Legally Sharing Accommodation in Dubai: Law, Process & More

Legally Sharing Accommodation in Dubai: Law, Process & More

With its vibrant culture and booming economy, Dubai attracts thousands of residents from around the world seeking new opportunities and experiences. The city is home to many residential communities that offer world-class facilities. From park-view residences to sustainable options, Dubai offers options for people with different preferences and budgets.

Rental prices and living costs are increasing in Dubai. Some residents have embraced the idea of sharing an accommodation to cut costs on rentals. This not only saves you money but also can be a safer choice, especially for newcomers to the city. However, there are specific rules and regulations you must follow to avoid legal issues if you opt for shared accommodation.

If you are planning to share an apartment in Dubai, here's what you should know about Dubai's laws for shared accommodation.

Sharing an accommodation in Dubai

With the city's rising rental prices, many individuals opt for shared accommodations to split costs and enjoy the city's offerings. Dubai has set certain rules to regulate sharing an accommodation in Dubai. This legal framework aims to safeguard the interests of both landlords and tenants while promoting a fair and transparent rental market.

In Dubai, sub-leasing or sharing accommodation is regulated by Article 24 of Law No.26 of 2007. According to this law, a tenant cannot sublease or share the property with others without obtaining the landlord's permission unless it is explicitly allowed in the tenancy contract. The law states that

Unless otherwise agreed in the tenancy contract, the tenant shall not assign benefit or sublease premises without obtaining the landlord’s approval.”

If you sublet the property without obtaining the landlord's permission, you can be asked to leave the premises along with the sub-tenants according to Article 25 of Law No.33 of 2008, even if your tenancy period has not yet expired.

Rules to follow when sharing an accommodation in Dubai

When sharing an accommodation in Dubai, make sure to do it legally to avoid hefty fines for misconduct. These are some of the rules you need to follow strictly if you live in a shared accommodation in Dubai.

  • As a first tenant, before leasing or subletting the accommodation, you need to make sure to get formal written approval from your landlord.
  • All the subtenants have access and rights to the premises as long as the original tenancy contract is valid.
  • A sub-lease contract should define all the relationships between the first tenant and the sub-tenants. However, the first tenant’s obligations towards the landlord will remain according to the original tenancy contract.
  • The number of sub-tenants you can accommodate in the apartment depends on the area the property is located in and is not the same for all.
  • All the co-habitants should be registered on Ejari.

Fines for sharing an accommodation illegally in Dubai

If you do not follow the rules and regulations properly while sharing an accommodation in Dubai, you can get fined heavily depending on the offense. These fines range from AED200 to AED20,000.

Any tenant who is found to share an accommodation without the required permit or landlord’s approval will be fined. If you have been found for the second time committing the same offense, you will have to pay up to AED100,000 as a penalty.

How to register co-habitants on Ejari?

Ejari or tenancy agreement was introduced by RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) to safeguard the rights of all parties involved in a tenancy contract. Ejari introduced the registration of co-occupants in Dubai to prevent illegal accommodation sharing. Dubai also makes it compulsory for the main tenant to register all co-occupants of a property in the tenancy agreement. Registering co-occupants on Ejari brings benefits to tenants, as it serves as official proof of their identity after the registration process. This requirement applies to property owners, tenants, developers, and property management companies.

You can register your co-habitants on Ejari through the DLD website or Dubai REST app. Here is a step-by-step guide to how you can register your co-habitants on Ejari.

  • Download the Dubai REST application or visit the DLD website.
  • Proceed to the login screen if you are a registered user or ‘Proceed to Register’ if you are a new user. You can sign up with UAE PASS for quicker registration. If you do not have UAE PASS, then you can register with your Emirates ID or Residence Visa Number.
  • Choose your role as 'Individual' and log in with UAE PASS for faster access.
  • Authenticate yourself using the UAE PASS application or any other login options.
  • Select your property on the dashboard.
  • Select ‘Manage Co-occupants’.
  • Enter the number of co-occupants living on your property.
  • You can add occupants with the help of the ‘Add More’ option.
  • You will need to submit your Emirates ID application and date of birth for verification.
  • To remove a co-occupant, select the delete icon and submit.

Pros and Cons of sharing an accommodation in Dubai

Sharing accommodation in major cities like Dubai has helped many people, especially those with a tight budget. This is a popular choice among students, job seekers, and newcomers who want to cut down on their monthly rent expenses. Sharing accommodation comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of sharing an accommodation in Dubai.

Advantages of sharing an accommodation

  • Cost cutting: Sharing accommodation enables roommates to split rent costs and other housing expenses making it more cost-effective to live with others than it would be to live alone.
  • Social opportunities: When you are a newcomer to this city, sharing accommodation always helps. This opens up opportunities for interactions and establishing new relationships in the city.
  • Sharing utilities: Sharing accommodation often comes with perks such as sharing electronic utilities like refrigerators, microwave ovens, and washing machines. You can save a considerable amount by sharing it with your roommate.
  • Sense of security: For those who are newcomers to the city and unfamiliar with the area, the presence of roommates can foster a sense of security by creating a support system in case of emergencies.
  • Shared responsibilities: This depends on how you decide to go about sharing the accommodation. You can decide on sharing the house responsibilities with your roommates to reduce individual workloads.

Disadvantages of sharing accommodation

  • Less privacy: People who value having their own space may find it challenging to embrace shared living because it requires giving up personal privacy.
  • Compatibility concerns: Every individual is different. The minor differences in routines, habits, and lifestyles can lead to arguments and misunderstandings between roommates which can negatively affect the experience of living together.
  • Space limitations: Choosing shared occupancy could mean limited storage options and shared common areas, which could mean inconveniences for all tenants.
  • Financial uncertainties: If one of the roommates fails to pay their portion of the rent or utilities, the remaining occupants may be forced to make up the difference, which could put a strain on their finances.
  • Legal complexities: Dubai has strict rules for sharing accommodations. Failure to adhere to it will fetch you hefty fines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal for unmarried couples to live together in Dubai?

Yes, unmarried couples can live together in Dubai according to the recent relaxation and introduction of new personal and family laws in the UAE. It was previously illegal for unmarried couples and people of different genders, who are not related by blood, to live together under the provisions of Dubai Rental Law on shared accommodation. This new law counts for all types of places to stay, like hotel rooms, houses, and apartments you can rent in Dubai.

How to report the illegal sharing of accommodation in Dubai?

You can approach the landlord of the building with your concerns. If the landlord does not resolve your issues, you can submit a complaint against the tenants and subtenants of such units with the Dubai Municipality and the Rental Dispute Centre.

Can the sub-tenants enjoy all the perks of being a tenant in Dubai?

Whether you are a tenant or sub-tenant, everyone who is legally residing in a building in Dubai is welcome to utilize all of the amenities. This includes amenities like playgrounds, parking lots, gyms, and sports facilities. However, the rules for sharing living spaces in Dubai might be a bit different depending on what's agreed upon between tenants or sub-tenants and landlords.

What should I do if my roommate runs away without paying the rent?

You can move legally if you shared the accommodation with the consent of your landlord and have a sub-tenancy contract. You can file a case at the Rental Dispute Centre in Dubai. However, even if you do not have any written consent for sharing accommodation, you may still be able to file a case against your roommate if you have documents that can prove you are sharing the rent and other utility charges. For this case, you need to approach the Centre of Amicable Settlement of Disputes, a reconciliation department of the Dubai Court, instead of the Rental Dispute Centre.

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