What you need to know as a tenant in Sharjah
The family-friendly emirate of Sharjah is a popular choice for renters in the UAE, due to its affordability and a wide choice of properties. In fact, many tenants choose to rent in Sharjah and work in Dubai, taking advantage of lower rentals and the wealth of amenities the city has to offer. Some of Sharjah’s most popular residential areas benefit from waterfront homes, parks, sports courts, groceries, pharmacies and retail outlets in its vicinity. However, many renters are not aware of important Sharjah tenancy laws. Thus, MyBayut shares essential tenancy rules, laws and rights in Sharjah that every renter must know about.
IMPORTANT SHARJAH TENANCY LAWS AND RIGHTS TO KNOW
Here are some rental laws in Sharjah to keep in mind before you sign a tenancy contract in the emirate.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE OCCUPYING A UNIT
One of the most important Sharjah tenancy laws to know about is the number of people allowed to live in a residential unit. The law was enforced to reduce the number of workers illegally living in the emirate, as well as maintaining the privacy of families. Note that the number of people allowed to occupy a unit varies based on the size of the property.
According to rental laws in Sharjah, the number of people allowed to occupy a property is as follows:
- 3 people in studio apartments
- 4 people in 1-bedroom apartments
- 6 people in 2-bedroom apartments
- 9 people in 3-bedroom apartments
Tenants are also required to declare the number of people living in the unit when leasing a property, according to the Sharjah tenancy law for rentals.
BACHELOR ACCOMMODATION AREAS IN SHARJAH
According to recent Sharjah tenancy laws, low-income bachelors or labourers are not allowed to live in residential neighbourhoods or family areas. The rental laws in Sharjah state that low-income bachelors can only live in accommodation in industrial areas or Al Sajja. Bachelors living in these areas are allowed to share rooms while subletting is strictly not permitted.
Only families are allowed to live in residential and commercial buildings in areas such as Al Majaz and Al Nahda. Upon leasing or renewing a contract, they will be required to provide passport copies of all the people living in the unit, proof of familial relationship and even marriage certificates, if needed.
However, the tenancy rules in Sharjah also state that executive bachelors, which include professionals like doctors and engineers, can also live in residential or commercial buildings with the consent of the owner.
RENT INCREASE RULES BY SHARJAH MUNICIPALITY
The 2007 tenancy laws of Sharjah state that landlords can increase the rent only after three years from the beginning of the tenancy contract. It’s important to note that there is no cap on the rent increase, although it should be in line with similar properties in the area. After the first increase, landlords can only increase the rent every two years. This is one of the Sharjah tenancy rules that protect renters from annual rental hikes, however, many residents in the emirate are not aware of the law.
TENANTS TERMINATING LEASE EARLY
According to HHS Lawyers, a leading law firm in the UAE, there are certain tenancy contract laws in Sharjah regarding the early termination of the lease. As per the law, tenants cannot terminate the tenancy agreement before expiry date, except for the occurrence of a force majeure (beyond your control) event. Otherwise, tenants are legally required to complete the lease until the end of its term.
In the case of a force majeure event, the tenant must pay the landlord a compensatory amount not less than 30% of the rental price of the remaining period of the lease, unless it’s otherwise agreed by both parties.
The Sharjah Rental Dispute Committee (RDC) is the authority that handles such cases, determines whether it qualifies as a force majeure event and delivers the final decision.
TENANTS DEFAULTING ON RENT PAYMENT
The Sharjah tenancy contract laws also cover situations where the tenants default on the rental payment. If this occurs, the landlord is allowed to evict the tenant if the rent has not been paid within fifteen days after the due date.
These are some of the Sharjah tenancy laws that renters should know. It is highly recommended to read your rental contract very closely before signing it, to prevent any rental disputes in the future.
OTHER TENANTS RIGHTS IN SHARJAH TO KNOW
Below are important rental rules in Sharjah that protect the rights of tenants in the emirate:
- The landlord is required to carry out all of the necessary maintenance of the property during the tenancy period. However, tenants are responsible for minor maintenance of the unit, unless it’s otherwise agreed in the rental contract.
- If the owner decides to sell the apartment or building, the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant should not be affected under new ownership. This also comes into effect in case of the death of the owner.
- Landlords or real estate agents are not allowed to charge tenants a renewal fee upon renewing the rental contract, as it is prohibited by the Sharjah tenancy laws.
- Landlords can only terminate the tenancy contract under the following circumstances: if they wish to demolish the property or conduct complete maintenance that would require eviction, or if they wish to occupy the property for personal use and have no other appropriate residence. In such cases, the rental laws in Sharjah require that the landlord must have the appropriate permits from the Sharjah Municipality and gives the tenant three months notice.
- The property that is given on rent should meet the specifications that are mentioned in the tenancy contract. If any amenities or maintenance is found to be lacking, tenants have the right to claim that it’s added or specified maintenance is carried out.
WHERE ARE TENANCY CONTRACTS IN SHARJAH REGISTERED?
All tenancy contracts are attested and registered with Sharjah Municipality. The Rent Regulation Department also handles leasing and rental disputes and enforces the rulings that are issued by the court.
If you have any more questions regarding Sharjah rental law and tenants’ rights, you can contact the Rent Regulation Department at 06-593-1525.
That brings an end to MyBayut’s guide to the important Sharjah tenancy laws and rules. Use this article to stay informed about the Sharjah Municipality rules for tenancy when signing your lease agreement. You can also contact HHS Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 04-255-5496 for additional information.
Looking for a new home in Sharjah? Browse through Bayut’s listings to find the perfect apartments for rent in Sharjah or spacious villas for rent in Sharjah. If you are looking to buy property in this cultural capital, there are also many apartments for sale in Sharjah. For larger family homes, the villas for sale in Sharjah make excellent choices.