What are the updates on tenancy law for family-only residential buildings in the UAE?

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Pursuant to Law Number 2 of 2007 on Regulations of Landlord-Tenant Relationship in Sharjah and its amendments, low-income bachelors or labourers are not allowed to live in certain residential neighbourhoods which have been specially demarcated for family use. Instead, there are certain industrial areas allocated specially for low-income bachelors and labourers in Sharjah, wherein they can take accommodation and wherein it is also possible for them to obtain shared accommodation. For example, areas such as Al Majaz and Al Nahda have been designated for family accommodations. Certain exemptions may be granted to higher-income executive bachelors holding higher degrees and professionals such as doctors, engineers to live in residential areas demarcated for families with the direct permission of the landlord.

Pursuant to the above the law, thereby, it is required that upon obtaining tenancy in family accommodations, a tenant is required to give the details of all of his family members who will be occupying the tenanted unit, along with copies of their income and marriage certificate as well.

Sharing of accommodation:

Subject to the specific consent of the landlords, accommodation sharing might be allowed in certain areas for low-income category personals and labourers. The overall number of persons living in accommodation should not exceed certain limitations, such as:

  • three people in studio apartments
  • four people in one bedroom apartments
  • six people in two-bedroom apartments
  • Nine people in three-bedroom apartments

Similarly, in Dubai, there are certain industrial areas specifically designated for housing industrial workers and labourers, such as the Al Quoz, Mushainah area. Further, there are specific residential areas such as Muraqqabat and Al Rigga areas, where sharing of accommodation is allowed for bachelors.

The parameters for sharing of accommodation in such designated areas are generally bases on the rule that a minimum area of 40 square feet should be allotted per person in the bedroom.

It is also to be understood that until recently, it was illegal in the UAE for un-married couples or people of opposite genders to live together in an accommodation. However, with the recent changes brought in, the same is no longer illegal, however subject to the rules that apply to bachelor accommodations. Further, pursuant to Article 25(1)(b) of Dubai Rent Law, allows the landlord to evict a tenant whenWhere the tenant uses the real property or allows others to use it for any illegal purpose or for a purpose which breaches public order or morals.”

Thereby, tenants should ensure to check with their respective landlords the rules and regulations imposed on the residential property and should endeavour to abide by them in order to avoid potential eviction. Though presumably simple enough, tenancy law can often prove challenging for residents and therefore, wherever possible, they should seek legal advice and assistance to avoid disadvantageous circumstances and potential losses.

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