Lebanon News

Sleiman refers disputed rent bill for review

President Michel Sleiman speaks during a ceremony in Deir al-Qamar, Saturday, May 17, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman asked the Constitutional Council Monday to review the legality of a disputed rent law passed by Parliament last month.

According to his office, the president asked the council to review the "constitutionality" of the bill, which Sleiman refused to sign into law.

Sleiman has said that the bill is unfair and does not further social justice.

The draft law has been at the center of controversy since it was proposed by the Cabinet two years ago, with tenants saying it would displace thousands of families who rent in Beirut under an old law governing 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 the apartment. Owners would have the freedom to either sell the apartment or lease under a new contract and price.

Landlords have also held counterprotests, asking Sleiman to sign the law. The protesters have said that most of the owners are also part of the working class in the country and need to be treated fairly.





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