DOHA: The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has intensified its campaign against illegally partitioned villas and apartments.
The ministry has singled out a large number of villas and flats all over the country that have been partitioned in violation of safety rules.
The owners of these residences have been given a week’s time to move families living there. Owners who don’t comply with this deadline will be penalised, Al Sharq reported yesterday.
The ministry has reiterated that it is illegal to partition villas and apartments without approvals from the municipality of the area concerned.
Huge fines await those who indulge in such partitioning (done by owners and middlemen to provide cheaper accommodation to limited-income expatriate families in times of acute shortage of affordable housing).
Al Sharq reports that the ministry has intensified its drive against such villas and flats and booked a number of violators.
However, as a gesture of help the ministry has given a week’s time to families living in make-shift units in such villas and apartments to move to proper houses.
In June this year, the government amended a law giving more powers to municipalities to crack down on illegal villas and apartments. The amended law prescribes a fine of QR250 to QR500 per square metre of illegally partitioned area in a piece of real estate property.
The changes made in a villa or flat need to be undone at the owner’s expense after the fine has been paid.
And if a wall, permanent or temporary, has been erected to create an illegal partition, the fine per square metre will be QR200 to QR400. The amended law says that to carry out any repair or renovation, maintenance work, partitioning or painting, a written permission from the municipality of the area is needed.
Contractors or engineers who are asked to build, repair, renovate or partition a house must check the design of the house and make sure that it is approved by the municipality.