My neighbour is constantly complaining about our overexcited kids. What do we do?
Know the law in the UAE.
Q. I am a mother of three children aged between five and 12. We stay in a small two-bedroom apartment in Bur Dubai. My neighbour is constantly complaining that my kids are making noise and he cannot work. The schools are now closed and kids are forced to stay indoors as I prefer not to send them outside or to play schools as I don't feel safe. Last week, my neighbour threatened to call the police. What can I do?
As a mother, you are responsible for the discipline of your children. This is in accordance with Article 15(2) of the Federal Law No. 3 of 2016 on Child Rights ( the 'Child Rights Law') or the 'Wadeema's Law', which states: "The child's custodian shall assume the responsibilities and obligations entrusted on him/her in raising, caring, guiding and developing the child in the best way."
It is recommended that you advise your children not to make noise as their neighbour gets disturbed.
Further, if you are not able to control your children from making noise you may approach the local authorities concerning children affairs. The authorities concerned will create awareness on children related to their obligations towards the society. This is in accordance with Article 2 (5) & (6) of the Child Rights Law, which states: "The competent authorities and the concerned entities shall:
> Raise awareness among children on their rights, obligations and duties in a society in which justice, equality, tolerance and moderation prevail.
> Raise the child on the sense of morality, particularly the respect of his/her parents and family and social surroundings."
In furtherance, it is the right of your neighbour to have peaceful possession of the rented apartment if he is also residing as a tenant in his apartment. Therefore, he may file a complaint against you and your children with the landlord/owner of your building as it is the responsibility of the landlord/owner of the building to provide peaceful possession of the rented premises. This is in accordance with Article 770 of Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on the issuance of the Civil Transactions Law (the 'Civil Transactions Law'), which states:
"1. The lessor may not do anything which disturbs the lessee in his enjoyment of the leased property during the period of the lease, and shall not make any alterations to the property that prevent or disturb such enjoyment, otherwise, he shall be held liable.
2. The lessor not only warrants the lessee against his own acts and against those of his servants but also against any disturbance or damage based on a lawful claim by any other lessee or by any successor in title of the lessor."
Based on your neighbour's complaint to the landlord, the landlord of the building may request and caution you to have control over your children's actions.
Even after the request of the neighbour and the landlord if your children continue to make noise, the neighbour and your landlord may approach the nearest police station at Dubai and file a complaint against you and your children on grounds of public nuisance. The police may visit you and may caution you.
Thereafter, if your children continue to make noise and disturb the neighbour despite the caution from Dubai Police, they may transfer the said matter to the competent authority.
If a complaint is registered against you in the police station, based on the investigation by the competent authority, it may order your family to vacate the rented premises if it is proven on grounds of disturbing peaceful cohabitation of your neighbour. This is in accordance with Article 796 of the Civil Transactions Law, which states:
"The lease contract of a house or a similar property shall not be terminated because of the illicit use of it by the lessee and he was ordered by the public prosecution to put an end to his viciousness. In case of non-compliance to this order, the judge shall, upon request of the owner or a neighbour, evict him from the property and have it leased to another person, in case the house or the neighbour has suffered prejudice, in which case he has to pay the rent for the period starting from the date of his eviction until the property is leased to a new lessee."
Your neighbour and the owner of your building may also file a written complaint with the Dubai Municipality against you and your children. The Dubai Municipality may impose a fine on you if it is proven that your children make noise and it disturbs the neighbour.
Know the law:
Your neighbour has the right to have peaceful possession of the rented apartment. He/she may approach the nearest police station to complain about any nuisance.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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