Saudi Arabia Ejar system ‘fails’ as rents continue to rise

It has been three years since the launch of the electronic portal “Ejar,” but citizens and residents continue to face the problems of skyrocketing rents for houses.

The Ministry of Housing has also failed to provide housing units to thousands of citizens in all regions of the country, a local newspaper reported on Saturday.

Ejar was launched with much enthusiasm on June 27, 2012. The ministry had claimed it would find comprehensive solutions to problems pertaining to the housing sector, control manipulation in prices and establish a just and fair relationship between tenants and landlords. It had also promised that there would be a balance between demand and supply.

The move then looked like a saviour for millions of citizens whose budgets were strained in the absence of a regulation to protect the tenants from price manipulation.

However, the Ejar system remained literally inactive, although the ministry had said that it would be gradually implemented in three phases before its final application on the real estate sector.

“Real estate offices were supposed to display the housing units available on rent, along with their locations electronically. However, many of these offices are found to be indulging in unfair practices,” the newspaper said.

Meanwhie, the ministry has so far distributed only 2,000 residential units in Jazan, Qasim and Madinah, but there are many incomplete housing projects. Some of these projects were launched four years ago, the newspaper said.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK