Municipality raids more bachelor homes

MUSCAT, June 23 – Acting on complaints from citizens and residents, officials from the Muscat Municipality raided several bachelor accommodations in Al Khuwair. According to a statement from the municipality, bachelors staying in 17 residences were evicted for violating rules relating to ‘single bachelor accommodation’. “The action followed complaints that bachelors staying in these accommodations were posing security threat to families living in the area,” said the statement.
Officials from the Urban Inspection Department of the municipality conducted the raids and detected violations, said the statement.
Meanwhile, a senior official from the municipality said that inspections will be intensified in other areas of the city where bachelor accommodations are increasingly becoming a problem for families.
“There has been a significant rise in the number of complaints from families of both citizens and residents that the presence for bachelors in large numbers is creating trouble in the respective areas,” he said.
According to the official, there has already been a court order to get the bachelors vacated if their place of stay falls in the vicinity of family residences.
The civic authorities have already started serving notices to house owners to vacate those accommodations, he added.
The number of bachelors staying in residential areas has increased in the recent past due to easy availability of villas and flats which are old and without any maintenance.
“Many building owners find it lucrative to rent out flats or villas to bachelors as they get more rent. In many cases, they do not sign a lease agreement with the tenants,” he said.
According to Municipal Circular 2/2015, villas are off-limits to all except skilled expatriate workers, including doctors, engineers and other highly skilled professionals.
“Although they are allowed access to villas, such professionals are limited to one person per room in the property,” said the circular.
The municipality circular also makes it mandatory for landowners to make clear in rental contracts whether they are renting out their properties to families or bachelors.
At the same time, the circular said that students, professionals and technicians can rent flats in apartments, but they are not allowed in villas.

SAMUEL KUTTY