Residential apartment rents on Sharjah’s prime streets have gone up by 15 to 20 per cent in the past six month due to rise in number of expatriates in the UAE and families seeking to rent larger affordable apartments.
Landlords, who were asking Dh22,000 per annum (pa) for one-bed units on Al Wahda Road about six months back, have increased rents by at least Dh5,000. New tenants are currently asked to pay Dh27,000 pa.
In the Cornish area, leasing rates for one-bed on average have gone up to Dh35,000 pa, previously Dh28,000 pa, while in Al Majaz area rents on average are Dh32,000 pa (Dh28,000 pa), leasing agents told 'Emirates24|7'.
“We cannot increase rents every year for existing tenants for there is a government regulation that prohibits us to increase rents annually. However, we have increased rents by almost 15 per cent for new tenants,” A Khan, a leasing agent, who works for the building owner on Al Wahda Street, told this website.
The rental by-law of the emirate prohibits the landlord to increase rents for three years after signing the lease agreement and every two years thereafter.
Last year, Sharjah Municipality implemented stringent rules for attesting rental contracts and allowed only three people to stay in a studio apartment; four in one-bedroom; six in two-bedroom and nine in three-bedroom apartments.
A statement from the communications arm of the government of Sharjah in April 2012 had said that the government had issued a directive that bachelors residing collectively in families-only residential zones must vacate the premises as their presence poses a concern to families living in such areas.
Last year, rents in Dubai rose in prime residentail locations, however, property consultants expect a rental increase across the emirate this year with families likely to relocate to Sharjah.
Rakesh Sharaf, who just moved to the UAE and has rented an apartment in Sharjah, said: “I rented a brand new apartment in Al Khan area for Dh28,000 pa, which I was told was available for Dh22,000 pa last year. I am being told by the agents that as rents in Dubai have gone up, people looking for bigger apartment are moving back to Sharjah.”
In its Q3 2012 report on Sharjah, Asteco, a real estate consultancy, had said that after witnessing significant drops in apartment rental rates in the beginning of 2012 as a result of the introduction of stricter tenancy rules, the Sharjah rental market has stabilised and recorded no changes over the last three months.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the UAE had 7.2 million people at the end of 2011 and the figure was expected to grow by around 5.6 per cent to 7.6 million at the end of 2012.