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For rent – but not to Kuwaitis
Kuwaiti bachelors find it extremely difficult to get apartments on rent in the country reports Kuwait Times, and explains why.
April 13, 2009 7:41 by Hussain Al-Qatari
Looking for an apartment to rent is almost impossible for a single Kuwaiti, whether male or female. Coastal areas all around Kuwait advertise vacant apartments of various sizes in apartment buildings, but the majority are reserved for expatriates only.
A twenty something Kuwaiti recently tried to rent an apartment in an all-bachelor building that has foreign tenants. The Kuwaiti client and the real estate agent agreed on the price and the conditions for renting and arranged for a date and time to sign the contract. The date for the client’s move into the building was also set. But when the renter – who spoke fluent English with the agent throughout the entire process – handed in his civil ID, the agent refused the rent contract. “We don’t rent apartments to Kuwaitis in this building. You have to speak to our lawyer first,” the agent said.
Speaking to the agent, the client asked why Kuwaiti tenants were refused. “It is against our policy. We only rent to expats,” the agent said, refusing to explain further.
Abdulrazzaq, another real estate agent who is responsible for four residential towers in Bneid Al-Gar, said the preference for expatriate tenants over citizens is due to what Abdulrazzaq called “the prohibited activities many Kuwaiti tenants use the apartments for.
A lot of the time they negotiate with us about the price and tell us that they are very serious, but once we close the deal, we realize that they are turning the place into a weekend bachelor pad. We get complaints from many of the other tenants. We lose our reputation among the other buildings and in turn, we lose our business. This is all because we allowed Kuwaiti bachelors to stay in the apartment (building),” explained Abdulrazzaq.
Abu Yousif, an owner of a real estate company that runs many buildings in Mangaf, Hawally, Salmiya and Shaab, explained that he agrees to rent to Kuwaitis, but it all depends on his first impression about them. “I don’t like to be unfair. Not every Kuwaiti tenant is going to use the apartment for drinking and partying. I prefer to meet them first and then make my decision.
Ebrahim, a 29-year-old Kuwaiti who has been living in his Hawally apartment for more than three years, said it took him months to find a residential tower owner willing to rent to him. “I made it clear to each agent that I spoke to: I am very serious. I need an apartment in a quiet neighborhood. It is not my intention to bring people over and party until the early hours of morning. Most of them said they can’t and that I need to speak to the owner of the building. Only a few of them agreed to rent to me, but those ones had a lot of bachelors living there. It was impossible to spend one weekend there without loud music.
Tariq, a Kuwaiti in his mid thirties, had to opt for fooling the system in order to get his apartment. “I had to ask my British friend to go talk to an agent and find an apartment for me. He signed the contract while I lived in the apartment. That’s all I had to do. It totally worked.”
First seen in Kuwait Times.