A Proposed Law Acting as a Final Blow Towards Destroying What Remains of People’s Interests and the Urban Fabric

A draft law proposing the liberalization of non-residential old rent leases

The committees (the Committee of Administration and Justice on 5/7/2022 and the Committee of Finance and Budget on 21/7/2022) have completed studying the proposal for a Rent Law for non-residential units, and it is expected to be included, as amended by the Committee of Administration and Justice, on the agenda of any of the upcoming general legislative commission’s sessions.

The liberalization law for residential old rent was issued in 2014, and today, a new law is being proposed, aiming to liberalize non-residential old rents. The proposal is based on liberating the non-residential old lease contracts after 4 years from the date of the law’s approval, provided that the rent values are gradually raised during this period until they reach the value of the equivalent allowance (8% of the value of the rented property). This proposal focuses in its positive raison-d’être on the forfeited rights of owners, and the violation of the sacred property right, instead of proposing laws that protect the rights of those who do not benefit from the privilege of “property”, and those who lose their workplaces due to an unparalleled economic collapse, forgetting that one of the most important causes of the current financial collapse is the dependency of the national economy on unreasonable profits in the real estate sector. The legislation is lacking any information regarding the contracts it covers or what they are, and it does not distinguish between old landlords and real estate companies buying lands for cheap, which means that liberalizing rents constitutes for them a form of illegal profiteering. Likewise, the draft law focuses on protecting the interests of the landlords, without considering the economic interests of the large majority, which may be greatly affected by raising the costs of renting work spaces, and may be forced to close their doors, which greatly affects some regions, and leads to changing the neighborhoods and their socio-economic and urban character.

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The Lebanese Parliament has recently approved the proposal to liberalize old non-residential rent. Nonetheless, the government refused to ratify the law, returning it to the parliament pursuant to return decree number 12835, thus …