Salary by Gregorian: Why rent by Hijra calendar?
Expats are increasingly becoming concerned about house rents which are continuously on the rise, yet they are required to pay them according to the Islamic calendar while they get their monthly salaries in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
Mans Sarip Marohoma, a Filipino engineer based in Riyadh, said: “The difference of 11 days between the Islamic and Gregorian calendars means that over a period of three years, I am paying an additional one month’s rent.”
He told Arab News that apartment rents keep increasing with time resulting in a net loss to expats.
“We rented our flat 10 years ago and paid our first rent in July 2005. Our last renewal was due in April 2014 which means that we paid an extra three-month rent according to the Islamic calendar,” said another expat, Roudy Serrano Agcol.
A media person who has been living in Riyadh for 12 years said he is now paying almost two years of rent instead of one because of the difference in the two calendars.
Similarly, an Indian businessman who has been residing in the Kingdom since 1976 said: “Owing to the time lag between the two systems, I have ended up paying 418 days of extra rent during my last 38 years in the Kingdom.” He added that this is a legal issue, which should be addressed by the Saudi courts.
Meanwhile, the soaring rents are adding to the woes of both citizens and expats alike. Many tenants have expressed frustration with their landlords who are increasing rents arbitrarily. Low-income families are the hardest hit with four or five-bedroom apartments currently being leased at SR32,000-35,000 making them almost unaffordable for this category of residents.