BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Beirut tenants protest new rent law

People shop in Hamra. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: A group of concerned citizens Monday protested the new rent law passed by Parliament last month, blocking a road and disrupting traffic in a bustling Beirut neighborhood.

The protesters gathered in Hamra at around 5 p.m. and marched toward Raouche, chanting slogans and demanding the president refrain from signing the law.

Wajih Damerdji, head of the follow up committee for tenants, asked President Michel Sleiman not to place his signature on a law which he said "would do away with the middle and low class."

The committee has said that the law would also displace hundreds of families who rent in Beirut under an old law that governs lease contracts enacted before 1993.

Inhabitants pay minimal rent fees that often amount to less than LL1,000,000 annually.

Under the new law, rents would increase over six years until they reach 5 percent of the current market value of an apartment. Owners have the freedom to either sell the apartment or lease under a new contract and price.

 

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