Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Rental Bylaws for Sharjah

Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of Sharjah Executive Council has passed the new rental by-law for the emirate, which states that the landlord cannot increase the rent until three years after signing the lease agreement, and every two years thereafter. The bylaws were issued to help the rent dispute committee jurisdiction to handle complicated procedures in a simple manner.

Numerous factors such as the quality of the property, the location, the number of storeys, the finishing of the building and the disputed property, the age of the building, the level of service, the space of property and the like, needs to be taken into consideration while deciding a rent hike.

Subletting the property is not allowed, except with the written approval by the property owner. In such cases, the tenant can transfer the lease to the new tenant with the landlord's approval, after which, a new contract should be signed and attested between the owner and the new tenant. According to the bylaws, it is the responsibility of the tenant to ensure the safety of the property and prevent damages, while the landlord is responsible maintenance of the property.

The Landlord cannot evict a tenant before three years after the signing of a contract, unless there is a violation from the tenants end, such as a failure to pay the rent within 15 days after the elapse of due date (in case of residential property) and within 30 days after due date (in case of commercial property).

However, the landlord can evict the tenant in case the property is required for any of his adult children to live in, if they have no other alternative, or in case the building needs extensive maintenance or needs to be demolished. But, landlords should never try to compel a tenant to vacate the premises, by adopting silly measures such as disconnecting the air-conditioning or water or power supply or on the pretext of cleaning and maintenance.

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