Housing Ministry launches Ejar service after 4-yr delay


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Ministry of Housing finally launched its Ejar Rental Service on Tuesday amid complaints that the long-drawn-out delay in the launch of the project had exacerbated price manipulations in the rental market.

The Ejar e-network allows customers to report violations by real estate brokers through a specific app that can be downloaded to smart devices. Landlords and tenants, including expatriates, can use the app called "real estate brokers" to communicate with the supervisory team at Ejar.

A monitoring and supervision team will receive all communications, verify their validity and set up field visits to the respective real estate brokerage to enforce necessary measures, including contacts with the concerned parties and legal procedures through judicial monitors.

The app allows customers to search licensed real estate agents for renting real estate through the unified electronic lease program. All necessary data and most common violations are available for review.

The common violations include real estate activities by non-Saudis, charging excessive commissions, charging commission on renewal of rental contracts, collusion of real estate agents in a location with the aim of price manipulation and failure to register rental contracts in the network.

The Housing Ministry launched the program with the aim of regulating the property rental sector as well as to streamline the contractual relationship between landlords and tenants.

The project was supposed to be launched some four years ago. Market watchers said the protracted delay in its launch led to large-scale speculations and manipulations in the property market.

Before inaugurating the project, the ministry organized intensive meetings with realtors to familiarize them with the terms and conditions of the program.

"Introductory meetings were held with real estate agents in three major cities, in addition to intensive talks with all relevant committees before finalizing the program's features," said Mohammed Al-Buti, consultant to the minister of housing and the executive director of the National Housing Company.

Chairman of the Housing Committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khalid Bashwaer said the committee had made many comments and suggestions in the interests of both the landlord and tenant during the project's formative stage.