What you need to consider before signing a lease, by Laura Blenkinsop Manager Apollo Furniture & Real Estate

by: Laura Blenkinsop
Apollo Furniture & Real Estate

Navigating the Qatar rental market can be a daunting task to face when one first arrives or even if you have been in the country for a while. Getting to grips with the many areas, property types and the nature of the rental contracts can sometimes leave one feeling confused and searching for answers.

If you are torn about which type of property to choose from, make sure you ask your agent or the landlord to read over the contracts before you make a final decision. It’s important to note that no two contracts are the same, so take your time to read through any contract carefully before you commit. We would also suggest familiarising yourself with the Qatar rental laws to fully understand the individual rights of a tenant and a landlord.

At Apollo Real Estate, we feel strongly about making sure our clients and landlords have all the correct information before finalising rental contracts. We thought it best to summarise some key points to keep in mind to make sure you’re entering into not only the right property but also the right contract.

Before you start your search for a property, it’s important to understand how long you are planning to stay in Qatar (this may be subject to your employment contract, etc.). If you’re only here for a short period of time, it’s probably a good idea that you look at hotels or serviced apartments which offer short-term lease packages. However, if your employment contract is for a year or more, then it’s a better option to look for a more permanent residence like an apartment or villa, as rental periods are normally annual rates.

Now, we often get asked “What happens if I lose my job?”. Our advice to tenants is to inform your landlord or the property manager in writing straight away. Provide them with proof of your dismissal by forwarding your company’s termination letter. We also advise tenants to check what the lease contract says regarding this matter.

This is an important part of any lease contract to review before signing. As previously mentioned, no two contracts are the same, so this may be a deal breaker if the contract terms do not sit right with you. In our experience, most landlords are normally very understanding, especially if they have been given plenty of notice and the tenant has been respectful of the property. 

What maintenance is covered by the landlord is another important matter to understand before finalising your decision. Again, this can vary from contract to contract and depends on property type. The maintenance for a property in a compound may differ from the maintenance for a standalone villa. So, make sure you check first with the agent/landlord and that it’s reflected in the contract.

A recent update to the Qatar Lease Laws was that all lease properties must register new leases with the Municipality. The registration of the rental contract is the landlord’s responsibility and the fees charged to register with the Municipality are all covered under the landlord’s obligation. Bear this in mind should it be mentioned when viewing your potential home.

There is no such thing as too many questions, so make sure when you’re out viewing properties with an agent, you at least clarify the above key points.

Once you have found a property you want to call home, just ask to review the tenancy contract first and query any matters with your agent before signing. It is important to remain confident and informed throughout every stage of the process in finding the right home for you.