Constant Increase in Rent

I have been staying in Abu Halifa for the last six years in the same flat. When I started in May 2006, the monthly rent was KD 150 and every two years the landlord increased the rent by KD 10. Now I am paying KD 180 and signed a contract on Feb 10, 2012. Now the landlord has sold this building to a real estate company and last month an Arabic letter was handed over to all tenants. It says that to stay in the same building we need to make a new contract with the company and the new rent will be KD 200 per month. Can they increase the rent like this?

Name withheld
Answer:
No, they can’t. Since you signed the contract only in February 2012, it doesn’t matter if there is a change in ownership the rent can’t be increased before 5 years. You can take the case to the Rental Court.

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