80 families in Ajman face eviction threat

AJMAN — As many as 80 families in Ajman are facing the threat of eviction as the owner of the 10-storey building they are living in has obtained approval of the competent authorities to convert the building into a hotel apartments complex.

By Mohsen Rashid (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Sun 27 Apr 2008, 9:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:58 PM

The tenants of the building, located near the Etisalat Centre, Ajman, in which the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is occupying the ground floor, received a notice from the landlord, notifying them of the plan to convert the building into hotel apartments.

The landlord has ordered the occupants to vacate the building as the tenancy contracts would not be renewed or extended.

The eviction notice has come as a jolt to the 80 families, of whom around 25 per cent are UAE nationals and the rest are Arabs and Asians.

In a meeting held after Friday prayers at the entrance of the building, the tenants unanimously announced that they would not vacate the building, expressing that they were willing to pay more rent as per the regulations and laws. They also appealed to government officials to intervene in the matter.

One of the tenants of the seven-year-old building, L.M., said: “How can the owner get such an approval? We know he is a senior official at Ajman Municipality. But there should be some consideration for the families who are living in the building.”

When approached by Khaleej Times, officials of the Rent Disputes Settlement Committee declined to comment on the dispute.

The Legal Advisor to the Municipality and Planning Department in Ajman, Hani Mohamed Lutfi, who is also consultant to the Ajman Rents Committee, confirmed the illegality of the eviction notice, pointing out that the landlord is not entitled to convert a residential building into hotel apartments.

The landlord has only obtained a ‘No Objection’ letter concerning the technical, engineering and planning aspects. Such approval cannot be considered an eviction order or green light to convert the building into hotel apartments. However, such matters should be referred to the Rents Committee, which has the final say, he added.

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