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Rent not collected by Haris – Now we have received court notice

I have been residing in a flat for the past 16 years starting Sept 5, 2000, and have been paying my rent on time. The attached rental agreement is dated 01/02/2012 and runs for five years until January 2017.

According to the contract, I am required to pay the monthly rent by the 20th of each month, which I have paid without fail. While paying January rent on 07-1-2016, I informed the haris that I would be travelling to India from 19-1-2016 until 12-2-2016 and the haris said he would talk to the Kuwaiti landlord.

When we returned to the country on the 12-2-2016 we contacted the haris on his cell-phone, which he had been using for a very long time, but the mobile had been switched off. He did not inform us that he had changed his number. The next day, Feb 13, we got the haris’ new number and called him … he picked up and said he will come and collect the February rent, but he did not come.

We called him on his cell phone as well as my landline number but he did not pick the call many times and even when he answered he said he would … he, however, never came to collect the rent. He later told us to pay the February and March rent together in the month of March. But he did not come to collect the rent until March 5.

On March 6, we received a notice from the lawyer, which was on the door asking us to vacate the flat due to non-payment of February rent.

On receiving the notice I called the haris on his mobile and he informed us that the landlord had told him not to collect the rent. What can I do?

Name withheld
Answer: The only thing you can do is file a case in the Rents Court in your area, especially since the haris stopped you from paying the rent in time. A record of the calls made to the haris will help, especially if you don’t have witnesses to prove that the delay in the payment of the rent was not your fault.

Please remember that non-payment of rent, regardless of the fact that you were out of the country, is considered a violation of your rental contract. You should have deposited the rent with the rents court by the 20th of the month if the haris did not accept it.

As the actions of the haris and the landlord seemed to have been planned to get you out of the country, the only thing you can do is go to court.

Please also remember that even if the landlord carries on with his threat to evict you he must give you enough time, preferably a three-month notice, to find new accommodation.

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