New rules: Owners are taking advantage of rise in demand by imposing new charges Image Credit: Gulf news Archives

Sharjah: Tenants in Sharjah are being forced to shell out extra money as property owners impose new charges over and above the annual rent.

A raft of charges such as maintenance fees, charges for some facilities besides an increase in parking fees have been slapped on tenants as demand for housing shoots up. If that was not enough, owners are also asking residents to furnish salary certificates and other documents before leasing.

“I have been asked to pay an extra five per cent maintenance fee this year, even though the building is poorly maintained,” said Varun Goyal, who lives in Abu Shagara. “It is unfair and I feel the owner only wants to take advantage of the overall rise in prices and make extra money.”

The trend in new charges like maintenance fees and extra parking fees started in Dubai a couple of months ago. Sharjah, which is preferred by many residents due to relatively lower rentals, has also witnessed a rental increase in recent times but extra charges and stricter terms and conditions were unheard of until now.

Property management company Asteco said in an earlier report that an average increase of 16 per cent was recorded in the past year in rentals in Sharjah.

“I paid Dh32,000 earlier for a one-bedroom flat and the rent was increased to Dh38,000 this year. We had a parking issue and I paid Dh1,000 to park my car in a sandy parking area, but now my landlord wants to raise the parking fee also to Dh2,500,” said Karim Khan, who lives near Sahara Centre.

Another resident said: “Our building agent told us we will have to pay Dh500 every month as charges toward facilities from now. This straightaway increases our rent by Dh6,000 annually.”

Susan, a property agent, said: “In buildings where bachelors were allowed, owners are getting stricter by asking tenants for their salary certificates.