Stricter new tenancy rules in Sharjah

Only those who earn at least Dh4,000 per month and have family members living with them can rent units in residential areas

Towering heights
Image Credit: Rejith Ravindranathan
The new rules have been in effect for a month.

Sharjah: Strict new tenancy rules have come into force in Sharjah, where tenants must now declare their salaries and relationships to people living with them.

Only tenants who live with family members and make at least Dh4,000 a month will be allowed to rent units in residential areas. To prove this, they must produce government-issued labour contracts and documents like marriage certificates and passport copies of co-tenants.

“I was told to bring the labour contract, marriage certificate and [families'] passport copies too. No one told me it's a new rule”
-33-year-old Pakistani resident of Shaba district
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Also, the unit must be big enough for all family members living there.

However, it was not clear how officials would make that assessment. It's understood each unit must have a specific number of rooms according to the number of family members living together.

Low-income 'bachelors' must stay in industrial areas

Meanwhile, low-income "bachelors" will only be allowed to live in "industrial areas" after showing a no-objection certificate from their employer. They will be allowed to share rooms, but subletting will not be tolerated.

Those failing to meet these requirements will not have their tenancy contracts attested by the municipality. Failing to attest the tenancy contract, which includes a two per cent annual housing fee on the value of the rent, carries a fine for each year it is not attested. Officials can cut off power and water supply to units whose contracts are unattested.

A Sharjah Municipality official, on condition of anonymity, said the new rules have been in effect for a month.

A 33-year-old Pakistani resident of Shaba district, who shifted apartments recently, said he was asked by the real estate agent to list all family members who would be living with him — his mother, wife and brother. "I thought ‘that's strange.' I went to the municipality and I was told to ‘bring the labour contract, marriage certificate and [families'] passport copies too'. No one told me it's a new rule," he said.

"You only find out when it's time for your tenancy renewal or when you are getting a new place, which means you'll be turned back because you won't have all documents with you."

Another tenant, who visited the Tenancy Contract Attestation Office at Al Khan on Tuesday, said he was not informed of the new regulations. "They told me to go to the main office [in Government Square]. I don't know what's going on," he added.

However, bachelors, mostly south Asians in low-income jobs, said rents in limited units in industrial areas have skyrocketed on the back of the evictions seen last month. "It's going to be hard to find a place as a single guy in residential areas now, even if you make good money. Some tenants had turned this into a business, subletting the place to bachelors," the municipality official said.

To rent a flat you need…

  • Attestation of the tenancy contract [Dh50]
  • Passport copies [tenant, landlord, family members]
  • Marriage certificate [for couples]
  • Labour contract [attested by Ministry of Labour]
  • Employer NOC [for bachelors]
  • Two per cent housing fee

Share your views

  • zindabad

    May 12, 2012 8:53

    I am also planning to move to ajman after completion of my contract.

  • kkk

    May 11, 2012 11:02

    There is a genuine sense of insecurity among familiy residents with bachelors living among them. The other day in Al Nahda, two persons were involved in a physical fight with knives drawn out in a residential area. How are families with children expected to have such people in the neighbourhood. I do not say that all bachelors are like that, but these incidents send a wrong message.

  • sharin

    May 10, 2012 11:10

    This new rule sounds quite good. But i think that they should reduce the income from Dh4000 to at least Dh3000 per month for families to rent residential unit

  • James

    May 10, 2012 4:57

    this is v good news i hope they implement the same rule in dubai and sharjah, there is a new technique companies are placing their bachelor laborers in expensive buildings meant for families, they cram 6-10 laborers in 1 single apartment to save money. Everywhere i see now in my building laborers and i am shocked how they afford the rent but i understood the trick after speaking to the watchman. My building had lot of dangerous incidents since the bachelors moved in.

  • Rommel

    May 10, 2012 2:05

    Flats in industrial area are very limited, the motive is good but implemantation should take time and there must be information campaign about these new rules. We totally support Sharjah goverment with these move but I hope they will take into consideration the immediate effectivity of it.

  • JD

    May 10, 2012 1:41

    Authorities should think openly and should assess it further for everyone's benefit.

  • Ram

    May 10, 2012 1:18

    A more serious effort is required to curb the menace of fire accidents in Sharjah. External security can be evaluated once in-house security is established in the fire prone buildings.

  • santosh

    May 10, 2012 12:55

    This rule can not be implemented in 100% area.

  • Shari

    May 10, 2012 12:37

    Rich or Poor,Bachelors or family all are humans & equal infront of God. Bachelors are also making thier lives for their loved ones let it be mother, father, wife or children.

  • N.Gandhi

    May 10, 2012 12:28

    These people are the one's who build all the places we call home. They are living in the same place with others for a long time. For the wrong that some do, we cannot blame all the bachelors ....

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I am also planning to move to ajman after completion of my contract.


13 May 2012 11:10jump to comments