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Thu 23 Jul 2009 09:14 AM

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Tenants could face $13,000 fine for Dubai villa sharing

Officials clampdown on villa sharing, warn tenants and landlords – paper.

Tenants could face $13,000 fine for Dubai villa sharing
VILLA RULES: Authorities are clamping down on the one family, one villa rule. (ITP Images)

Landlords and tenants could face fines of AED50,000 ($13,000) if they break the one family, one villa law, it has been reported.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Dubai Municipality’s director general, told the National that legal action could also follow any fines as the authorities clampdown on villa sharing.

“We made this announcement two years ago, and it was made very clear that sharing villas would not be allowed,” Lootah told the paper. “Now we have given enough time, and there will be no more exceptions.”

Tenants, owners, nationals and expatriates will all be fined if they are found breaking the law, he told the paper.

Lootah said more than 5,000 households in Dubai have been identified as breaking the law.

Inspectors will be targeting homes in Jaffliya, Satwa, Jumeirah, Umm Suquiem, Al Barsha, Mirdiff and Al Rashidiya.

Officials say shared villas pose environmental and health risks. Each violation will be determined on an individual basis, officials said.

Also read: Under the radar


Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

k 11 years ago

Was it not the same man several months ago that stated it was all a misunderstanding?? Now this man is retracting his statement and implementing a unfair rule that only serves money hungry.......

raja 11 years ago

As per Mr.Lootah, 5,000 house holds are breaking the villa sharing law, which means, collection of AED.250 million (yes hold your breath) in fines. Even if they can penalise 25% of the voilators, it is still AED.62.5 millions, not a bad idea. You know there is a saying 'nessacity is the mother of invention', more laws will be bought in, watch out!!!!!! What about the bold advertisements in the news papers, for Apartments, now a days, 'SHARING ALLOWED' they (advertisers as well as the Tenants, wallah!) should also be penalised, more money, more fun.

Original Joe 11 years ago

I have lived in Dubai for 8 years now. I remember the good ol' days when there was no Salik, no mobile speed cameras (that I can remember), no Housing Fee on my DEWA bill, no parking fees in Shopping Malls, school fees were reasonable, rents were reasonable, Shopping Mall prices were fair & Dubai was seen as a Shopper's Paradise and everyone lived in peace and harmony, even if your neighbor was a group of people all sharing a villa. How times have changed.... Welcome to "PAY CITY"....please folks, just leave your wallets at the Passport counter! If there is a way to extort money out of people BELIEVE ME, Dubai will find a way. I used to love this place but slowly my "love" is turning to "like", and that's only because I don't have kids to send to school, I choose not to spend money in Dubai's overpriced shopping malls, I downsized my living expenses from a 4 bedroom villa to a 2 bedroom flat (big DEWA savings!) and I am an all around conservative spender. But man, I feel sorrow for those who are on tight budgets because it is just a matter of time before there is some new "charge" that will hit their wallets. Kicking people out of villas who have broken no laws (real laws, not made up "Dubai" laws), are not disturbing neighbors, and who pay their rent and bills on time is just wrong. These people will all pay more living on their own, which I guess is part of the plan here in "Pay City". I am not sure how long Dubai will stay in my "like" category the way things are going....

Punky Brewster 11 years ago

It's absolutely amazing how DXB authorities come up with PLANS to TAX/Penalize the Villa people for SHARING, considering the rents are shooting thru the roof! If they BREAK the REGULAR Laws, Fine them by all means. If there is a LAW against SHARING a Villa, to reduce the costs, it seems absurd. Similar to "Illegal Smuggling of Passengers" for sharing a ride in DXB. Go Figure...!!

Malik Muhammad 11 years ago

If this happens for sure people will start sharing appartments, for tenants its good from safety point of view. Also their standard of life will increase as well. Rest everyone know the advantages and disadvantages of living in sharing villas or appartment. Cost will increase little more but not that much that someone cannot afford. At average people are paying for one room AED. 30K per annum in villa sharing but same size studio at average in some areas is at the moment AED. 35K +/-, means only AED. 400 per month is increase at average, for sure someone can affort to pay except less then may be 1% people.

