Agency and Landlord Commission – How it works!

Ok, let’s start with this. We don’t want you to pay commission. It’s that simple.


The Qatar property market is constantly evolving. Right now it’s in an interesting transition phase from being totally unregulated, to slightly regulated, to hopefully fully regulated in the coming years. Plans are afoot between the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to regulate the industry, but who knows how long that will take.

So where does that leave us? Well, as agents it leaves us in a somewhat uncomfortable position. Ten years ago tenants were NEVER asked for commission, and it was standard practice for the landlords to pay the agents. Frankly, this is how it should be, and for many of us this is how it works it our home countries.  But this is not our home country, so we must adjust.

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The market evolved to a point where many landlords didn’t pay commission anymore, as they didn’t feel the need to as there was a surplus of tenants and a lack of property to rent. This forced the agents to start charging tenants commission, and 7 years down the line it continues.

To be clear, you don’t HAVE to pay commission. There are ways around it. You can do it yourself, go door to door and see what you can find. This is a tough path to follow. Another option is to find a real estate agent you trust and explain that you’d like to not pay commission. We all have properties where the landlord pays commission so your agent will be able to take you to those properties.


Unfortunately going this way, means you will not get to see a selection of everything on the market which suits your needs.

The ONLY way you will see everything is to agree to pay the standard agency commission of half a months rent. That enables an agent to show you everything, even if that means working with other agents from other companies to achieve the goal of finding you the ideal home for you and your family.

My professional advice would be the following:

  • Use a reputable real estate company (feel free to ask for a company’s Company Registration if in doubt) If you are in doubt, don’t use them. If they have no office or website, stay clear.
  • Enquire about commission upfront. Some agents will leave it as a nice surprise!
  • Never write a commission cheque in an individual’s name, or to an un-registered company.
  • Always ask for a receipt with all the company details and your new property details.
  • Last of all, do your moving calculations based around paying a commission. If you don’t have to, then great!

So after all that, here’s why you should pay commission. If you take my advice and use a reputable real estate company, then you should’ receive the following; professional and prompt service from enquiry through to visits, knowledgeable and friendly agents, clear and concise details about the property through to the contract negotiations and lease requirements. If you’re not getting that, go to another agency that will offer you that level of service.

To break it down simply, let me close with this. If you want to see EVERY suitable option on the market, and see the property that may best suit you, you must expect to pay commission. We can only take you everywhere, in particular places where no commission is paid, to ensure you have the best possible options on the table to choose from. If you choose to not pay commission, then you will only be taken to places where the landlord pays commission. This closes approximately 50% of the market to you. If you have plenty of time, of course you can go door to door, and compound to compound, but trust me, this is not a task to embark on lightly! Also, when dealing with locations such as the Pearl, this strategy will also limit your options due to the many private landlords.

Remember to choose your agent wisely and make sure they do their job properly. Remember, YOU are the client. If they’re not, go elsewhere. Please.


Good luck with your search and happy hunting!

 Should you have any questions on this article, or the subject of commission in general, please feel free to email me at

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By |2019-02-10T10:07:02+00:00February 10th, 2019|0 Comments

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