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Saturday , February 29 2020

Landlord problems

I am living in Salmiya, Block 12. My building owner has sold the building to a new owner, a property rental company in Kuwait. They have started building two floors above my terrace. This has created a lot of nuisance for the tenants.

My contract for the flat is valid till March 2017 with a rent of KD 240. However, in December 2015, the owner’s mandoob (representative) came and handed all tenants a notice stating that all tenants must vacate their apartments on or before June 1, 2016 … i.e. a 6 months notice with free rent from March to June 2016. Given this, last week the mandoob came for a discussion with the tenants and gave an ultimatum to us to sign a new contract for KD 350 from September 2016.

Most of the tenants agreed that it was a decent solution but said they would sign the contract if there was any improvement in the buildings as the elevator was not working properly and the central air condition was terrible in the summer.

All tenants asked for some more time to think and discuss the proposal and pointed out that we had more than 3 months to tackle the issue. That night the owner and mandoob came and took away the water pump from the only tank available to the tenants.

These tenants are all very respected senior engineers, managers and accountants and building houses all families with children. It has been more than 4 days that we have been without water … and this a country like Kuwait.

Everyone now carries buckets to the municipality water tap, catches water and returns to use the same. Is this not inhumane? My neighbor complained to the police, who came and checked all the flats. Nothing has happened nor any action been taken over the last 2 days. What can be done… please. It is the almost unimaginable and inhumane behavior I have ever come across. I do not want to sign any contract with the owner nor do any of the tenants because of what he has done.

The tenants have proposed that we buy a water pump and connect it to the tank but the owner Kuwaiti has threatened to have it removed if the same is installed without his permission. I am a law abiding citizen and so are all the tenants, the police came and checked all the flats, everyone in the building has families and in positions of note… what I can do to get justice for this cruelty. This is typical ransom and torture to deprive people of water. And he has stressed he will next put the elevator out of service and cut the electricity.

Name withheld
Answer: The landlord is totally wrong in this regard and all of you can take the landlord to court. There are six things that you can do in this court, simultaneously to put pressure on the landlord.

1. The tenants — as a group — should file a case with police asking it to stop taking all these actions which are harmful for you and your families.

2. File a case with the rental court, quoting all the illegal actions the landlord is taking to evict you all. Also immediately stop paying the rent and deposit the same with the Rents Court in your area.

3. File a complaint with Kuwait Municipality over the cutting of the water supplies and other steps being taken by the landlord as these threaten your health and that of your families.

4. File a case at the Palace of Justice and seek damages from the landlord for the illegal action he has taken as this not only threatens the health of your families but is also a violation of the contracts signed with the previous owner of the building. Please remember that all liabilities of a landlord are transferred to the next one whenever a building is sold.

5. Draw the attention of the Human Rights Committee at the Kuwait National Assembly to the situation.

6. And lastly have the problems of the tenants published in the daily papers. This will draw the attention of the various concerned ministry officials to the illegal actions of the landlord.

Please remember the landlord cannot cut the water or electricity supplies nor stop the use of the elevator. All these are illegal actions for which the landlord could run into legal problems.

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