Sharjah landlords, real estate offices flouting tenancy laws

Most of the landlords and real estate offices in Sharjah are not implementing the tenancy law aimed at safeguarding the rights of both tenants and the landlords, Khaleej Times has learnt.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Mon 17 Jul 2006, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:45 PM

Some of the real estate offices are allegedly harassing the tenants by claiming that the building owners are close to shaikhs and if they complain to the municipality, the civic authority would not only ignore their grievances but would get them thrown out from the buildings.

Some of the tenants fear to lodge complaints against the real estate companies or the landlords, as they apprehend that they would lose their apartments and not find shelter for their families. Hence, they comply with the directions of the landlords.

R. Morgan, a tenant, said that he has been staying in an old building for five years and the building is owned by Khalifa Committee, Abu Dhabi, which has increased the rent by Dh5,000.

This big building which is located on King Faisal Road is in dire need of maintenance. The tenants do not want to complain to the municipality as the building belongs to “some Shaikh” and the municipality will not solve the problem.

Aysha Ahmed, another tenant, said that her building landlord raised the rent from Dh13,000 to Dh27,000 and the tenants fear to complain to the municipality as they were told that the building belongs to a Shaikh’s close friend and they will lose their apartment if they lodge the complaint with the dispute committee of the municipality. Mammy, a tenant of Al Mussala building near Sharjah Clock Tower, said that the real estate office which is managing the building keeps increasing the rent every year.

This year the rent was increased by more than Dh7,000 for the apartment in the building and no one is willing to lodge complaint with the municipality, as the building is said to belong to shaikhs.

Abu Jihad, Manager of Aruba Real Estate, which is managing several buildings in Sharjah, said that the rents are less than the market and they hike the rent just to cope with market prices.

A top official of Rent Dispute Committee stressed that the law is including everyone and all landlords and real estate offices should abide by the tenancy contract.

He explained that the law which was issued in 2001 to organise the leasing relation of landlord and tenant is being enforced by the Rent Dispute Committee. The complainants should file a complaint against the landlords if they feel injustice was done to them. The landlords are not allowed to hike rent by more than 20 per cent. The hike of 20 per cent should be effected after the tenant completes three years in the building.

Speaking about the procedures followed by the rent committee to rule on the case, the official said that first the case has to be filed at the dispute section. After the committee reviews the case, it will then make its efforts in looking for solution that is acceptable to both parties in the dispute. Some cases are referred to a real estate office if one of two parties asks for the determination of the rent amount.

The real estate office helps the committee resolve the dispute by determining the rent amount based on the market prices in the specific area of the building.

The complainant should present an attested and valid contract and documents that support his complaint such as bounced checks, or failure to abide by an undertaking by the tenant to vacate within a certain time. Dh500 is the complaint filing fees. Then the date of the session will be fixed for the both parties to attend for questioning. He noted that the dispute committee comprises a judge as head of the committee and two to four members who were appointed by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

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