A tenant has the right to use the amenities in the building including the usage of common areas.
Question: I live in a residential building in a densely populated part of Dubai. The building has a supermarket right below. Residents were given perks such as security at the main entry points, a garage and a special access to the supermarket from inside the building. Earlier, this was great, but now it has become a security threat and a nuisance. Random people from neighbouring buildings have discovered this access and instead of walking around the building to go to the supermarket, they walk through my building. The security system is in disarray and the landlord refuses to fix it. The supermarket may be colluding with the landlord to allow outsiders to use the building as a shortcut to increase business. I love the building and neighbourhood but the landlord refuses to make any changes and safety is now an issue. What can we do about this? How do I prevent strange people from walking around in the building?
Pursuant to your queries, as you are residing in a rented apartment in Dubai, the provisions of Dubai Law No. (26) of 2007 ‘regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai’ (Dubai Rent Law); and the provisions of Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 on the issuance of the civil transactions law (Civil Transactions Law) are applicable.
It is the responsibility of the landlord of the building to provide peaceful possession of the rented apartment to the tenant. This is in accordance with Article 770 (1) of the Civil Transactions Law, which states: “The lessor may not do anything which disturbs the lessee in his enjoyment of the leased property during the period of the lease, and shall not make any alterations to the property that prevent or disturb such enjoyment, otherwise he shall be held liable.”.
A tenant has the right to use the amenities in the building including the usage of common areas and such right of a tenant may not be curtailed or disturbed by any other third party. This is in accordance with Article 11 of the Dubai Rental Law, which states: “Unless otherwise agreed, the rent will cover use of the real property amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gymnasiums, health clubs, car parks, and other amenities.”
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, as a tenant, it is your right to have peaceful possession of your rented apartment and this includes the usage of amenities and common areas in the said building unless otherwise agreed in the tenancy contract.
You may approach your landlord along with the other tenants in your building and submit in writing the security threat and nuisance which you feel as tenants due to the usage of the private access in the building by the public. You may request the landlord to take necessary actions related to security of the building. In the event your landlord does not agree, you may approach the Rental Dispute Centre in Dubai and file a complaint against your landlord.
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“Unless otherwise agreed, the rent will cover use of the real property amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gymnasiums, health clubs, car parks, and other amenities.”
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: email@example.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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