Summary and Recommendations
According to the Landlords and Tenants Law (the Law) of Jordan, all leases negotiated before the year 2000, will expire by the end of the year 2010. It is estimated that the majority of existing leases within Amman will expire under this law, throwing the Jordanian rental market-especially for commercial properties-into chaos.
As a response to this pending crisis, the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies ("ACHRS"), researched the situation in Jordan within the broader context of international human rights law. The multi-faceted investigation included a review of the relevant Jordanian legislation, a study of recent press clippings and public discussion surrounding the Landlords and Tenants Law and meetings with a variety of stakeholders and rental experts in Amman. Additionally, legal research on the right to adequate housing and Jordan‘s obligations under international human rights law was conducted; it is annexed to this document. Guided by this research, the ACHRS has the following recommendations to offer:
•● Given the risk of large-scale eviction and displacement under the current Law, there is definite need for governmental involvement in this matter and the Landlords and Tenants Law must be amended.
•● The amendment to the Law should be made as soon as possible, so that tenants, landlords, investors and the Jordanian community can plan accordingly.
•● This amendment should balance both the rights and the needs of tenants and landlords, rather than favoring one over the other.
•● Because of the different particularities of commercial and residential leases, the Law should address residential and commercial leases separately.
•● The potential social crisis that could result in 2010 must be avoided-the amended Law must be designed to avoid wide-scale displacement or homelessness, and should provide for alternate housing as needed.
•● Finally, given the complexities of the issue, a committee should be formed to evaluate the current situation and to monitor rental law as necessary in the future, to avoid a similar crisis from evolving again. Such a committee should ensure sufficient participation and representation of possibly affected parties.
•● When addressing the Law, Jordan must be guided by the principles embodied in the right to adequate housing. Accordingly, Jordan must recognize, respect, protect and fulfill the right to adequate housing, and meet its legal obligations, as outlined in the annexed memorandum.