Lebanon Businessnews News

New rent law hinges on private sector funding
Initial agreement to pass rent-to-own bill soon
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The rent-to-own draft law is currently being studied by joint parliamentary committees. MP Michel Moussa, representative of the Parliament’s higher board said “the rent-to-own law should be passed before pursuing parliamentary deliberations to rectify the old rents’ law.”

Landlords of ‘old-rent’ buildings are pushing the Parliament to adopt the new rents law before the end of the year. Old rent contracts are governed by the 1992 Rent Act which kept the prices unchanged.

According to MP Samir Jisr, president of the subcommittee tasked with addressing the issue, the main parliamentary blocs have conveyed a preliminary agreement to pass the rent-to-own bill. “Generally, there are no obstacles blocking its approval,” he said.

The rent-to-own draft states that the tenant pays the regular rental fees which are to be considered as part of the down payment on the price of the property. The ownership of the property would be transferred to the tenant after he has paid the whole price.

“We have held a number of meetings with private sector delegates to see how much the private sector is willing to fund the project,” said Jisr. As per the rent-to-own law, the state-owned Public Corporation for Housing would construct apartment buildings to accommodate the old tenants.

The prices of apartments will be subsidized. A number of major investment incentives for building housing units had been suggested, including price cuts on construction permits and insurance fees.

Officials said the approval of the rent-to-own law would help resolving the controversial old rents’ crisis. “Once the subcommittee concludes its discussions, the rent-to-own draft will go to joint committees for approval and then to the Parliament’s general assembly,” Jisr said.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Oct 11, 2012
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