Case Study: A House for Rent, and a Trap for Fraud
Nadia came from Syria with her wounded husband and 5 children, taking on the responsibility of caring for her family. She ended up in Ramtha in the governorate of Irbid where she found a suitable place to live but which needed a lot of renovation; new paint, new pipes, and installing new doors and windows. The home owner agreed to lease her the house on the condition that she pays one thousand JDs in advance for the renovation costs. After some negotiations, it was agreed that part of this amount will be deducted from the house rent, and that she will be able to move into the house in 2 weeks when the work is done. Nadia agreed to that and paid the amount, however without proving anything by writing and settling for witnesses.
More than the agreed-upon two weeks passed and Nadia called the home owner to remind him of the agreement, but he told her that the renovations are still ongoing. This went on for 4 months during which Nadia found another house to stay in as they couldn’t have waited all this time without a shelter. When Nadia asked for her money back, the home owner refused by saying that if it wasn’t for her he wouldn’t have done the renovations, and that he’s not responsible for her changing her mind and finding other accommodation. He added that he had spent the money on the house and so isn’t able to pay her back. At that point Nadia decided to call ARDD-Legal Aid’s emergency line, and through legal mediation the home owner agreed to pay her back 400 JDs out of the original amount. Nadia settled for this amount as she needed the cash right away and didn’t want to go through filing a case with the court against the home owner.
What happened with Nadia is a clear case of fraud. In addition to that, she made a mistake in not attaining written proof of the financial transaction, or signed a written agreement of what they had discussed and the date that she was meant to move into the house. If she had this proof, Nadia would have attained her full rights and would’ve been able to file a case in the courts to ask for the entire amount that she had paid. We recommend that anyone who is not familiar with the Jordanian owners and tenants law to consult a lawyer before taking any steps that are not clear to them. And we at ARDD-Legal Aid are ready to provide any needed consultations at all times.