Tenants warned over attempting to 'house-swap' in Dubai

Estate agents warn that exchanging tenancies amounts to sub-letting and is prohibited

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Residents in a neighbourhood in Dubai are reportedly attempting to “swap” homes with others – a practice that is illegal in the emirate.

Notices advertising tenancy exchanges have been distributed around buildings in the Gardens, a residential community close to Jebel Ali, according to Emirates247.

It claimed one such notice read: “I have a two-bedroom apartment in the Gardens and I am looking for one bedroom. If you wish to exchange, please call [phone number].”

One resident reported: “Someone pushed in the apartment swap notice last week.

“Although we were looking for a two-bedroom unit in the same location, we avoided calling the number as it looked like a sham.

Emirates247 said it tried calling the number on the notice but nobody replied.

Swapping residences with other tenants is classified as sub-letting, which is illegal in Dubai without written consent from the property owner or landlord.

A spokesperson for the Gardens developer, Nakheel, confirmed that exchange of apartments was not permitted.

Various scams have been reported across Dubai in previous years, whereby a real estate agent rents an apartment in multiple cheques and sublets at a lower amount in a single cheque.

One unnamed real estate agent was quoted as saying: “All tenants must have an Ejari registered contract and without it no authorities will give you either utility connections, or process your family residence visas.

“Besides, the unit owner will be held liable for any illegal activity conducted within the apartment.”

According to the report, notices have been put up in neighbouring development Discovery Gardens to warn tenants that sharing and subletting is strictly prohibited.

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