Sharjah residents rush to attest tenancy contracts ahead of price hike
SHARJAH // Long queues formed outside municipality offices as residents braved the heat in a rush to have their tenancy contracts attested before Sunday’s deadline and avoid paying the increase in fees.
Sharjah Municipality announced the rise in fees for attestation of contracts on July 17, with fees increasing from 2 per cent of the total rent amount to 4 per cent, with a minimum fee of Dh500.
Fees for commercial contracts were increased to 5 per cent from 3 per cent, with a minimum fee of Dh1,000.
With thousands flocking to offices around the emirate, extra staff were drafted to meet demand.
For those unable to have their paperwork completed by the close of business on Sunday, there was some relief, as the municipality extended the deadline to October 1.
Rami Nabeeh, a 32-year-old Syrian, had to borrow money to pay for his contract renewal before the deadline.
“I wanted to make sure that I pay my dues before the new prices took effect. I took leave from my job to do this.
“It’s better to pay Dh500 today than Dh1,000 tomorrow,” said the salesman, an Al Nasiryah resident.
Omar Al Sharji, deputy director of customer service at Sharjah Municipality, said about 450 people visited the municipality on average each day.
But after the announcement of the fee increase, the number rose to more than 5,000 in the past few days.
Residents need to have their tenancy contracts attested annually. The paperwork is required to resolve any rent disputes and to apply for various official documents such as driving licences or residency permits for families.
Egyptian expatriate Munner Khalid went to the municipality office in Jazzat to pay his dues. Because of the large number of people there, he had to drive to the office in Industrial Area 5 to complete his paperwork.
“I was at the municipality office around 8am, but the lines were so long and there was a limited number of staff, so I decided to go to the main branch for faster processing,” said the 27-year-old merchant.
Aside from the long queues inside and outside municipal offices, some people had to spend more than an hour to find parking space.
“It’s crazy. I gave up on finding a spot to park here, so I parked in Samnan and walked under the scorching heat,” said Indian Rajif David.
Shadi Abu Rumman, who recently moved to Sharjah, was advised by his estate agent to put all of his paperwork in order before the deadline.
“I just moved to the UAE. My agent told me to go attest my contract before the new increase in fees,” said the 32-year-old, who lives in Jazzat.
“It’s been really slow and the number of people is staggering.”
Published: July 31, 2016 04:00 AM