Amita 11 years ago

I used to live in a building that was called a villa - well, it was an old shabby building behind Al Maya supermarket in Satwa - I am wondering if this building will also classify as a villa? No family in their good mind would ever want to live in it - it is too huge, it has a number of separate rooms with separate entrances and it is.... shabby... I think the true reason behind that rule is the slumping rental prices - the demand has fallen, the supply has risen - at least one of these trends can now be reversed ;-)

Tom Wilson 11 years ago

It seems that the fox is in the chicken coup. Mr. Lootah, and his family namesake are huge property managers in the city of Dubai and also most likely owners too. They are only serving their purpose to build demand for rentals of property, to reduce the drag on demand that is currently in the market, which is an awesome good correction. I won't go so far to call this anything other than self made financing, but what is still obviously painful, a city that lives on its standards of living and prosperous way of life, depends totally and we are not kidding around here, totally on the expatriates that live in the region and Mr. Lootah and his comrades at arms, don't care about how much things cost for these people they so much depend on for services and providing support in jobs that no national would ever take. Herein this last statement is the sad thing, is that even at today's new rental rates, which will continue to depress maybe another ten to twenty percent, are still much more expensive than many other countries on this planet. Take a two bedroom apartment at 80,000 (USD $21,917) AED in TECOM or JLT, this is still on a monthly basis about AED2,920 (US$800) per month more than what you would pay in most any capital city in South America, Chinese large City, US City, or Canadian City, so to say that they have to keep the rates up, for what reason should we ask. There is no land limitation such as Singapore or Hong Kong to cause rents to be high. Also another point to make is the monthly checks. Why do people have to pay so much in advance. They should not have to pay for something they have not used yet. Also, this does not allow for any leverage for tenants to make landlords provide repairs and services to their tenants premises. It sometimes takes months and months for us to get repairs on the villa rented. Heh why not, they already have the money in hand. The mortgage is already paid, so why worry. The tenant will have to wait. This is just sheer rental price manipulation. The city needs full on transparency and pure market pricing to be what it can be, a wonderful, world class and fair market city and country to live in. A land that is fair to its workers, who bear much of the brunt of the mass in this country should be able to provide and support a decent life style and cost of living for those who provide just such a backbone. Dubai is now finding out what happens to cities that only depend on the rich and famous and those materialistic things that attract them. It now needs to find its fairer and kinder self, that can be a longer term, slower but more importantly, more consistently positive growth metro area. The metro-rail is something just that may help it get to that point. The city is definitely a great place to live in many ways. It just needs to stop the greed, and realize there is more to life than making life miserable for those that need the work.

J 11 years ago

I can remember the articles in Gulf News where "Officials" from the Municipality told everybody, that this rule does not exist and everybody "misunderstood" the rule (even the guys who are working for the Municipality "misunderstanding" their job). Then they claimed again this rule. Then they told everybody it is not like it was described before. Then they warned everybody of that "before confirmed not existing rule". Guys - print the laws in the newspaper and in official websites. It is in line with Etisalats BB scrap. Today so - tomorrow so. This rule (so it was described previously) is against overcrowding of properties like stuff accommodations. What with all the apartments like in International City (which is supposed as a family living area)? Municipality should concentrate on serious issues!

Helpless expat 11 years ago

I guess this is a part of the strategic plan 2015. Less of expats. Lets consider a person earning AED 12000 a month with his family here. What savings is he going to have? If expats are going to spend everything what they earn here, what will they have for their retirement? If such new laws are going to keep coming up in the future, the ministry should seriously think about granting citizenship to the expats. Every year you spend about 150000 and more for the villas, just calculate how much it would be in your home country currency? You can buy a house every year! I think its time expats pack their bags.

abu Josef 11 years ago

I have seen villas for let for so long the signs have faded! Why not charge a fee and issue a permit (maybe not as lucrative as fines!) and enable the excess inventory to be absorbed by sharing.