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Ajman to amend tenancy law, specify rent increase at 7pc

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Changes in the tenancy law of the emirate of Ajman are expected to see the light of the day very soon and the percentage of rent increase, which was set by the existing law at 20 per cent every three years, will be specified, reorted a local daily newspaper.

"This has been hinted at by the head of the Rent Disputes office in Ajman, Othman Abu Al Shawarib," said the Khaleej Times.

The amendments which are expected to plug the loopholes in the existing law in order to protect the rights of all parties will grant the landlord (owner) the authority to seek eviction of the tenant after a fixed number of years, that has not been specified yet, he said.

According to the paper, landlords will have the right to increase the rent by seven per cent every year for residential accommodation. However, the percentage of rent increase for commercial space will be decided later.

"Landlords have been disconnecting electricity or water supply in order to force the tenants to vacate the accommodation", said the official who added cited the decision of Shaikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Head of Municipality Department, came in this regard to impose harsh punishments on such owners, with fines not less than Dh5,000 and up to Dh20,000 in case of repetition.

'When tenants submit a group complaint against a landlord about disconnection of utility services, the landlord is fined. However, in case of multiple complaints by individual tenants, the landlord is fined on each complaint individually,' he pointed out.

He urged both owners and tenants to approach the Rent Disputes office in Apartment 65 on the sixth floor of Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry building. He stated that the office received 911 complaints in 2006, compared to 1,838 complaints in 2007. The total of complaints received this year was 488 cases.

Al Shawarib mentioned the case of 'Taj Mahal' real estate office in Ajman, where the owners tried to escape with almost Dh5 million after leasing properties at low cost. They had received the rent from the tenants in advance and are now facing trial after the owner of the real estate was caught while attempting to escape.

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