Dubai: Is it illegal for kids to play in the common areas of apartments?

Reader wants to know the tenants' right if building management restricts children from playing without creating disturbance

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 12:30 PM

Question: We stay in a multi-storied apartment in Dubai, with no parks or open spaces nearby. Some children from neighbouring apartments get together to play in the common area. The games do not involve balls or toys and the kids mostly colour, play cards or just talk. These interactions are usually quiet. However, our building management has sent out an email to some tenants, saying the practice is illegal. Is it true? What are our legal rights? Can they physically stop the children from getting together and interact quietly?

Answer: In the emirate of Dubai common areas of a building are defined in Article 2 of Law No. 6 of 2019 Concerning Ownership of Jointly Owned Real Property in the Emirate of Dubai (the ‘Dubai Jointly Owned Real Property Law’) as “Common parts: The parts of jointly owned real property, as shown on the site plan, designated for common use by the owners and occupants of units.”


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Further, common areas of a building may include thresholds, halls, and entrances. This is in accordance with Article 7 (a)(2) of the Dubai Jointly Owned Real Property Law, which states ":The common parts of a building include, without limitation, the following:


- unless otherwise indicated on the site plan, thresholds, halls, parking aisles, entrances, emergency exits; and windows in external walls.”

It is the obligation of an occupant or a tenant of an apartment to abide by the building management regulations. This is in accordance with Article 6(b) and Article 16(a) of the Dubai Jointly Owned Real Property Law. The provisions of the laws are as below:

Article 6(b) of the Dubai Jointly Owned Real Property Law.

“An occupant shall be under an obligation towards the developer, the owner, the occupants of other units, and the owners' committee with the master community declaration, statute, and building management regulation to the extent that their provisions apply to that occupant.”

Article 16 (a) of the Dubai Jointly Owned Real Property Law

“An owner may lease out his unit, provided that he and the tenant remain under an obligation towards other owners and occupants, the owners' committee, and the management entity to comply with the statute, the master community declaration, and the building management regulation.”

Further, the management of the common areas of a property in Dubai is the responsibility of the management company of the building, which is governed by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority of Dubai. This is in accordance with Article 18(3) of the Dubai Jointly Owned Real Property Law.

In the event of non-compliance by tenants of the apartment related to the general use of common areas of an apartment building, the building management may serve notice to any violations and repeated violations by tenants, which may attract eviction of tenants before the expiry of the tenancy contract. This is in accordance with Article 25 (1) (f) of Law No. 33 of 2008 Amending Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, which states, “A landlord may request eviction of the tenant from the real property before expiry of the lease contract where the tenant uses the real property for a purpose other than that for which it is leased, or otherwise uses the real property in a manner that violates the planning, construction, and land use regulations in force in the emirate."

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, your neighbours’ children should abide by the building management regulations related to the use of common areas. This may also cause a nuisance to building management and/or other occupants in the building and the building management or other occupants of the building may approach the Dubai Police to file a complaint against the parents of the children who are involved in playing card games or having verbal communication in the common areas of the floor in your building apartment.

However, you may check the contents of rules and regulations of the building management related to the use of common areas of your apartment building. You and your neighbours may also settle differences with the building management related to the use of common areas of the apartment building amicably. In the event there is no settlement between the occupants of your building and your building management related to rules and regulations of the common areas, you, along with your neighbours, may consider approaching the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre (the ‘RDC’) to settle the matter amicably or as decided by the RDC.

Applicable laws:

- Law No. 6 of 2019 Concerning Ownership of Jointly Owned Real Property in the Emirate of Dubai

- Law No. 33 of 2008 Amending Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai

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: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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