Question: Is it legally possible for a building owner to disconnect electricity for delay in rent payment? Due to delayed salary, I am unable to pay the rent in time. Most of the months, there is a delay of 5-7 days. Now the owner has threatened me saying that he will disconnect electricity and water. I have a valid lease contract and I am giving reasonable rent.
RE, Doha

Answer: When there is a lease contract and a tenant residing at the premises, the lessor has no right to cut the electricity connection for any reason. In the event of non-payment of rent, the lessor can file a rental case before the Rental Disputes Settlement Committee to claim for the rent and termination of the lease contract. 

Debt created by a shareholder
Q: I started a company in 2010 with a local partner and as part of company’s expansion, we included a partner with 10% shares. Now the new partner has left the country keeping the shares in his name and we have agreed to pay him the profits yearly. Recently, the company received a notice from a lawyer stating that the new partner has left the country without settling his debts. My question is regarding the debt created by the partner in his personal capacity. If any of the creditors files a case against the partner, does it affect the day-to-day affairs of the business? Is there a problem as the company has 10% shares in his name? Please advise. 
KE, Doha

A: Article 533 of the Civil Law states that if any shareholder has personal creditors, they may not collect their rights from that shareholder’s contribution to the share capital of the company, but they may settle such rights from his share of the profit. If the company is liquidated, the creditors may collect their rights from the share of their debtor in the assets of the company after deduction of the company’s debts. However, prior to such liquidation, they may impose an injunction on the share of such debtor to protect the interest of the creditors.

A case of ‘forged
Q: I have filed a case for not receiving salary from my old employer and he has submitted a document to establish that I have received the salary. But I have not received any salary and not signed any such document. What step shall I initiate when the document is forged? What action will the court take in such a case? Please advise. 
SO, Doha

A: In case if the opposite party submits any document, which is forged, the other party can file an objection before the court. According to Article 207 of the criminal procedure code, if the court considering the case finds that the decision on the case depends on the contested document and that there is a reason to proceed with establishing the evidence of forgery, it may refer the documents to the Public Prosecution, and suspend the proceedings until the forgery is decided. The court may, if the decision on the forgery action is within its jurisdiction, investigate the claim itself and rule on the validity of the document. The court may also adjudicate the claimant of forgery to pay a fine of QR1,000 if a ruling or order of non-existence of forgery is issued.

No need for NOC to take up new job
Q: I have been working in a company as a security personnel since 2014. Recently I have got a much better offer from another company. As per the law, do I need to obtain NOC from my current employer if I cancel my visa and return on the new employer visa? Please advise. 
JQ, Doha 

A: As per the entry, exit and residence law (Law No 21 of 2015), the employee can change the job with the approval of the government, either after the expiry of their contract or after five years of service with the employer if the contract is indefinite. In case of cancellation of residency permit, the person will be able to return to Qatar to take up employment immediately after being granted a new visa. The law abolished the earlier two-year ban on expatriates who want to come back to the country on a new visa. An expatriate who has got a new contract to work in Qatar can come back even the next day. Now there is no requirement of a no-objection certificate from the previous employer for a former resident to take up a new job in Qatar.

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According to Article 398 of Civil and Commercial Procedure Law, the creditor shall sign a temporary distraint on movable property of the debtor in the following cases: (a) If he is a bearer of a promissory note or bond and the debtor was a trader who signed the promissory note or bond that obligated him to pay pursuant to the commercial law; (2) If the debtor does not have a stable domicile in Qatar or if the creditor fears for serious reasons that the debtor will escape or smuggle his money or hide it; (3) Any other cases where the creditor fears the loss of surety on his entitlement.
The landlord of a property shall, vis-a-vis the tenant, effect a temporary distraint on existing movables in the leased property as a surety for the lease. The landlord may also effect a temporary distraint if these movables have been transferred from the leased property without his consent, unless thirty days have lapsed after the transfer.
As per Article 400, the owner of the movable property shall effect the temporary distraint at the place of the person who possessed it. Temporary distraint shall only take place in the aforementioned cases for attainment of an existing right with immediate effect. If the creditor has no executive deed or enforceable judgment or if the debt has no specific value, the distraint shall only take place with an order from the judge of execution to give permission for distraint and to assess the distrainer’s debt temporarily. An order to this effect shall be made with a petition including the causes thereof. The petition shall include a sufficient statement of the movables that are subject to distraint. The judge, before issuing the order, may conduct a short investigation if the supportive documents are not sufficient. The distrainee shall be summoned with the minutes of distraint and the order issued therein, if he was not summoned of such distraint, within a maximum of two weeks from the date of signature, otherwise it shall be and void.
According to Article 404, if it is ruled that the temporary distraint is void or dismissed because it is baseless, the distrainer may be ordered to pay a fine not exceeding QR500 in addition to payment of compensation to the distrainee.
The creditor may request the judge of execution to order the prohibition of the debtor from travelling if there are serious reasons for fearing that the debtor will escape or smuggle his money. However, the debtor may appeal the order and request its dismissal if he deposits the value of the debt at the treasury of the court or submits a sufficient guarantee or if the court finds valid reasons for its dismissal. Petition for a travel prohibition should be submitted stating all reasons.
As per Article 407, issuing an order for a travel prohibition shall not breach the power of an authority to terminate a residence permit for the non-Qatari debtor or order him to depart the country or deport him from the country, if the public interest so requires.
Attachment shall not take place in the presence of the execution applicant. The execution officer shall not break doors or locks by force to execute attachment unless a police officer is present. This police officer shall sign the minutes of attachment, otherwise they shall be null and void. The execution officer may not search the debtor to execute attachment unless prior permission is acquired from the judge of execution to this effect. Attachment shall not necessitate removing attached movables from their location.
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