Amid fears of turning their homes into crowded dwellings, real estate agents and landlords in the United Arab Emirates are increasingly avoiding Filipino tenants who wish to rent residential properties there.
Popular concerns include Filipino tenants tend to sublease properties once they are handed the rights to an apartment, frequent noisy parties that distract the neighbors and cooking of exotic food whose odor permeate throughout the building.
Renting residential apartments was relatively easy in the past as the country experienced oversupply of property units. Tenants from various walks of life were accepted as long as they promptly pay their rents. But as supply dwindled, property owners have become choosy, and tightened rules. Tenants who sublet the apartments to save on rental costs face eviction. While proof of salary and financial capacity were not required by landlords from tenants in the past, such documents are required; some landlords even perform further background checks.
“.. so if you’re earning only about Dh3,000 to Dh5,000 and you want to lease a property with intention to sublease it to other Filipinos, it would be difficult for you to get a flat these days,” Joel Yabut, a property consultant, told The Filipino Times.
While the practical reason of dividing the expense is the main reason for subletting apartment space, another reason landlords are concerned of cohabitation outside of marriage.
Michael Barney, a lawyer and director at Gulf Law, said cohabitation is considered a serious offense in the UAE.
“In the Philippines, relationship outside marriage is not a crime. The Family Code even recognizes ‘live-in’ couples and illegitimate children. In the UAE, carnal knowledge outside marriage is punishable by confinement for a minimum period of one year under Article 356 of the Penal Code. Moreover, the offender will be deported after serving sentence pursuant to Article 121 of Measures Restrictive of Liberty of the same code,” he explained.
Another common practice of Filipinos that turns off landlords is the tendency to hold large gatherings for late-night parties or receive visitors from other places. Worse, the propensity to cook food such as dried fish and other smelly delicacies have landlords complaining especially on old buildings that have poor exhaust systems.
While landlords are concerned of overcrowding, smelling cooking and noise produced by Filipino tenants, Filipinos are also concerned of the constant rise in Dubai real estate costs.