Call for action against villa partitioning

 05 Feb 2014 - 2:26


DOHA: Expatriate families living in partitioned villas and apartments could be in for trouble as the Central Municipal Council (CMC) has urged the civic ministry to take urgent measures to stop the practice.
The representative body has said families living in pigeonhole residential units in partitioned villas and even in partitioned flats are putting themselves at risk and putting undue pressure on utilities and services.
The services committee of the CMC has drafted a set of recommendations, which the House debated yesterday and forwarded to the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning for approval and action.
The Ministry takes CMC’s recommendations seriously and normally approves them with minor alterations.
The CMC has urged the ministry to strictly enforce the law regulating buildings (No. 4 of 1985) and the Rent Law (No. 4 of 2008), which stipulate that no alterations should be made in buildings and apartments without permission from municipal authorities.
The CMC noted with concern that people took villas on rent, partitioned them to create small residential units, and sublet them, which is against the law.
Any residential unit, whether a villa or an apartment, should not be allowed to be partitioned without approval from the municipality concerned, it said.
The CMC noted that partitioning was also against Law Number 7 of 1989, which regulates the architecture and specifications of buildings.
“Conduct a study (survey) of such villas and apartments and come out with a draft decision to ban portioning,” said the CMC in its recommendations.
It asked the ministry to coordinate with public utility Kahramaa and ensure that water and electricity supply to residential units in partitioned villas and apartments are discontinued with immediate effect.
The CMC further urged the ministry to deploy its inspectors to conduct checks and identify partitioned villas and apartments.
The ministry must make sure that its inspectors are able to enter homes to run such checks and catch violators, as government inspectors are not permitted by law to enter homes.
Not allowing illegal partitioning of villas and apartments is in public interest, as not only is it against the law but it also puts people’s safety at immense risk. 
The community at large, say the CMC recommendations, should be made aware of the dangers of partitioning villas and apartments and subletting them to people to live in.