Can you file a police complaint against your noisy neighbours?
Dubai - You may file a police complaint against the neighbour on grounds of public nuisance.
I stay in a one-bedroom-hall flat in Dubai. We have a neighbour, who plays loud music on the weekends. The music is so loud that it disturbs our sleep and that of our children. I have tried requesting the neighbour to reduce the volume, which he does, but then increases it again after some time. I tried complaining to the watchman, but he says there is nothing he can do. Is there anything we can do to stop him?
Pursuant to your queries, as a tenant, it is your right to reside in the rented premises peacefully. If the loud music irritates you and your family and affects your sleep, you should approach the owner of the building and make a complaint against your neighbour. Based on your complaint, the owner of your building - after observation of your neighbour's act of playing loud music - can warn the said neighbour, either verbally and in writing. It is the responsibility of the owner of the building to provide peaceful possession of the rented premises.
This is in accordance with article 770(1) of Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on the issuance of the civil transactions law for the UAE (the 'Civil Law'), which states: "A lessor may not cause any nuisance to a lessee in enjoying the benefit during the lease period and shall not make any change in the leased entity that prevents its benefit from being received or prejudices the benefit contracted upon; otherwise, he shall be liable therefore."
Further, as your neighbour is also a tenant in the said building, he cannot exceed his enjoyment of the premises which will cause damage or nuisance to others. This is in accordance with Article 777(2) of the Civil Law, which states: "However, if the lessee's enjoyment exceeds the limits of the agreement or violates the norms, he shall be liable for any damage resulting from his act."
In the event the said neighbour does not reduce the loud music, you or your owner of the building may approach the nearest police station at Dubai and file a complaint against the neighbour on grounds of public nuisance. The police may transfer the said matter to public prosecution if a complaint is registered against the neighbour. Based on the findings of the case and witnesses, the public prosecution may order the tenant to vacate the rented premises for disturbing peaceful cohabitation of his neighbours.
This is in accordance with Article 796 of the Civil Law, which states: "The tenancy of the house or the like shall not be terminated by virtue of the fact that a tenant has shown immorality. The public prosecution shall order him to desist from indecency. However, if he fails to do so, the judge shall, at the request of the owner or the neighbour, order him to quit the premises and the rent shall be charged to him. If his indecency causes damage to the house or to a neighbour, he shall be liable for the rent for the period in which he quits the house before it is leased to him."
Further, you and your owner of the building may file a written complaint with the Dubai Municipality. The Dubai Municipality may impose a fine on your neighbour.
Know the law: "A lessor may not cause any nuisance to a lessee in enjoying the benefit during the lease period and shall not make any change in the leased entity that prevents its benefit from being received or prejudices the benefit contracted upon; otherwise, he shall be liable therefore."
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, 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