Amid Iran's currency crash, renting apartment requires two gold coins


By Rohollah Faghihi
Middle East Eye, London
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

TEHRAN, Iran -- It's the commodity that becomes a safe haven at times of economic crisis. Now, with the crash of the rial, Iranians are using gold for more everyday payments, most notably rent -- but the resulting price hikes are starting to affect the demographics of Tehran itself. ...

The downward spiral of the rial has led some landlords to try to safeguard their income by turning to gold.

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Hesam Oqabai, the chairman of the Real Estate Agents Union of Tehran province, said the housing market accounts for about 45 percent of activity in the Iranian economy.

"Given our country's economic condition, the fluctuations in the foreign exchange market are affecting the housing market," he said.

The result has been a doubling of rents in some Tehran neighborhoods, including Dibaji Jonubi, Shahrake Qarb, Mirdamad and Ferdows Qarb. ...

Esamil Jalali is a landlord in Vanak, a wealthy and well-connected bustling neighbourhood in northern Tehran.

He is one of those property owners who not only has increased his rents but also asked for payment in gold rather than in rials.

Currently he is asking prospective tenants to pay two gold coins to rent a 95 square metre apartment for one month.

"I know that many may not be able to afford it," he said, “but when I see that the currency I may get from my tenants would have less value compared to the previous month, then that leaves me with no choice. If I continue to rent out my apartment in return for rials, then I would face financial loss." ...

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