Just say no to bachelor pads? The UAE's strange new policy
In a move to flush out bachelors from shared and crammed apartments in the city, the Abu Dhabi Municipality has started a campaign and called upon residents and landlords to say ‘No to mass accommodation’.
The campaign titled “Say No to Bachelors Thronging Residential Neighbourhoods – Together we Ensure Superior Life for Residents,” asks property owners, investors and tenants to comply with the emirate’s housing laws.
The municipality has asked landlords to evict bachelors and workers living in illegal accommodation with immediate effect, and cooperate with the Municipality’s inspectors to avoid violating the provisions of Law No. 1/2011, governing the occupancy of residential units and properties designated for citizens in Abu Dhabi.
“As part of the Municipality’s keenness to ensure superior quality of life for the residents of Abu Dhabi city, and in order to preserve the privacy of residential neighbourhoods, the Municipality calls upon all residents to participate in its campaign aimed at combating the phenomenon of bachelors and workers’ thronging residential neighbourhoods, since it triggers social, security and health problems,” said Ahmad Fadl Al Mazroui, Director of External Centres, Abu Dhabi City Municipality.The official added that legal action will be taken against those who violate the law that prohibits group accommodation in properties meant for residential living.
“The Administrative Decree No (203) for 2013 in regard of the Executive Regulation of the Law explains the key guidelines of occupying residential units in Abu Dhabi emirate, and maps out specifications of the residential unit as well as the number of its occupants which has to be concordant with its area, safety and security measures, and the principles of public ethics and societal values prevailing in the UAE,” said Al Mazroui.
According to the UAE laws, it is illegal for families to rent out part of their apartment or for landlords to put illegal partitions in their villas and rent out the space.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Municipality recorded 2,771 violations against villa owners who rented property to bachelor groups. Each landlord was fined Dh20,000 for flouting the rule, 67 real estate firms were also blacklisted for violating housing laws.
The municipality’s regulations stipulate that a maximum of three people are allowed to live in a room. Since early 2013, the civic body has been carrying out campaigns coupled with regular inspections to stop the practice. But bachelors continue to dodge inspectors and live in villas and shared accommodation.
Families have complained about workers living in residential areas. Uma Satheeshan, an Indian housewife on Electra Street, said many workers live in her building. “We have complained to the landlord many times, but nobody cares. Bachelors have designated accommodation and should live there,” said Satheeshan.