Swapping apartments in Dubai… can tenants do it?

Some residents claim such notices are been distributed

“I have a two-bedroom apartment in the Gardens and I am looking for one bedroom. If you wish to exchange, please call…”

Such notices have been distributed in some buildings of the Gardens, a residential community, in Jebel Ali.

“Someone pushed in the apartment swap notice last week. Although we were looking for a two-bedroom unit in the same location, we avoided calling the number as it looked like a sham,” VR, a resident, told Emirates 24|7.

This website tried calling the number mentioned on the notice, but no one answered or called back.

A Nakheel spokesperson confirmed to this website that any exchange of apartments between the tenants was not allowed.

Property agents highlighted the fact that exchange of apartment did amount to sub-letting, which is termed illegal in Dubai, unless and until the leasing party gets a written consent from the owner/landlord.

A number of scams related to sub-letting have been reported earlier, whereby the agent rents the apartment in multiple cheques and sub-leases at a lower amount in a single cheque.

“All tenants must have an Ejari registered contract and without it no authorities will give you either utility connections, or process your family residence visas. Besides, the unit owner will be held liable for any illegal activity conducted within the apartment,” the agent warned.

In Discovery Gardens, a neighbouring residential community, notices have been put up earlier to remind tenants that sharing and sub-leasing was strictly prohibited.

In many cases, landlords also include clauses in their rental contract that bars the tenant from sharing or sub-leasing with the breach leading to eviction.

As per Trakhees, which manages, regulates and enforces rules and regulations related to environment, health and safety in various freehold communities, the maximum allowable occupancy limit for apartments under its authority is one person per 200 square feet from the total property area. Violators can face a minimum fine of Dh1,000 or a maximum of Dh50,000.

Communities managed by Trakhees include Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens, International City, Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

Even the Dubai Municipality follows the same regulation on occupancy limit in apartments. Violators face fines of up to Dh50,000.

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