Tenancy contract
According to UAE law, unless otherwise agreed between the parties, the rent shall cover the use of all facilities at the residential complex and the real estate agency has no right to ask for additional fees by way of service charges. Image Credit: Supplied

Additional fees for extra facilities at residential complex

Question: A year ago, I rented a villa in a complex from a real estate agency. During the tenancy period, I used all the facilities at the complex. However, currently, while renewing the lease contract, the real estate agency asked me for additional fees for using these facilities or to refrain from using them. My question is: Does the real estate agency have the right to charge such fees?

Answer: Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, the rent shall cover the use of all facilities at the residential complex and the real estate agency has no right to ask for additional fees by way of service charges.

Article 11 of Dubai Law No 26 of 2007 concerning tenancy states: ‘Unless otherwise agreed, the rent will cover the use of the real property amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gymnasiums, health clubs, car parks and other amenities.’

Therefore, no one has the right to prevent you from using the unit or using the common areas or common facilities, with the intent of forcing you to pay service charges or utility services.

This is also stipulated in Law No (6) of 2019 ‘Concerning Ownership of Jointly Owned Real Property in the Emirate of Dubai’. Article (16) states: ‘Unless otherwise stipulated in the [real estate] unit’s lease agreement, the owner will be liable to pay the service charges and usage charges’.

The landlord, as per Article 34 of Law No 26 of 2007 mentioned above, is prohibited from disconnecting services to the property or preventing the tenant from benefiting from the property. However, in the event of occurrence of such incidents, the tenant shall refer to the police station in the same area to prove his or her case or to stop such prevention, and also file a case before the Committee, enclosing supporting reports, for compensation of any damages.

Claiming alimony from husband

Question: I am a Muslim woman married to a Muslim man. My husband does not spend on me and my four children on the pretext that I own a company and have an income. According to my husband, a working wife does not have the right to demand maintenance. My question is: Am I legally entitled to recover all the amounts that I spent on myself and my children? Do I legally have the right to file a case for divorce for this reason? Please advise.

Answer: Firstly, Separation for abstention from support is one kind of Judicial Separation, which may take place if the husband is not paying the alimony for his wife. Pursuant to Article (124) (1. If the present husband abstains from supporting his wife and he does not apparently have funds from which he can pay, then, wife may seek separation. 2. Should the husband claim to be insolvent, but if there is no evidence of it, the judge shall order immediate divorce. If the husband remains silent about him being solvent or insolvent and insists on non-support, then, even if there is evidence of his insolvency, the judge shall grant him a respite of not more than a month, after which, if he does not comply with his duty to support his wife and children, then the judge shall order divorce.)

It is necessary to start the lawsuit in front of the Family Orientation Committee for divorce and custody with all their related alimonies.

Secondly, you have the right to recover the amount you paid, provided you can prove that the nonpayment by the husband was under the following conditions:

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For the wife, Article 67 states the conditions of alimony as follows:

A) Alimony to the wife is due as of the date of refrainment from payment, when due as a debt on the husband, independent of a court judgement or agreement. It is not forfeited except by payment or discharge. A claim of alimony for a past period exceeding three years from the date of introducing action in court, shall not be heard unless it is imposed by agreement. Because alimony is due to the wife by virtue of a valid contract, if she abandons her husband even inevitably.

B) For the small child who has no financial resources, alimony is on the father, pursuant to Article (78), until the marriage of the girl or until the boy reaches the age when his fellow-mates are earning their living, unless he is continuing with his studies with normal success. The maintenance expenses of a child are on his father, should the mother be unable to nurture him, and this is to be considered as alimony. In case if the child is lost or without funds or if the father was unable to support him, then the child’s alimony will be on his well-to-do mother. But the mother may revert the matter to the father for the amount spent, in case his financial capacity improves and the expenditures were authorised by him or by the judge. Article(80).