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Another deadline for ‘one villa, one family’ rule
Two years after the campaign was launched, Dubai Municipality is still struggling to make villa owners and tenants comply.
February 8, 2010 12:00 by Aarti Nagraj
The Dubai Municipality has announced a “final deadline” for villa landlords in the city to abide by the ‘one villa, one family’ rule, reports The National.
“The Dubai Municipality calls upon the landlords and tenants who are violating building rules such as overcrowding families and bachelors that they should participate in these efforts by removing such irregularities and correct their status before February 14,” the authority said in a statement.
“After the deadline, the municipality will cut services to these buildings and residences and demolish and remove irregularities,” it said.
The warning sounds familiar. The municipality first introduced the rule in April 2008, saying that villas should be occupied by no more than one family. The idea was to ensure safer and better living conditions in the emirate, it said.
However, the ‘one villa, one family’ campaign came under wide criticism after its launch, and was accused of ignoring the condition of those struggling to pay the high rents in Dubai. Some people were even forced to send families home or relocate to places like Ajman, Khaleej Times reported in July 2008.
In September the same year, the municipality gave landlords a “final deadline” of October 28, 2008 to clear out any extra tenants from their villas. Violators would face fines of up to AED50,000, authorities said, adding that they would disconnect electricity and water supplies to villas not complying with the rule.
However, in February 2009, the head of the Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, told local media that more than one family would be allowed to stay in a villa provided it was not overcrowded.
“The municipality has started a campaign against overcrowding in villas to ensure the safety and security of residents… We can accept five to eight people in a villa – depending on its size – but not 20 to 30 people,” said Lootah in a statement.
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