Kuwait real estate association suggest banning expats from rentals

Published:  4 Dec at 6 PM
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A recent request by Kuwait’s Real Estate Association has drawn strong criticism from real estate experts.

Yet another hit at expat professionals living and working in Kuwait comes in the form of a proposal by the emirate’s Real Estate Association that expats should be prohibited from renting private homes. The suggestion was met with strong criticism from real estate agents themselves, with one stating renting out private homes to expats is considered the norm by a good number of Kuwaitis. Apparently, a number of Kuwaiti property investors even have properties built with the sole intention of letting them to incoming expat professionals. According to one prominent real estate agent, plots are now being sold to locals whose intent is to build rental properties to be let out as an investment.

The agent also stressed real estate professionals are pushing for expats to be allowed to own their own homes in the emirate. This, he says, will have a strong, positive effect on Kuwait’s property sector. Another realtor believes renting out specially-converted apartments within large family homes should not pose problems for the home-owners themselves. However, Osama al Otaibi, a former member of the emirate’s Municipal Council, disagrees and states a law exists which prevents Kuwaiti home owners from renting out to unmarried men, no matter whether they are expats or nationals.

Another former council member, Meshal al Juwaisari, dismissed the Real Estate Association’s request, saying the association should rather focus on enforcing the law against unmarried males by evacuating them from private residential districts. Dr Hassan Kamal agreed, but insisted alternative accommodation should be found for those who are evicted, adding that expatriate families should not face eviction.

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, the row over the issuance of driving licenses to expats goes on. Recent reforms of the original statement suggest expats earning a low minimum wage should be prohibited from obtaining a driving license, excluding those who have a license to work as drivers. At present, expats earning more than 4,000 riyals are disallowed from getting driving licenses but, as discussions continue, it’s anyone’s guess what will come next.
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