Tenants get grace period

DUBAI — Several residents sharing villas in Rashidiya yesterday requested officials at the Dubai Municipality’s Building Department office in the area for a grace period for them to shift to other residences, following the civic body’s decision that only one family can live in a villa.

By Joy Sengupta (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Mon 26 May 2008, 9:01 AM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 5:11 PM

Members of over a dozen families pleaded with the officials to allow them enough time to move out of the shared villa premises and find alternative accommodation.

These people, who live as sub-tenants in different villas in the Rashidiya area, told Khaleej Times that the officials have agreed to give them 10 days to find alternative accommodation failing which the water and electricity supplies will be disconnected.

However, it is not clear whether the 10-day grace period applies to all sub-tenants of villas in Dubai. It definitely applies to all those sharing villas in Rashidiya area, said a municipal official. Meanwhile, around 600 families living in more than 50 villas in the area had been served with eviction notices by the municipality last week.

The municipality had announced last week that only one family would be allowed to live in one villa. Earlier, speaking with Khaleej Times, Omar Mohammed Abdul Rahman, Head of the Buildings Inspection Section at the municipality, had said sharing of the same villa by several families poses a major cleanliness and hygiene problem. The official said the rooms in the villas are being partitioned using hazardous materials like asbestos. Also, it is causing parking and traffic problems.

The civic body has started the inspection of villas in the Rashidiya area. The official had pointed out that based on the conditions of the villas, deadlines are being given to the tenants to vacate.

“We are nowhere. The DM has given us just 10 days before the water and electricity supplies are disconnected. Ours is a clean villa with no health and hygiene problem. How can we move out into a new accommodation in just 10 days?

“With rents going sky high in Dubai, how are we going to get ourselves new flats? In Dubai, the annual rent for a studio apartment is around Dh55,000,” said a worried tenant, who shares a villa in the Rashidiya area.

Thomas, another tenant, said: “We requested them (DM) time till next year to vacate. Our children are in the middle of their academic session. How can we move in just 10 days? We would have no option but to return home.”

The tenants added that most of them had paid the rents of three to six months in advance. “If the DM is bent upon moving us out, they should also look into this issue. Most of us have paid rents in advance,” said S.K., another tenant.

The affected tenants further said that they had talks with the landlords who stated that the rent money could not be refunded as per the clause in the tenancy contract. “They say that it is a municipality problem and they don’t have anything to do with it. We are completely entangled,” S.K. added.

The officials of the civic body were unavailable for comment. However, the authorities had earlier declared that there would be no looking back and the drive would continue.

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