(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Merchants and tenants from across the Kingdom gathered in front of the Royal Court on Monday to protest against the Landlords and Tenants Law.
In a demonstration organised by the National Society to Support the Rights of Tenants, merchants waved Jordanian flags and held up banners denouncing the law.
Merchants reject Article 5 of the law, which stipulates that tenants must renegotiate their contracts with their landlords under new conditions; and Article 7, under which tenants' heirs are allowed to retain residential properties for three years and commercial properties for six years following the tenant's death.
Asem Sharareh, the president of the society, said that rental fees should be raised in accordance with the financial situation in Jordan, citing a study by the society that he said supported that position.
"Therefore, the landlord can take advantage of a reasonable new rental fee, which will be affordable for tenants," he told The Jordan Times outside the Royal Court.
Khaled Abu Aisha, a trader from Zarqa Governorate, said that because of the new calculation mechanism, rents have increased significantly.
Under the law, if a landlord and tenant cannot agree on a new rent, they can resort to court, which has to send a team to assess the rent in accordance with the location of the rented property. The ruling should be issued within six months.
"We have to meet other expenses, such as the salaries of employees and electricity and water bills," he told The Jordan Times.
Khaled Ramhi, a garment seller, said the teams sent by the court to asses rents were biased.
"The panel consists of surveyors and engineers who are experts in the prices of land and real estate, but no representatives of the commercial sector. My store's rental fee was JD100 monthly in 2010 and it was increased to JD425 because of the team," he said.
Muhanad Abu Aisha, another garment trader from Zarqa, voiced disappointment over the inheritance clause in Article 7.
"If the shopkeeper dies, his family has to find a another shop after six years, which will be a difficult task for them. Also, the family built a reputation at the old location. If they have to leave this location, they will lose half of their clients," he said.