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Housing in Pakistan

Popular area for the expatriate community is Islamabad and Karachi. The availability of apartments and houses in the country and particularly in these popular areas varies. Most expatriates rent their apartment or house; although some buy their homes. Both options are available but mainly depend on your company policy, income, and the length of your stay.

Cost of housing varies from area to area and the size of the house or apartment. Housing prices are absurd compared to local wages, yet the short supply of reasonable accommodations and the ready cash of some expatriates result in a spiralling market.

Renting a Property

In Islamabad Capital Territory rents can be freely agreed between landlord and tenant. The rental agreement must be registered with the Rent Controller within a week of signing the agreement. The rent of a building is automatically increased at the end of every three years of the tenancy by 25% of the rent already being paid by the tenant, unless the landlord and tenant agree to increase the rent by an agreement in writing.

In the five other areas of Pakistan covered by distinctive provincial legislation, the Rent Controller is empowered to fix a fair rent, on application by the tenant or landlord. These five other areas are:

1. Punjab;
2. NWFP;
3. Baluchistan;
4. Sindh; and
5. Cantonment areas.

The following factors are considered in deciding on a fair rent:

• the rent of the same building or similar accommodation in the locality at the time, and during the 12 months prior to the application;
• the rise in the cost of construction, repairing charges, and taxes;
• the rental value of the building in the Property Tax Assessment Register of the Taxation Department (or the assessment list of the Cantonment Board) in the Cantonment areas.

In the Cantonment areas, and in Punjab/NWFP/Baluchistan, if the fair rent exceeds the rent being paid by the tenant on the date of filing the application, the maximum rent increase is 25%.

In Sindh, where a fair rent has been fixed, no increase may be affected for three years. In any event, the increase in rent may not exceed 10% per annum on the existing rent.

In Islamabad Capital Territory and the Cantonment areas, if the rent has been determined by agreement between the landlord and tenant, no further increase is permissible during the tenancy if it is less than three years, except where some addition alteration or improvement has been carried out at the landlord’s expense and at the request of the tenant. The rent so increased may not exceed the fair rent payable for a similar building or rented land in the same locality, and is not chargeable until the improvement or alteration has been completed.





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