Sharjah: Tenants rushing to attest their tenancy contracts at municipality branches claim the process takes two days to complete due to the lack of counter staff.
Residents lining up at Sharjah Municipality branches expressed their concern over the lack of staff who are unable to deal with the long queues.
"I had to take two days off from work so I could get my work done. I arrived at 2pm and after waiting for nearly two hours, the staff told me to leave because there were too many people in the queue," said Jamal Mohammad, who visited the Consumer Protection Department last Tuesday.
"I went back the next day and stood in a queue until 7pm to get my work done. After 3 pm, there were only three counters working," he said.
Another resident Wael Helmy, said that he was surprised to see the rush of residents and said he lost a whole day off from his job.
"I arrived at 9am and expected to complete the attestation in a few hours, but because of the rush and the number of counters closed after lunch, I waited in line until 5 pm. I do not know if all the branches are this bad, but I think that the counters should all have been open to accommodate us," he said.
Sharjah now requires residents to renew their tenancy contracts with the Sharjah Municipality, and tenants have given them a 72-hour grace period to do so. Otherwise, their power connection will be disconnected and they will also be subject to a fine which is triple the cost of the attestation.
Khalid Al Shamsi, Director of Consumer Protection Department at Sharjah Municipality said there are 48 employees working at all the municipality counters to attest tenancy contracts.
There are nine municipality branches attesting tenancy contracts until 2pm, while the main branch, located at the Consumer Protection Department, operates continuously until 8pm, he said.
"Within two weeks, we will extend the operating hours until 8pm in our branches at the Sharjah Municipality headquarters, at Government Square, and the other one at Al Khailidiya, to accommodate the rush," he said.
The extended work hours will be a permanent change."
"We are currently negotiating with Tas'heel to provide our services in two of their branches," he added.