Bachelors without ‘bachelor pads’

Hundreds of singletons face eviction as they are refused accommodation in the UAE
The Community By The Community report
Published on October 4, 2014
Bachelors

DUBAI The majority of bachelors living in the UAE are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable accommodation renting as prices continue to rise.

With landlords preferring to let to families, it’s becoming a continuous struggle for bachelors living here.

Faced with many obstacles and left with little or no choices, some opt for sharing villas and flats, which in the UAE is considered as ‘breaking the rules’.

‘Say no to bachelors’ — a campaign recently started by the Abu Dhabi Municipality — was aimed at landlords offering mass accommodation.

It was launched with the intention to educate the public about certain standards of civilised living in accommodation in line with safety guidelines.

The campaign warned against bachelors sharing villas or flats in residential areas, and stressed the importance of complying with Law No. 1/2011, governing the occupancy of residential units and the use of properties designated for citizens in the emirate.

The law highlights the obligation to comply with the standards of public health and safety and international standards pursued by the municipality in order to ensure the highest standards of civilised and appropriate accommodation for all community divisions.

The Abu Dhabi governing body outlines several rules with regards to the issue, stating: “The residential unit shall be designated to only one family, be it an apartment in a building, a…residential villa, an attached or detached villa.”

In addition, measures to stop villa or room sharing have increased manifold as authorities now raid any villa or apartments when they suspect landlords breaching the law. If found guilty, a fine of Dh10,000 is slapped and if the landlord fails to pay the fine, s/he is banned from leaving the country.

A report on September 15, 2014, states that since the launch of the campaign, 797 various offences have been issued and referred to courts against companies and individuals.

Interestingly, bachelors too face the music here. The 1999 law states that it is illegal for bachelors to share accommodation in family-friendly non-freehold areas. Although the same issues arise with regards to the compromise of health and safety, bachelors say even though they continue to receive eviction notices, they have no other options than to look for shared accommodation in different neighbourhoods due to poor salaries.

The issue also concerns specific areas in which bachelors can reside, as in recent years Dubai Government announced that it will be carrying out a law that deals with categorisation of areas and lands in which bachelors may live in.

According to a Dubai Municipality spokesperson, bachelors can stay in all residential buildings in Commercial Business District (CBD) areas, as well as residential buildings in designated areas such as Al Quoz 4, Ghusais 1, Hor Al Anz and Muteena among others.

Similar issues have also been found in other emirates such as Al Ain, where bachelors have been warned to move to non-residential areas and Sharjah where landlords prefer not to lease out properties to bachelors in favour of respecting the wishes of residing families who do not want to have them living in the same vicinity.

According Mohammad Al Said Mohammad, a building manager in Sharjah, people reject bachelors because families reside in the building. If the person is respectable, he may accept him in the building, but families might just refuse the idea of taking in bachelors. “I will have to cancel the contract in order to avoid losing four or five other tenants,” he says.

With no concrete solutions to these issues, bachelors continue to receive eviction notices and with very few alternative options, they continue breaking the rules.

READER’S VOICE

  1. Do you face problems as a bachelor face as far as accommodation is concerned?
  2. Should there be specific accommodations made for bachelors?
  3. Do have any solutions to counter the problem of bachelor accommodation?

 

Do send in your feedback by writing to us at thecommunity@skyhorizonmedia.com

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