Most expats in Qatar rent property and it is fairly easy to find rental accommodation in Doha. It is estimated that about 59% of properties in Doha are rental properties. It is most common to find property to rent through a local real estate agent or directly from landlords via classifieds websites.
Some companies, as part of their relocation package, also offer to find rental accommodation for employees, or provide rental accommodation as a benefit. Check with your employer about their accommodation policies.
To rent property in Doha you will need:
It is permissible to bargain and negotiate rental prices in Qatar, but you should be careful and do so respectfully.
Average rental costs in Doha are:
When renting in Doha, you should inquire about:
There are many websites to assist you in finding property to rent in Doha. These can be classifieds-type websites, or real estate agency web sites.
You may also look for classifieds in the Gulf Times, a major English language newspaper in Qatar. Housing postings can be found in the classifieds section of the hard copy of the newspaper.
You can also search for property available to rent by contacting specific developments, apartment blocks, or compounds directly, i.e. by making inquiries to the management or residents.
The Hukoomi site offers information on major real estate developments in Doha.
The real estate industry is not yet regulated in Qatar and it is unclear how the commission structure works. In some cases, commission fees are 5% of the annual rent or 50% of one month's rent, payable by the tenant. In other cases the landlord pays commission fees to the agency. Be sure to verify in writing what the agency's fees are before committing to anything.
You should get real estate agency recommendations through Qatar expat forums and inquiring with friends and co-workers before hiring an agent.
Rental contracts in Qatar are typically for one year, and are extendable for 1-2 month periods thereafter. Qatari law prevents landlords from legally raising rental prices for properties already rented to tenants.
Rental contracts are signed between the landlord and tenant (or your employer, if your employer is renting on your behalf). Rental contracts should include:
Contacts should be written in Arabic and English. However, in legal disputes, the Arabic contract is the only legally binding document. After you sign a contract the landlord must register it with the Ministry for Municipality & Urban Planning. The landlord must also pay a registration fee (1% of the annual rent) within 30 days of signing the contract.
Furnished apartments should come with an inventory, which should be reviewed by the tenant and landlord before signing a contract, and at the end of the contract's term.
According to Qatari law, landlords must provide 6 months' notice to quit or terminate the lease agreement to tenants.
Disputes between landlords and tenants should be brought to the attention of Qatar's Rental Dispute Settlement Committee, located next to Rawdat Ak Khail Park. A Judge chairs this committee, with two members appointed by the Minister.
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