As a general matter, contracts – including property purchase contracts – in Qatar are governed by a combination of legislation and the specific contractual obligations agreed between its parties. In this article, we identify a few key provisions in the Civil Code that play a role in property purchases.
The Civil Code grants freedom to the parties to agree to relatively any term in a contract. It is provided in Article 154 (i) that “the contract may include any provision agreed to by the contracting parties, unless such provision is prohibited by law or in breach of the public order or morality”.
In a hypothetical scenario where there is delay by either developer, owner, or buyer, Article 256 of the Civil Code provides that “where the obligor fails to perform the obligation in kind or delays such performance, he shall indemnify any damages suffered by the obligee, unless such non-performance or delay therein was due to a cause beyond his the control”.
Article 280 of the Civil Code also enables a non-defaulting party to withhold performance of an obligation where the party in default has failed to perform a corresponding or connected obligation.
The Civil Code acknowledges the existence of good faith between the parties, if a party causes unintentional delay in the conclusion of a sale. Article 172 of the Civil Code states that “a contract shall be performed in accordance with its provisions and in such manner consistent with the requirements of good faith”.
In cases of considerable delay in the handover of a property, Article 191 states that “in contracts binding on both parties, where corresponding obligations are due for performance, either party may decline to perform his obligation if the other party fails to perform his obligation, unless the parties agree otherwise or mutually accepted practice provides otherwise“. In addition, Article 280 of the Civil Code states that “a person who undertakes to perform any obligation may decline performance thereof where the obligee has not offered to perform the corresponding obligation or has not provided adequate security for the performance thereof“.
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