care, agents say
Landlords in Saudi Arabia are discriminating against the Kingdom's locals when renting out properties, according to national media.
The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) says it has received several complaints from Saudi nationals on the issue, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily reported, and will subsequently be investigating.
“The NSHR is currently looking into complaints received from several Saudis that they were not given houses on rent just because of their nationality,” said the President of the NSHR Mufleh Al-Qahtani.
He added that NSHR field inspections had confirmed landlords were biased against Saudi tenants in many cities.
One complainant claimed to have been told by several property agents that building owners would rather rent to expatriates, who were more prompt in paying bills and took better care of properties.
He said builders often tried to deter local people by designing apartments in ways which made it difficult for residents to abide by local customs and maintain privacy.
Al-Qahtani stated there was an urgent need for government regulation to protect tenants and property owners.
Sad but true. It's unfortunate when there is any kind of discrimination, and even more so when it is against the locals. But on the other hand, you can't blame the landlords. Saudis often times are late in paying their rent, and sometimes leave the house in a miserable state after moving out. And in the case of Saudis the landlords are often powerless to do anything, especially in case they haven't paid the rent. Until the homeowners can protect and guarantee their rights, I don't see the sitation changing anytime soon.