Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Landlords of violating villas to be prosecuted

The Gulf Today, 10 Feb 2010

Landlords who rent out multi-family shared villas and residential premises in Dubai will be prosecuted if they do not adhere to the civic body's final eviction deadline, the chief of Dubai Municipality (DM) warned on Tuesday.The multi-family sharing villas in the emirate have only less than a week to comply with the civic regulations prohibiting overcrowding and construction of unauthorised partitions in buildings.
The DM had set last Sunday the final warning for tenants and landlords to vacate family-overcrowded villas before Feb.14. It warned that in case of failure to do so, utility services to these buildings will be disconnected in addition to demolishing such structures to remove the irregularities.Lootah pointed out that that overcrowding in villas raise a range of issues concerning public safety and health measures. Unhygienic practices increase put the residents' lives and health in heavy risks.
"The civic body's aim is to ensure the human rights of the residents of Dubai, by ensuring them the highest standards of quality life," he added.
As part of strengthening the civic body's building and public safety regulations, bachelors also were told to move from residential areas to the designated destinations in different parts of the city.
Lootah said that the bachelors living in apartments or premises where families are occupied should also have to shift to non-family residential areas in order to avoid complications and security issues of mingling with families.The move comes into effect further intensifying the "One Villa One Family" campaign, launched by the Municipality in the 2008, forcing hundreds of low-income families to move out of shared villas.
The municipality launched the campaign in May 2008, stating that villas could be occupied by only one family. Bachelors could not stay in villas and were ordered to move to labour accommodation or apartments.
Many tenants, mostly families, moved out following the action but many others continue to live in these villas.According to the final announcement, the civic body will activate the role of community partnership in its efforts to maintain the emirate of Dubai free of building violations and unplanned growth.The DM called upon landlords and tenants who are violating building rules such as overcrowding families and bachelors that they should participate in these efforts and correct their status before the one-week deadline. Municipal inspectors had earlier slapped notices on overcrowded villas, warning tenants to move out or face fines and having the utilities cut off. Hefty fines of Dhs.50,000 were imposed on a number of landlords.
"Inspections have been strengthened to disconnect water, electricity and sewage in violating villas, so the tenants will be forced to vacate the crowded villas," said Omar Mohammed Abdul Rahman, Head of Building Inspection Section of the DM.Earlier, the DM had confiscated power generators illegally used by tenants, whose electricity and water connections were severed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).The multi-family villas are mostly seen in the city's densely populated areas like Satwa, Rashidiya, Bur Dubai, Deira and Hor al Anz.
Dubai Municipality had earlier revealed that about 14,000 villas were found in Dubai violating building rules since the launch of the "One Villa One Family" campaign.
Meanwhile, many families and bachelors living in shared residential premises have complained about their difficulties to find affordable housing in the emirate.
"During the second phase of the campaign, civic inspectors detected many single villas shared by more than one family and they used diesel generators for electricity supply, in violation of the building rules," said a DM official earlier.
AbdulRahman said that multiple families staying in one residential unit after illegally making alterations inside the building would not all be tolerated as the municipality focused on providing the highest standards of public safety and health measures.
"It is against the rules and regulations regarding building safety as well as the social and urban planning norms. The warning was a continuation of an initiative unveiled in 2005, against bachelors living in family residential areas," he noted.
"Accordingly, the municipality had notified the building owners as well real estate agencies not to rent out villas to bachelors and to allow only one family to live in single residential units," he added.
The service amenities like water, electricity and sewage are provided to residential units according to the building plans. When the residential unit is used by more families against the plan, it becomes difficult to manage resulting in the accumulation of waste, affecting public safety and environment," he explained.

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