Landlords reluctant to rent apartments to Saudi single women

Buildings owners are reluctant to rent to women due to social and legal reasons

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Many property owners across Saudi Arabia are refusing to rent apartments to divorced or widowed women to avoid possible problems, Al-Watan daily reported.

Sameerah Hanyah, a Saudi engineer, said her ex-husband regularly threatens to have her evicted from her apartment since the rental agreement is in his name.

Sameerah wants to live in Jeddah to be close to her children. Her only brother is in the U.S. on a government scholarship and her mother lives in Riyadh with her elder sister.

“I am unable to rent an apartment using my identity card and face being kicked out onto the street,” she said.

Saleh Al-Ghamdi owns a real estate office and he believes buildings owners are reluctant to rent to women due to social and legal reasons.

“It is difficult to identify women when they have their faces covered and it is also socially difficult for a man to ask a woman to pay rent. This may lead some women to exploit the situation and not pay their rent,” he said.

(This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 5, 2013.)

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