Landlords of old rent buildings have been suffering for long decades and in conflict with tenants due to devaluation and the drastic collapse of the Lebanese pound exchange rate against dollar that occurred during the civil war.
A new phenomenon has arose lately, were landlords started sending warnings to their tenants to evacuate the apartment before the contract, which is usually for three years, expires. Property owners are afraid of undergoing the same experience of the old landlords, who are still receiving the same amount of money which do not exceed 50,000 LBP per month, although more than forty years have passed since leasing their old buildings.
Landlords are afraid of facing the same fate as their ancestors, especially that the new rents have lost their value as a result of the collapse of the exchange rate. Youssef Ghamraoui, a real estate owner told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Ghassan Farran: “I have big concerns amid this situation, and I am wondering how we can put an end to this hurdle, as we don’t want the old scenario, which landlords witnessed in seventies and eighties, to be repeated.
Ghamraoui added: “I remember that the rental cost for a house was 100 Lebanese pounds, that’s why we don’t want this scenario to be iterated, hoping that a government will be formed and all people will be treated in a fair way.”
Ghamraoui said: “The rental cost for an apartment ranges from $200 to $300, but the dollar exchange rate rose on the black market, while tenants are still paying according to the official exchange rate, which is 1,500 LBP.”
On the other side, tenants are also struggling amid the stifling economic situation, and any raise in the cost of rent will leave disastrous social repercussions on thousands of new tenants, whom are estimated around 200,000 tenants, according to the Ministry of Finance.