Old Rent Law Advantages And Disadvantages

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A- Introduction The old rent law in Lebanon was enacted after the end of the World War II, in order to protect the rights of tenants from greedy landowners. The law was based on freezing all rental agreements made before this date. This law did not take into consideration inflation, the eventual rise in wages, and the increase in the rental housing market. The agreement would be called off in two cases: if the purpose is to destroy the building, or if the landlord (or his family) wants to live in the apartment for which they have to prove a need to do so. After the Civil War in 1992, the rent market was liberated, and new contracts were allowed. Landlords were able to raise rent after three years. But the issue of landlords with tenants paying…show more content…
Beyond the issue going on between the owners and the tenants, rent control causes an issue on the urban renewal process level and the disadvantaged population of a city that because of the post war reconstruction is facing gentrification. The old rent law in Beirut, despite its flaws, is suppressing gentrification by keeping the middle class in affordable housing units in the center of the city. B- Disadvantages of the Old Rent Law in Lebanon The Old rent law in Beirut has a lot of disadvantages. This fixed law shifted the responsibly of the state to provide affordable housing to individual landlords. Instead they obliged the landlords to solve issues beyond their ability. In addition to that, landowners had to take the full financial risk caused by this policy. This law also created a Rent Gap, caused by the low returns for the owners which do not exceed few hundreds of dollars per year. This rent gap has two consequences: the low revenues from the rents, prevent the owners from paying for maintenance, which results in a poor living conditions and sometimes could lead into disasters for example: the collapsing of the building. It is also considered as an urban…show more content…
Not forgetting that the prices need to be affordable by the middle class, to preserve the social diversity in the city. Granting proper, affordable places for the middle and working-class communities in Beirut is a challenge related to the gentrification going on in the area. This challenge coincides with the transforming of the old rent law. This city is facing a mismatch both qualitative and quantitative. Due to land scarcity and the high prices of new real estate projects, there is a need to find a place for middle class category which is taking advantage from the old rent law currently happening. The affordable housing is insufficient, and the recent real estate developments are affordable only for the elite and upper class households. The apartments who benefited from the old rent, was turned by the real estate companies into luxurious apartments, sold to rich immigrants or owners from the Gulf which makes them rarely inhabited and off the rental market. Just like the example in Solidere where the real estate market is offering a housing supply disconnected from the demands of the locals. This type of apartments is not designed for the Beirutis, which is driving them away, keeping the city empty. From this point of view,

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