Thursday, 25 December 2014

8 Matters to consider when taking a house/flat on rent in Saudi Arabia

Searching for a good house on rent is a big deal in Saudi Arabia and you need to consider many factors. 30% population of Saudi Arabia is comprised of expatriates. You must know that there is no system of getting permanent residence or nationality for expatriates in Saudi Arabia. So called permanent residence permit can be issued for the maximum period of 2 years. However, most of the companies and Kafeels issue it for only one year. You cannot own any property here in Saudi Arabia so you must take it on rent to live. It is an important decision so you must consider some important factors before taking it. We have already explained in a previous article about the method of searching out a house “How to Search for a House in Saudi Arabia?

  1. Rent, Rent Increase and Other Costs: It is very important to ask your landlord about the annual rent and the duration up to which this rent will remain unchanged. If rent of your building is going to increase next year and you think that you would not be able to afford the house with increased rent, I don’t think one should go for the house since he has to vacate it next year. Second important question is to ask about the other charges. At the time I was taking my first flat in Saudi Arabia, I contracted with the landlord for SR 25,000/- per annum. After that he started asking for the Water charges of SR 150 per month and SR 50 for drainage water. Had I known this information at the time of contracting, my decision could have been different. Generally the rent agreement is made on the basis of Hijri calendar and it is paid for six months in advance.
  2. Electricity Meter: Now with the increase in electricity tariff rates, it is important to consider if you have a separate electricity meter or you will have to share it with other people. The electricity tariff increases with the increase in consumption of electricity. Let’s say, if two families use 4000 units together, they will have to pay SR 300 per month. However, if they are using separate meters and each one of them is using 2000 units, they will just have to pay SR 100 each. Moreover, do check that the electricity meter is domestic and not commercial. Tariff rate of commercial meters is 3 times higher than the domestic one. Recommended: A Guide to read and understand your Saudi Electricity Bill
  3. Notice Period: In case you want to leave your accommodation at any point of time, what is the notice period you have to surrender? If landlord wants to throw you out of the building, how long before the deadline he needs to inform you. Notice period should not be less than one month.
  4. Does the house need to be repaired or repainted?: It is your primary right to ask for all the repairs which come to your knowledge in your visits of house. Normally landlord takes some money as advance from you and agrees to give it back to you at the time of leaving the house. This money is security money which is taken to ensure that you leave house in a condition that repair and maintenance is not needed. Keep in mind that Saudi will never give this money back to you even if you keep his house in any condition. So, ask for all the repairs and maintenance from the landlord otherwise you will be liable for that and he has already taken money from the previous tenant for this repair and maintenance. Moreover, check the paint on the walls and ask him to repaint the house even if it 99% fine. Just show him some scars on the wall and never agree without this especially if he is taking deposit from you.
  5. Is that House Haunted???????????? I know it is a superstitious consideration but still families in Saudi Arabia believe in it.  We have published some articles on this subject. People strongly believe that many houses in Saudi Arabia are haunted and don’t want to live there. It is better to ask from the neighborhood about the house in this regard. Otherwise, you may have to change the house within few months if you wife starts feeling that this house is haunted. Who can speak in front of wife?
  6. Cleanliness of Building: If building is clean, it means watchman (Haris) is performing his duties well. However, some buildings are very dirty although they are new. One may not like to live in such building.
  7. Size of the Rooms: In most of the new buildings, size of the rooms is very small. Actually, they charge rent according to the number of rooms so they want to build as many rooms in a flat as possible. In old buildings size of the rooms is spacious.
  8. Windows in the Room: Women have to live in a very restrictive environment in Saudi Arabia. They cannot go out alone and remain dependent all the time on different people. It is better to have one window in each room through which they can see outside. At least they can open the window for the circulation of air in the house.
Useful Tips
  1. List of Residential Compounds in Jeddah
  2. List of Residential Compounds in Riyadh
  3. Rights of Apartment Tenants in Saudi Arabia
  4. Matters to consider when renting a house in Saudi Arabia
  5. 10 Things to do in Western Compounds of Saudi Arabia


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