‘It is up to the state to take suitable decisions’
KUWAIT CITY, Aug 21: Owners of residential buildings have lately been informing tenants to bear the cost of electricity and water usage, mainly due to the decision to be enforced on Tuesday, August 22 to increase the electricity and water tariffs based on Law No. 20/2016.
They sent the message across to their tenants either through the building caretakers or in notices that were stuck on the main entrances of the residential buildings. According to the law, electricity prices will increase from two fils per kilowatt to five fils per kilowatt. Water prices will increase from 800 fils to KD 1 per imperial gallon.
Number of residential building owners and tenants were interviewed about this matter. Mutlaq Al-Harbi is the owner of a residential building who informed his tenants about them having to bear the electricity and water bills. He stressed the keenness of all citizens including him to respect and abide by the law.
Al-Harbi explained that it is up to the state to take suitable decisions concerning increasing the electricity and water charges or charges of medical services offered to expatriates.
In the same way, owners of residential buildings also have the right to take suitable decisions in their favor.
Meanwhile, a tenant Wael Bahnas explained that he has been living in Kuwait since 2011 and has stayed in many flats. All rent contracts state that the costs for electricity and water usage are paid by the owner.
Two months ago, he was surprised to see a paper stuck on the building’s main entry, stating that the charges for both water and electricity usage will be paid by the tenants starting from August 2017. He insisted that nobody has the right to object to the laws taken by the state, adding that the state is also responsible for protecting the people living on its land, whether citizens or expatriates.
Bahnas indicated that the rents in Kuwait are considered among the most expensive in the world whereas the salaries of most expatriates are low, which in turn increases their suffering and makes life more difficult for them especially since fuel prices have increased, and services such as state-level education and free medical services and medicines are not available for expatriates.
Kareem Al-Sayed is a tenant who has been living in Kuwait for five years. He explained that his salary initially was low but he was able to save a part of it. Even though his salary eventually increased, he was unable to save anything due to increase in the cost of living. Al-Sayed insisted on the need for the state to intervene in the fixing of rents in order to protect tenants who constitute the weakest ring in the chain.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff