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
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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