Renting a Property in Bahrain
Consider what you need
If you’re looking to rent a residential property in Bahrain, you’ll discover the procedures do not differ widely from those in any other country. While it will be easier to find a new home using services of a property consultant who has a big database of properties and a good knowledge of local regulations (such as Impact Estate), it is possible to do it yourself.
While choosing a house or apartment, you should consider if you want to rent a furnished or semi-furnished property. Villas are generally let on a semi-furnished basis. This usually includes fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, dishwasher, oven and hob, air conditioning and sometimes curtains.
Apartments are generally let on a fully-furnished basis. However, it is possible to find unfurnished apartments or negotiate with the property owner to remove the furniture from the unit for long-term use.
Tax and Utilities
If you’re renting a fully-furnished property, the rent usually includes the municipality tax, electricity, water, satellite television, Interne and in the case of apartments, most also offer weekly housekeeping.
If you’re renting semi-furnished, the rent is usually exclusive of municipality tax (10% of the monthly rental) and utility bills.
As a tenant, you’ll find most lease agreements in Bahrain are for a term of one year with the option to renew.
Insist on a ‘Diplomatic Clause’ to be included in the lease, in case you are required to leave the island. Should this be the case, you may give one month’s notice at any time, with relevant paperwork.
The lease usually starts within 3-4 weeks of signing an agreement.
You are usually required to pay 3 months’ rent in advance and after that payments can be made monthly or quarterly in advance.
Some landlords may require a one-month security deposit, which is refundable at the end of the tenancy.
You must pay rent within 1 week from the date the rent is due under the lease. If the lease does not specify dates, then the rent will be deemed to be due on the first day of each month.
You must only occupy the property for the agreed use and are required to keep the property in a good condition. It is not permitted to make any alterations without the written consent of the landlord unless the proposed alteration does not materially affect the property.
You are responsible for making minor repairs to the property to make sure you return the property in the state it was in the start of the lease and ensure that all payments in respect of the property have been made.
Normally, you are obliged to bear the costs of utilities such as water, electricity and telephone, unless agreed otherwise.
In general, the required notice period is one month in writing.
In Bahrain the agent’s commission is paid by the landlord, thus no reputable agent will ever ask you personally for any fees.
The supply of all services, such as internet and satellite TV can take between 2-10 working days.
Municipality tax and utilities
If this is deemed to be your responsibility, you can register your account with the Ministry of Electricity and Water on production of a signed leased agreement and your CPR card (Bahrain ID card).
Telephone, internet and satellite TV
You’ll find a wide range of service providers in Bahrain and we can provide you with details of these.
Maintenance and Repairs
When you move into the property you will be provided with a contact number for maintenance or repairs.
The Lease Law states that the rent cannot be increased unless the tenant has been living in the property for 2 years. The level of increase is 5% for residential leases and 7% for all other leases. The rent cannot be increased more than 5 times during the term of the lease.
A landlord must provide a minimum of 3 months written notice in advance if he/she is going to increase your rent.
Renewals and termination of the Lease
You can remain in the property following the expiration of the contact as long as the landlord is informed and does not object.
If you intend to terminate the lease, then you should give this in the form of written notice to the landlord no less than 3 months prior to the expiration of the contract.