By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Q: By just guaranteeing a loan repayment orally, can the court make the guarantor liable? In a personal loan transaction, I just said “you pay, I know him”. Later the lender and borrower made several transactions. Now the lender threatens me that he will sue me on the ground that oral contracts are valid in Qatar. Please advise.
A: The relevant law that governs guarantees is the Qatar Civil Code. Though contracts may be concluded verbally, Article 809 stipulates that guarantees must be concluded in writing. For a guarantee to be valid, reference should be made to the underlying debt being guaranteed. The guarantor must guarantee a specific debt. A guarantor may guarantee future and unspecified obligations of a debtor, provided that the maximum amount being guaranteed and the maximum period of the guarantee are specified in the guarantee document.
Law regarding maternity leave
Q: I have been working in a construction company in the Industrial Area since February 2018. Six months’ probation is included in the employment contract. I have applied for maternity leave from August 10, 2018 due to some complication in pregnancy. But the company has refused to grant maternity leave and asked me to take unpaid leave. This has led to some differences with management and now I have decided to resign. My salary for the last four months is due. How can I get it? Being an employee, am I eligible for maternity leave? What is the law in this regard? Please advise.
A: If the management is reluctant to pay due salary, the employee can approach the Labour Dispute Resolution Committee and file a case against the company.
Article 96 of the Labour Law is regarding maternity leave. A female worker who has been employed by an employer for a complete year shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for 50 days. Such maternity leave shall include the period before and after the delivery provided that the period following the delivery shall not be less than 35 days. This leave shall be granted subject to a medical certificate issued by a licensed physician stating the probable date of delivery. If the remaining period of the leave after delivery is less than 30 days the female worker may be granted a complementary leave from her annual leave. Otherwise the complementary period shall be deemed to be a leave without pay.
Punishment for trespassing
Q: There is a case against a friend of mine who entered a wrong villa by mistake. He entered villa No 13 instead of No 30 during day time. The tenant called police and a case was filed against him for trespassing. He has received a notice from the court notifying the case date. What is the punishment as per law in such a situation? Please advise.
A: According to Article 323 of the Penal Law, whoever commits trespass by entering into residential premises, or at premises intended for residential purposes or annexes thereof or a place for custody of property, without the consent of the owner or is contrary to the stipulations of the law, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding QR5,000 or both. The case needs to be defended at court to establish innocence of the accused.
Maintenance issues in villa
Q: I have signed a lease contract for a villa with a Qatari landlord and provided him with post-dated cheques. We have serious maintenance issues in the villa including faulty ACs and leaks in bathrooms. In the last one month, I have complained multiple times to the landlord’s manager, but maintenance is not done properly. In this case, am I legally eligible to terminate the contract and get my remaining cheques back from the landlord?
A: According to relevant laws, the landlord shall undertake to maintain the leased property in good condition by performing all necessary repairs during the term of the lease in accordance with common practice, unless agreed otherwise. Where the landlord, upon receiving notice, fails to perform the necessary repairs, the tenant may obtain permission from the court to perform such repairs personally and to deduct the cost incurred from the rent, without prejudice to the tenant’s right to demand termination of the lease or a reduction in the rent as provided for by law.
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