ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi Municipality continues to crack down on illegal housing practices, including overcrowding, in handing out 759 penalties this year.
It warned of poor safety standards, badly maintained buildings and dangerous alterations to properties that were made to house more people.
Property agents said that someone with no proof of a steady income, no work contract and a salary of Dh3,000, had an almost impossible task of finding adequate accommodation. Such people could fall prey to landlords who flout the law.
“It is very difficult for a resident who gets paid Dh3,000 to rent an individual room,” said Anas Al Hussain of Al Saqiya Real Estate. “This is why companies who employ low-skilled workers provide accommodation.”
The government charity does not provide accommodation to donation collectors.
“If they rent a room then it will have to be a shared room and it will be with an unregistered contract, so he is not required to pay for electricity or water,” Mr Hussain said.
However, even the price of one room to be shared by three people can prove challenging.
“One room costs Dh3,000 and, if it is divided on three people, then each person will pay Dh1,000. This is might be too much for people who want to save money to send back home so the option they choose is to rent bed space. This is the least costly and usually what bachelors choose to do, and it’s also illegal,” he said.
Bed space costs from Dh600 to Dh700 a month.
Estate agent Mario Volpi said: “If they don’t get a contract, they don’t get paid regularly, then frankly it is very difficult to find normal rented accommodation.”
He said that agents and landlords required concrete proof that the tenant would pay them. A permit was not enough.
“The contracts are to make sure that they have a regular income. If they cannot provide these documents then these individuals will have to get a little more creative, either with their employer or the bank, to show proof of earnings,” he said.
The permissible amount of space allocated per person is 20 square metres.
Mr Volpi’s advice for residents is to keep their family at home until they sort out their situation.
“I know this is a terrible thing to say but send them back home. The kind of accommodation that the individual can provide is not adequate for families,” he said.
Source: uae news