Sharjah steps up inspections of illegal bachelor housing
August 13, 2017 Share

Sharjah steps up inspections of illegal bachelor housing

Sharjah: Sharjah Municipality has begun a wide-scale campaign to stamp out illegal housing practices, an official has said.

The civic body says violators place a huge burden on the community, and pose a real risk to public health and safety.

During the first six months of 2017, Sharjah Municipality issued 6,395 warning notices to tenants and cut power supply to 1,296 apartments in which bachelor tenants were sharing, breaching housing rules in the emirate.

That compares to a total of 10,311 warnings issued to tenants for the entire 2016 in Sharjah during which power supply was also cut to 3,733 apartments for housing bachelors.

In an interview, Khalifa Al Suwaidi, head of the Operation and Municipal Inspection Department at Sharjah Municipality, told Daily Sun News that the department is taking strict action against bachelors living in residential areas.

He cited security and social considerations behind the drive — pointing out that the inspection campaigns are continuing in all areas, especially in the evenings.

Al Suwaidi added that municipal inspectors scan the field almost daily in popular localities and areas to monitor violations.

Dh500 fine

The municipality imposes a fine of Dh500 on violators and — if the violation is repeated — the fine is doubled to Dh1,000.

He said that it has been noticed that some apartments have had up to 15 bachelors, and some others had more than one family sharing them.

More than one family living in one apartment is against the regulations and laws of the municipality.

For example, on July 12, municipality’s inspectors found 40 people living inside one of the apartments in Al Nahda.

Owner’s permit

“According to the municipality’s rules, bachelors are allowed to stay with families only in commercial buildings and under certain conditions — they should be employees [professionals], they must have a passport with a valid visa and the building’s owner should have given him/her permission to share the apartment,” he said.

Al Suwaidi said bachelors come under two categories: executive bachelors or professional bachelors like a doctor, engineer or any other professional; and labourers.

Labourers are strictly prohibited from living in residential and commercial buildings.

They are allowed to live only in industrial areas, while professional bachelors are allowed to live in family buildings [commercial buildings] if they have the consent of the building’s owner.

Inspections

The municipality conducts regular inspections to ensure that residents adhere to the applicable regulations.

During these visits, inspectors also create awareness about the laws, and highlight the hazards of living in congested quarters.
He also said the inspection campaign is part of the department’s commitment to achieving the highest standards of health and safety.

Al Suwaidi said the bachelors as well as families were found living in congested quarters [villas and apartments] in different areas of the emirate in a manner that posed a threat to their and others’ safety.

“It has been found that some of the tenants rent the unit as a family by showing all documents to prove that they are eligible for renting the unit in a residential building, but later they sublet it to bachelors without the knowledge of the apartment’s owner.

“Some of them sublet the unit to more than one family in an apartment or traditional house which they modify using wooden or cardboard partitions without authorisation.”

The inspectors have also found single men and women living in the same apartment without any legal relationship between them, which is strictly prohibited by law. Such violations are referred to police as it’s against the UAE’s and Islamic law.

Complaints about tenants sharing apartments illegally can be filed directly by calling Sharjah Municipality’s 24/7 hotline number 993.

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