Sixteen families living in a five-storey building in Ajman are in great misery after the landlord cut off water and electricity last Thursday, according to a report in the Al Bayan Arabic language daily newspaper.
According to the report, the property owner not only cut off electricity and water but also disabled the elevator to prevent tenants from using it and to force them not to bring water to their flats.
The tenants have lodged a complaint about the proprietor with the rent dispute committee in Ajman. They have also filed a complaint at a police station after the rent dispute committee wanted proof of their status.
The affected people are pleading for quick intervention of the authorities to force the owner of the building to restore water and electricity immediately and relieve the families from their suffering.
The rent dispute committee of Ajman confirmed that the property owner has no right to cut electricity and water.
The building’s residents said the owner of the building was trying to evict the tenants without justification.
Anisa Mohammed Al Kamali, a resident of the building, said she lives on the fifth floor and her children have to climb up and down the stairs to go and return from school because the lift is not working.
She said residents have also filed another complaint at the office of Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, head of municipality and Planning Department.
Anisa said the building’s owner asked residents to evacuate on the grounds of maintenance and refused to renew their leases but the rent dispute committee had issued a decision in favour of one of the tenants on Thursday, ordering the owner to renew his lease.
She said everyone was surprised when electricity and water was cut off at 2pm and the elevator stopped working.
She added that the owner had also ordered the watchman not to do any cleaning, resulting in accumulation of waste in corridors and proliferation of insects.
Hossam Fadhl, a resident, said the rent dispute committee had confirmed that the owner has no right to cut water and electricity.
He said tenants did not refuse to pay any increase in rent but the owner wants to compel all the tenants of the building to leave on the grounds of maintenance. He added that the committee had rejected it because the building does not need comprehensive maintenance.
Firas Abdul Latif, a resident, appealed to the authorities to urgently compel the owner to restore the building’s basic services. He added that there are elderly people and children among the residents.
He explained that the owner wants quick evacuation without considering the situation of the residents, which is unacceptable.
Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Nuaimi, member of the rent dispute committee in Ajman, said that the committee received a complaint from the residents of Building No. 9 in Rumaila in Central Ajman that the owner had cut water and electricity and disabled the elevator.
He stressed that this action is illegal and the committee will call the owner to know the reasons that led him to take this step and will also impose a fine on him.
Al Nuaimi pointed out that there is a law governing the relationship between the lessor and the lessee and the commitment of the parties to the terms of the lease.
He noted that though the proprietor demanded vacating by the tenants for maintenance, the committee considered that there was no reason for evacuation as the needed maintenance could be done with tenants living in the building.
He stressed that the committee would take action in the matter as soon as possible.