Changes in Ajman tenancy law likely soon

AJMAN - Changes in the Tenancy Law, which has not been amended since its enforcement in September 2006, are expected to see the light of the day very soon. This has been hinted at by the head of the Rent Disputes office in Ajman, Othman Abu Al Shawarib.

By Mohsen Rashid (Our Staff Reporter)

Published: Fri 21 Mar 2008, 10:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:47 PM

The expected amendments will regulate and control owner-tenant relationship in Ajman, and plug the loopholes in the existing law in order to protect the rights of all parties.

The amendments will grant the landlord (owner) the authority to seek eviction of the tenant after a fixed number of years, that has not been specified yet, he said.

Al Shawarib told Khaleej Times that the amendments will specify the percentage of rent increase, which was set by the existing law at 20 per cent every three years. Landlords will have the right to increase the rent by seven per cent every year for residential accommodation. However, the percentage of rent increase for commercial space will be decided later.

He clarified that recommendations have been made to prepare an English version of the amended tenancy law to enable non-Arabic speaking tenants and landlords to know their rights and obligations.

Al Shawarib said he was keen on announcing the new amendments and focus on the mechanism of settlement of disputes, in which the final decision will be carried in English media as well.

He clarified that of late, landlords have been disconnecting electricity or water supply in order to force the tenants to vacate the accommodation. That is why the decision of Shaikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, head of Municipality Department, came in this regard to impose harsh punishments on such owners, with fines not less than Dh5,000 and up to Dh20,000 in case of repetition.

“When tenants submit a group complaint against a landlord about disconnection of utility services, the landlord is fined. However, in case of multiple complaints by individual tenants, the landlord is fined on each complaint individually,” he pointed out.

Al Shawarib urged both owners and tenants to approach the Rent Disputes office in Apartment 65 on the sixth floor of Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry building. He stated that the office received 911 complaints in 2006, compared to 1,838 complaints in 2007. The total of complaints received this year was 488 cases.

Handling a complaint and reaching a decision takes no longer than three to seven days, and the decision of the committee is final and not subject to appeal, unless parties contest it and refer the matter to courts, he pointed out.

He added that the court had upheld the committee’s verdict in a majority of the cases referred in 2007.

Al Shawarib mentioned the case of ‘Taj Mahal’ real estate office in Ajman, where the owners tried to escape with almost Dh5 million after leasing properties at low cost. They had received the rent from the tenants in advance and are now facing trial after the owner of the real estate was caught while attempting to escape.

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