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29 May 2024

One home per family in Abu Dhabi: Renters face fines


Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM), in coordination with its strategic partners, continues its campaigns to regulate illegal occupancy of residential units and ensure compliance with laws and regulations in force in Abu Dhabi.

The campaigns are targeting densely populated accommodations in Abu Dhabi city, as well as Al Bateen, Al Wathba, Al Shahama and Musaffah centres to cover a large geographical area.

The campaigns were intended to regulate the occupancy of residential units which are governed by clear-cut laws and regulations including Law No. 1/2011, which provides for a fine ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh100,000 against the violator, be it a landlord, a lessor, a lessee, an occupant or any other housing provider.

Recurrent violators are slapped with a fine of Dh100,000 and not exceeding Dh200,000.
In both cases a court ruling can be issued mandating the removal of the violation at the expense of the violator and evacuate the residential unit.

This campaign is part of Abu Dhabi municipal system’s vision aimed at ensuring the highest standards of health and safety for the residents of Abu Dhabi city and suburbs, and nurturing a safe and modern environment by enforcing the security, safety and health standards to the best interest of all community members.

This campaign is also intended to safeguard the rights of all concerned parties, provide modern, civilised and healthy accommodation, and the same time eliminate all malpractices marring civilised appearance of the city.

More than 3,328 offence tickets were issued in Abu Dhabi last year, including thronging accommodations, and the illegal occupancy of residential units in a way that falls short of the required safety standards.

Musaffah Municipal Centre issued 621 congested accommodation violation tickets, and as many as 140 offences relating to outlawed annexes such as temporary walls, improvised additions, among others.
Over 302 offences for overcrowded accommodation were served by Al Shahama Municipal Centre, compared to over 1,952 offence tickets issued by Al Wathba Municipal Centre in addition to 143 offence notices related to disorderly additions in buildings and villas.

Al Bateen Municipal Center issued 124 violations tickets related to overcrowded accommodation in addition to 46 violations tickets regarding disorderly buildings and improvised additions in villas and houses.

The reporting of outlawed accommodation practices is conducted through a series of stages starting with monitoring.

The district inspector spots during inspection campaigns, and the offence is then reported.
Offences and reports are received by community members through the Public Call Center 80555, City Guard Programme, or by attending in person to the centres to report such cases.

The concerned parties shall tackle the issue in accordance with the applicable laws.

Building violations, on the other hand are governed by law No. 16/2009, regulating building works in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which allows the offender to remove the violation within a maximum period of 30 days and pay 50 per cent of the fine as stipulated in Law No. 32.

General appearance, health and public tranquility violations are punishable by Law No. 2/2012 where violations are issued according to the type of offense as detailed in the official violations and fines table.

The phenomenon of bachelors’ thronging residential neighbourhoods in makeshift houses yield scores of problems and challenges including the exacerbation of the overcrowding problem, construction of more disorderly, partitioned and unlicensed residential units falling short of civilised standards, in addition to the proliferation of sanitary waste at a large scale, and distortion of the urbanized appearance.

The municipality highlighted the importance of adhering to all engineering specifications and complying with the health and safety standards in this regard. 

All structures must be properly licensed and approved by the competent authorities in Abu Dhabi City Municipality as provided for in the residential units’ occupancy law. All contracts must be properly registered according to the ADM tenancy contract attestation system (Tawtheeq) which regulates the landlord-tenant contractual relationship and safeguards their rights.

The municipality has issued the residential units occupancy guidelines which provide for:
A maximum of three people (bachelors) are allowed to live in a room in commercial buildings.
It is illegal to rent out halls and corridors or make partitions in residential units without seeking the municipality consent first.

Each residential unit (apartment in a commercial building or within a residential villa, attached or detached villa) shall be occupied by one family.

All government entities, companies, enterprises, institutions, and corporations shall provide housing for their employees, without violating the provisions of Law No. 1/2011, governing occupancy of residential units.

It not allowed to rent or occupy properties built in commercial, residential or investment land plots, nor buildings to be demolished in whole or in part.

Under this context, the municipality once again reminds all property owners, residential unit investors and tenants of the importance of complying with the laws applicable in Abu Dhabi, particularly those governing the occupancy of residential units.

The campaign is intended to sensitise and educate all relevant parties on the provisions of Law No. 1/2011, governing the occupancy of residential units and the use of properties designated for citizens in Abu Dhabi emirate, which is applicable to all property and residential units in the emirate.
The civic body also calls upon all relevant parties to adopt the theme of the campaign and implement it on the ground.

The municipality calls upon all community segments including companies, investors and individuals to comply with the laws and regulations governing the occupancy of residential units, and cooperate with the competent authorities to cement sound, hygienic and sustainable standards in order to ensure a civilised accommodation, provide decent living for all community members, terminate all elements disfiguring the urbanised outlook of cities, and maintain societal values.