Tenants and landlords can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now, as a member of the Muscat Municipality said that ‘most probably’ there will be no increase in rent agreements this year.
“So far, we have not discussed the reviewing of rental fees this year. Most probably, there will be no increase this year,” Salim Mohammed Al Ghamary, Muscat Municipality Council member told.
Last year, the municipal fee for all tenancy agreements were increased from 3 to 5 per cent in the Sultanate. Either the landlord or tenant had to pay the increase.
The move was initiated as part of measures taken by the Ministry of Finance in the 2016 State Budget to shore up non-oil revenues.
A real estate agent said that revising the rental agreement fee again this year would not be a good move.
“Already, a good number of expatriates are leaving Oman for good due to economic conditions, and flats are remaining vacant. We were paying the municipality fee for our tenants. Even though it is not a big amount, if an increase is done at this time of austerity it would be a difficult situation for us,” the real estate agent said.
According to a recent report by international real estate consultancy Cluttons, average rental rates fell by a further 2.3 per cent during the third quarter of 2016, bringing the total decline for the year to 8.1 per cent in Oman’s residential market.