BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Owners criticize tenants for seeking challenge to rent bill

Owners of apartments protest in support of the new rent law in Beirut, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The owners of old rent law buildings criticized tenants for seeking a challenge to the controversial new rent bill recently endorsed by Parliament in a statement Wednesday.

The owners accused tenants of asking lawmakers to sign a challenge to the bill that President Michel Sleiman refused to sign.

The owners said they had “full confidence that the lawmakers who voted for the law during Parliament’s session on April 1 would continue to defend the bill.”

The owners also called for the support of the president to keep the law on a “positive track” to implementation.

The new rent bill was published in the Official Gazette on May 8. Lawmakers and the president have 15 days to challenge the law before it goes into effect.

Tenants have said that the law will displace thousands 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 it under a new contract and price.

 

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