Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing has announced the launch of a new online rental payment feature on its Ejar platform.
The new service, which uses the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency’s SADAD Payment System, allows tenants to make digital monthly, quarterly and annual rent payments rather than using post-dated cheques.
Transactions made through the platform between tenants and landlords are considered valid proof of payment and will protect both parties in the case of disputes.
In order to use the system, the tenant must have an account registered with the Ejar rental services network, which was launched in February after years of delays.
The network is designed to reduce disputes and simplify proceedings for landlords, tenants and agents through a unified rental contract and
The system, which charges a registration fee of SAR250 ($67) for residential rental contracts and SAR400 ($107) for commercial rental contracts, is expected to automate procedures for more than 2.5 million housing units.
Cheques are currently used in most Gulf countries to make rental payments rather than bank transfers. Bouncing a cheque is still a criminal offence across the region and usually results in a prison sentence for the account holder.
Several governments have announced plans to replace the payment method in recent years through the use of online platforms and other initiatives.