Saudi sets deadline for business lease contract renewal

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia
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The Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has directed business owners to authenticate the new lease agreement or convert paper contracts to electronic ones before October 4.

The ministry has announced that only attested e-contracts will be linked to business licenses after the said date.

The move will ensure that municipal licenses can be more easily renewed by owners of commercial leases.

Saudi Arabia has launched a unified and mandatory lease agreement for commercial real estate, which requires all leases for residential and commercial properties to be registered on the online rental network.

The project involves activation of a link between the Ministry of Housing’s ‘Baladi’ portal and ‘Sakani’ program. This will motivate stakeholders such as real estate agents to lease the commercial sector through a commercial network.

In addition, the initiative aims to achieve a balance between demand and supply by regulating the commercial real estate sector, providing interactive services, boosting urban development and stimulating investments.

The online registration has to be done through the EJAR System introduced by the Ministry of Housing.

The EJAR system has made it mandatory for all real estate companies to join. It seeks to regulate the rental market through measures to control rent and to protect the rights of landlords and tenants.

The system clarifies the rights of tenants and landlords as both parties are required to sign the lease agreement on the EJAR network.

Further, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has made the registration of leases with electronic EJAR system mandatory for the issuance and renewal of work permits for non-Saudis.