Know Your Right as a Tenant: Sharjah Rental Laws
The emirate of Sharjah is the most preferred option for renters in the United Arab Emirates as it offers a wide variety of affordable homes. Given the reduced rents and the abundance of services available in the city, many tenants opt to live in Sharjah and commute to work in Dubai. Sharjah is a place that is rich in waterfront residences, parks, sports courts, supermarkets, pharmacies, and retail establishments close by in some of the most well-liked residential neighbourhoods. However, it is a concern that many tenants are still unaware of crucial Sharjah tenancy regulations. Here you will get a complete guideline on the existing tenancy laws.
- Number of Persons Residing in Each Unit
The maximum number of occupants that a residential unit can have is one of the most crucial tenancy laws that every tenant should be aware of. The regulation was maintained to protect family privacy and decrease the number of workers who were residing illegally in the emirate. It should be noted that the number of occupants for a unit depends on the size of the property. The maximum number of occupants for a rental property in Sharjah is as follows:
- Studio Apartments – 3 people
- 1 BHK Flats- 3 people
- 2 BHK Flats- 6 people
- 3 BHK Flats- 9 people
The Sharjah tenancy laws for rentals stipulate that tenants must disclose the number of occupants when renting a property.
- Bachelor Accommodation
Low-income bachelors or laborers are not permitted to reside in residential neighbourhoods or family regions as per the Sharjah tenancy law. According to Sharjah’s leasing guidelines, low-income bachelors are only permitted to reside in apartments in Al Sajja or industrial zones. While subletting is strictly prohibited in some regions, bachelors are allowed to share rooms.
In places like Al Majaz and Al Nahda, only families are allowed to reside in residential and commercial structures. They will be forced to show passport copies for each resident, evidence of any blood ties, and even marriage certificates, if necessary while signing a lease or renewing an existing one.
As per the tenancy laws, executive bachelors such as professionals like doctors, engineers, and the like, are permitted to live in residential or commercial structures in Sharjah with the owner’s permission.
- Rent Increase Rules of Sharjah Municipality
According to the 2007 tenancy rules of Sharjah, owners are only allowed to increase rent three years from the leasing agreement’s start date. Again, after the initial increase, the owners are only allowed to raise the rent once every two years. It is one such clause in the Sharjah tenancy laws that shields tenants from yearly rent increases.
- Early lease termination by tenants
According to the tenancy laws, tenants cannot end their tenancy before it expires unless an incident beyond their control occurs. If not, tenants are bound by law to see the contract through to its conclusion.
Unless both parties agree otherwise, in the above-said situation, the tenant shall pay the landlord a compensating amount equal to but not less than 30% of the rental fee for the balance of the term of the lease. The final judgment of such cases is handled and evaluated by the Sharjah Rental Dispute Committee.
- Tenants Who Fail to Pay Rent
There are instances where tenants miss rent payments. In such cases, if the rent is not paid within fifteen days after the due date, the owner may evict the renter. It is strongly advised to carefully read the rental agreement before signing it to avoid any potential future issues.
Other Tenants Right
Here are some other important tenancy laws in Sharjah that safeguard renters’ rights:
- Throughout the tenure, the owner is responsible for doing all essential property maintenance. However, unless otherwise specified in the rental agreement, tenants are responsible for performing minimal maintenance on the apartment.
- Owners or real estate agents are not allowed to charge tenants a renewal fee upon renewing the rental contract, as it is not allowed by the Sharjah tenancy laws.
- The lease between the owner and renter should remain in effect even if the owner decides to sell the apartment or building. This also applies in the event of the owner’s demise.
- Only in situations like if the owner wants to demolish the building, carry out extensive maintenance that would necessitate eviction, or if they intend to occupy the property for personal use and have no other suitable place to live can the owner terminate the agreement. According to Sharjah Tenancy Law, the owner must acquire the necessary permissions from the Sharjah Municipality and provide the tenant with three months’ notice in these situations.
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