Fines mulled for expat bachelors and landlords for renting apartments

Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and State Minister for Municipal Affairs Fahd Al-Shula has prepared a draft law that aims to enforce the ban on bachelors from residing in family residential areas. The bill will be submitted to the Fatwa and Legislation Department for review and decision.

The bill proposes imposing a fine of KD 5,000 (first time) on the tenant as well as the landlord. The draft law consists of ten articles related to banning rental of housing units to bachelors, and the need to submit a copy of the rent contract to the Municipality for approval after it is approved by the district representative. They also include administrative procedures regarding eviction, registration and prohibition of issuance of civil cards for tenants other than families, and determination of fines ranging from KD1,000 and KD10,000 in case of reoccurrence.

The second article stipulates that renting out residential units or parts of them for housing anyone other than families in private and model residential areas shall be prohibited. If rented, the owners of these units shall submit a copy of the rent contract to the Municipality for adoption after it is approved by the district’s mayor. All contracts in violation of the provisions of this law shall become nullity.

According to article 3, all contracts and agreements of all forms enforced prior to the implementation of this law shall be dissolved by the force of law if they are in violation of the provisions of article 2 of this law. Tenants who are residing in housing units in violation to this law shall vacate them within a period not exceeding six months from the date of implementation of this law. In the case of non-evacuation during this period, the electrical supply to the violating unit of the real-estate will be cut-off. In case this step is not possible, the tenant shall be evicted via administrative means. The administrative staff of the Municipality may use police officers for implementing the eviction order.

Article 4 prohibits the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) from registering and issuing civil ID cards to any tenants and occupants of housing units in the private and model housing areas if they are not families, and only after ascertaining the kinship with the owner of the property up to third degree.

Excluded from the provisions of the aforementioned paragraph is domestic workers employed as per provisions of articles 12 and 14 of law No. 17/1959. According to article 5, Ministry of Interior shall inform Kuwait Municipality and PACI of the notification provided for in article 7-bis of law No. 17/1959 referred for the work of its affairs in accordance with its jurisdiction.

As per article 6, employees appointed by the State Minister for Municipal Affairs to control acts that are contrary to the provisions of this law shall have the status of judicial arrest, editing of the necessary records, and referral to the competent authority. If there is strong evidence of irregularities in private or model residential areas, the Public Prosecution shall be notified by the Director General of Municipality or by his authorized representative in order to request permission to enter such dwellings. The Public Prosecution must ensure the necessity of granting permission to enter is authorized in writing. They may, in any case, seek the help of the police, subject to the provisions of articles 78 and 79 of the Code of Criminal Procedures and Trials referred to during the inspection.

Article 7 stipulates that the Public Prosecution shall, without exception, investigate, conduct and prosecute acts contrary to the provisions of this law, and notify the Municipal Public Prosecution of the final judgments being enforceable. According to article 8, the tenant and the landlord who violate the provisions of article 2 of this law shall be punished by imposing a fine not less than KD 1,000 and not more than KD 5,000 each.

In case of repetition of violation, the penalty shall be a fine not less than KD 5,000 and not more than KD10,000. In all cases, the court shall evict the tenant from the unit. If the violator refrains from executing the sentence imposed by the court, he is liable to a fine of KD20 per day, after the end of the period determined by the municipality to implement the sentence. According to article 9, decree law No. 125/1992, and anything contrary to this law shall be repealed.

Source: Al-Rai