The Muscat Municipality, as part of executing a court order, has issued an ultimatum of three days to bachelors to vacate their residences if they are staying in family areas.
According to a statement from the municipality, it is illegal for bachelors to stay in areas which are predominantly occupied by families.
“Either register with the municipality in three days or face eviction”, said the online statement from the civic authorities said on Tuesday.
In the recent past the Muscat Municipality officials had raided many areas in Seeb and Mabela. Ruwi, Hamriyah, Wadi Adai, Al Ghubrah, Muttrah and Darsait are some other places where bachelors are staying en masse.
The municipal statement said that the new decision to get rid of bachelor accommodation in family residence area is part of a judicial ruling against houses being rented to bachelors.
Commenting on the move, a municipal councillor said that there have been complaints that the presence of large number of bachelors in thickly populated areas posed trouble for families.
“The number of bachelors staying in residential areas has increased in the recent past due to easy availability of villas and flats in some of old buildings”, said the councillor.
Single room accommodation for bachelors available’ boards are a common sight in many areas in the city.
“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 lease agreement with the tenants”, he said.
According to Municipal Circular 2/2015, villas are off-limits to all except skilled expat 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 circular issued by the municipality also makes it mandatory for the 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.
It also said, “skilled, semi or unskilled — single professionals of mixed sex cannot live in the same property, apartment or villa.”
An official with the municipalit said that activities such as illegal food preparations for commercial purposes, laundry work and even vegetable farming are said to have been conducted in residential properties.
“Residential property cannot be used for commercial use”, he added.
The Municipality is contemplating on residential complexes for expatriate bachelors in Mabela, Bawsher and Amerat, to move them away from residential areas and prevent them from sharing family accommodation.
“Work for this is going on as the Ministry of Housing has already allocated three plots measuring 10,000 square metres to build residential buildings for expatriate bachelors,” said the official