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The average rent for studio units in Sharjah have gone up by 4.2 per cent in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2016 despite the average minimum rent being Dh18,000 a year, according to property consultancy Land Sterling.

Al Muwaileh is the cheapest locality to rent in the emirate, with average rents ranging between Dh18,000 and Dh27,000 a year. In Al Khan, Al Majaz, Al Qasimiyah and Al Nahda, annual rents range from Dh23,000 to Dh30,000; Dh25,000 to Dh35,000; Dh20,000 to Dh30,000 and Dh25,000 to Dh35,000, respectively.

The cheapest three-bed units is available in Al Qasimiyah, with rents between Dh40,000 and Dh80,000 per year.

The costliest area is Al Majaz where rents range from Dh50,000 to Dh110,000 a year. In Al Khan, Al Nahda and Al Muwaileh, annual lease rate range between Dh55,000 and Dh90,000; Dh50,000 and Dh85,000 and Dh60,000 and Dh65,000.

Asteco, a real estate consultancy, reported in February 2017 that new supply of housing units in Sharjah coupled with a lower inflow of residents from Dubai will put downward rental pressure on lower quality apartment towers.

“Rental demand is expected to be stagnant in Sharjah as a reduction in prices in neighbouring Dubai will lead to a lower than usual inflow of new residents, which may be worsened by reduced government spending and potential job cuts,” the consultancy had said.

Emirates 24|7 reported on Monday that Sharjah Municipality had doubled the residential rent contract attesting fee from 2 per cent to 4 per cent of the annual rent from August 1, 2016.

The civic body said: “Pursuant to the Executive Council Decision No 26 of 2016 concerning the modification of the fees schedule of tenancy contract attest in Sharjah, the new fee structure will come into force as of 1/8/2016 to be as follows, residential contract: 4 per cent of annual rent, commercial contracts: 5 per cent of annual rent and investment contracts: 3 per cent of annual rent.”

Rent Law

The Law No. 2 of 2007, regulating the relations between landlords and tenants, details the rights of the parties, which are as follows:

# Article 9 stipulates that the landlord should guarantee the property is given on rent as per the specifications mentioned in the contract and in case any amenities found lacking, the tenant has the right to claim its addition or maintenance. It also mentions that landlords should carry out maintenance of the leased properties, unless both parties agreed otherwise.

# Article 11A states that the landlord is not entitled to increase the rent under a lease prior to the expiry of 3 years from the signing of the lease.

# Article 11B provides that the increase mentioned in Article 11A shall be according to the market rent of comparable properties and once decided will be applicable to that property for 2 consecutive years.

If the revised rental value cannot be agreed upon by the landlord and tenant, they may refer it to the Rental Committee who will settle the dispute and place a rental value on the property in question.

# Article 12 mentions the landlord will have no right to ask the tenant to vacate the property before the expiry of a period of three years from the first signing of the contract unless the tenant is refusing to pay the rent.

# Article 15A provides for the criteria which the Rental Committee will consider in determining the rental value. These include (i) the location of the property, (ii) number of floors in the property, (iii) the level of the property within the building, (iv) the finishes to the property, (v) services within the building, (vi) the age of the building according to the completion certificate and (vii) the area of the building.