Oman: Rent Law and Life in Muscat

Oman's bloggers are ranting about increasing rent and driving in Ramadan in this round up of Omani blogs. Also, how was life before the opening of mega malls and are you interested in attending Oman's first bloggers meeting on October 3?

PYQ blogs about landlords’ avoidance of the new rent laws in Oman that limit rent escalation to 7.5% per year:

Let’s really think about this! So you decide to rent a property, the owner say here lets sign a lease for one year. Your excited, you found a great flat and you know that you signed a lease for a year and when next year rolls around your rent wont go up by more than 7.5%. A year of bliss passes, and you’re looking forward to sign a new lease at a maximum of 7.5% higher rents. What are the chances of that happening?

Well it depends. Assuming no changes in supply of housing and the current increases in demand, the landowner is not going to sign a new lease. The owner is going to inform you that he is not renting the property to you this year and you need to pack up your bags and leave.
He signs a new lease with a new tenant at 200% increase in rent. You on the other hand, get to move to a new flat where the cap no longer applies!

Kishor Cariappa also blogs about a recently received email message that echoes that same concept:

We are the residents of Muscat Oasis Residents in Boucher. After the abnormal weather conditions that hit Oman in June 2007, the management in the compound started to increase rents for new renewals by at least 45%. After the cabinet decision to put the 15% cap on rents, the management just went crazy! They started to issue evacuation notice to tenants whom their contract is about to expire.

The reason for evacuation is “refurbishment”. Just to show that this is a false reason, some of the tenants got a letter of increasing the rent on 20th Sep 2007, and then they got the evacuation letter on 23rd Sep 2007. We have copies of these letters that was sent to many people. This might seem to be a specific issue, but if we look into it, we will find that many landlords will use such play in order to increase rents.

On a different note, Suburban blogs at the Oman Community Blog about the impatient driving attitude in the holy month of Ramadhan:

What I'm wondering is, does Ramadhan not count when you are inside your car? Has there been a ruling that good bahavior and generosity are to be forgotten during the commute? I'd love it if Sk Khalfan could address this issue during his drive time show.

New expat blog in Oman talks about the calm life of Muscat before hyper markets and City Centre came to town:

It was a stray conversation that set me thinking.
I was talking to an acquaintance the other day. The guy is in Oman for the past couple of years. When I told him casually that I was in the Sultanate since 1997, what he came out with took me totally by surprise.
“I cannot believe it. What did you do for entertainment? I mean, imagine a weekend without Muscat City Centre?”

What did I do in the pre-City Centre days?

Al Maawali reports from the latest seminar on social media organised by the Knowledge Oasis Muscat a couple of weeks ago:

third in the it's series organized by Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM). I attended the seminar yesterday and it was much better than what I expected it to be. The topics covered were very interesting.
There was a host, Mr. Graham Porter a VSM, Public Sector, Strategic Engagement Group for CISCO, who asked questions to a panel of people that are making a difference in the Media sector of the country.
They talked about New Media, the definition of new media, how can we use it and what are the pros and cons of using it. Everybody had a different idea of what it is and how to use it so, it was a pretty good discussion.

I would like to end this post with an invitation to all bloggers in Oman to attend the first gathering of bloggers on Wednesday the 3rd of October, more information on this at the Oman Community Blog.


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