Getting expensive: Bachelors living in sharing accommodation have to shell out more Image Credit: Picture for illustrative purpose

DUBAI Singles in sharing accommodation are being forced to pay 20 to 30 per cent more towards rent in areas like Karama, Bur Dubai and Satwa, say sources.

Some landlords in these areas are letting out apartments for sharing as they can pocket 20 to 30 per cent more rent than what they would get if let out to families. The higher rent, however, does not protect tenants from penalties due to illegal sharing.

“Our owner allowed us to share the two bedroom apartment. When we moved in four years ago, the rent was similar to what others paid. However, this year, our rents were increased by 20 per cent compared to 10 per cent for families.

“Even after paying higher rent, we run the risk of being fined for sharing the apartment,” said Hiten Kumar, who shares a two bedroom apartment with five others in Bur Dubai. His annual rent was increased from Dh70,000 to Dh84,000 this year.

Meanwhile, landlords are back to their old tricks trying to squeeze tenants at every turn. Many have started charging separate fees for parking, extra maintenance fee, or attempting to get the premises vacated from old tenants so that they can let the apartments out for higher rent.

“I have been living in this apartment in Karama for two years with my friends. This year after rents were increased, we went to renew our contract, but the landlord said they had stopped letting out to bachelors.

“We tried to find alternate accommodation, but nothing fit our budget. The real estate firm only agreed to renew our contract when we offered to pay 20 per cent more,” said Remo, a sales executive living in Karama.

Illegal sharing can invite stiff penalties ranging from Dh1,000 to Dh50,000. However, many tenants continue to risk fines so that they can get affordable housing.

While some landlords limit the number of people sharing a flat, there are apartments which have been partitioned to accommodate more people or instances where 8-10 people share a single room.

“Usually the property firm or the owner is well aware when people are using an apartment for sharing. And ever since rents have increased, owners in areas like Bur Dubai and Karama want to encash on it by charging higher rents from bachelors,” said S Varu of Ess Vee Real Estate.

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