Families or bachelors sharing accommodation in Dubai may not be able to add their names in the tenancy contracts as multiple names cannot be registered on Ejari registration system, real estate agents opine.
“Rental contracts have always been prepared in one name. Moreover, it is not possible to enter more than one name on the ejari system,” Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate, told Emirates 24/7.
He states that they are a bit more cautious and hence do add names of the people who will be staying in the apartment in the rental contract.
Ejari is an online registration system for rental contracts in Dubai. Under the law, it is mandatory to register all tenancy contracts.
Parvees Gafur, Chief Executive Officer, PropSquare Real Estate, says it has never been a practice to issue rental agreements in joint names.
“The rental contracts are issued in one name… this question was never raised to date.”
According to lawyers, the practice in Dubai has always been on issuing tenancy contracts in the name of the person who has issued the cheque.
“Although the law does not state anything on whether rental contracts cannot be issued in joint names, over the years it has become the norm to issue the contract in the name of the person who has issued the rent cheques.”
Last week, Emirates 24|7 first reported that the new rule will herald an end of sharing accommodation in the UAE.
Matthew Green, Head of Research & Consultancy, UAE, CB Richard Ellis, had said that one solution was to put names of those sharing an apartment on the rental contract.
On Monday, Abu Dhabi confirmed that expatriates seeking a renewal of their residence visa must submit an attested tenancy contract with a valid utility bill, saying those sharing an accommodation would be rejected.
An official at the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi said the new rules issued last week apply to all expatriate families and bachelors, excluding those applying for a renewal of a visit visa.
The rule has evoked reaction among expatriates residing in the country.
"With a tenancy contract requirement in the name of the sponsor only, those expatriates who share accommodation are left with mainly four choices: take up a separate accommodation where the tenancy contract is in their own names; move to cheaper accommodation in places such as International City, Ajman or Umm Al Quwain; send the family back home if they cannot afford a separate unit; or try and get their spouse on the company's visa. But even then the children's sponsorship would be up in the air," said R Kumar, an indian living in Dubai.
MA Khan from Afghanistan said he lives in a joint family with his two brothers and their families in a 3-bedroom villa in Al Quoz. "Each of us brothers have a bedroom for our use. The lease is in the name of the eldest brother. I do not know if we also come under the rule and would need a separate tenancy contract."
Expatriates said they have been living in sharing accommodation because they could not afford the high rentals and have been unwilling to move to cheaper places in Ajman or Umm Al Quwain because of infrastructure and travel bottlenecks.
They have expressed hope that the authorities would reconsider the rule and amend it to make it possible for people who share accommodation, to also get their visas renewed.