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Dubai Gym Policy: Are Personal Trainers Prohibited in Residential Building Facilities?
In Dubai, selecting an apartment often involves considering the amenities offered, such as a gym or swimming pool.
But what if you find yourself in a situation where these facilities don't meet your expectations or you're restricted in how you can use them?
The reader, Komal (last name withheld on request), said: “I have a personal trainer whom I trust and is in my range of affordability.
I prefer him to come to my building gym and train me there, due to a hectic job schedule and shortage of time. But my building developer doesn't allow this.
They say we are not allowed to bring our trainer within the building gym as they do not trust anyone with equipment damage.
At the same time, they promote their own listed trainers or some company they have a tie up with, who they say are certified and way overpriced.
My trainer is certified as well and is ready to show all his certifications.
My question is: Is the landlord allowed to do that? Can I challenge this restriction he is putting on me?
Gulf News raised the query with Rajiv Suri, Senior Associate at Al Suwaidi and Company Advocates and Legal Consultants, who said that in the emirate of Dubai
the tenancy law – Law No. 26 of 2007, and amendments made to it in Law No. 33 of 2008, regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants.
“A few relevant provisions of the said laws talk about the use of amenities including gyms and also provide for certain clauses laying out circumstances, which can lead to the eviction of the tenant,” he said.
What the law says
Article 11 of the Law No. 26 of 2007 says that “unless otherwise agreed, the rent will cover use of the real property amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gymnasiums, health clubs, car parks, and other amenities”.
Article 17 of the Law No. 26 of 2007, states that “the landlord may not make to the real property or any of its amenities or annexes any changes that would preclude the tenant from full use of the real property as intended.
The landlord will be responsible for such changes whether made by him or any other person authorised by the landlord.
Further, the landlord will be responsible for any defect, damage, deficiency, and wear and tear occurring to the real property for reasons not attributable to the fault of the tenant”.
Article 24 of the Law No. 26 of 2007 stipulates that
subject to the Articles of Association of the Owners Association, the owner and occupier of a unit and their visitors will use the common areas as permitted
and in such a way that does not prejudice the rights of others to use these areas, disturb them, or endanger their safety or the safety of the jointly owned real property”.
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Article 25 of the Law No. 26 of 2007, as amended by Law No. 33 of 2008, states that there are certain cases where the landlord can demand the eviction of the tenant before the expiry of the contract and one such condition, among others, is “where the tenant fails to observe any obligation imposed on him by this law or any of the terms of the tenancy contract within 30 days from the date a notice to perform such obligation or term is served upon him or her by the landlord”.
“Keeping in view the aforementioned provisions and their objectives, as per law, an arrangement for use of amenities by tenant is dependent upon the terms of contract entered between the landlord and tenant.
In other words, the law permits the parties to arrive at their own contractual arrangement regarding the use of common amenities in real property.
Further, landlords or owners have the prerogative to restrict the entry of visitors which, in my view, would also include personal gym trainer/s of tenant/s, if he were to use such amenities meant for common usage by the building’s other tenants considering the owner and occupier of the unit are allowed to use it only ‘as permitted’.
Then, there are other safety and security issues or concerns involved, which the owners or the management of the building may consider vis-à-vis other tenants while imposing any restrictions including those of visitors to the building,” Suri said.
“Hence, taking all these into account, technically, the tenant, in my view, is not likely to have any grounds to challenge the landlord’s stand as regards to imposing restrictions on entry of the tenant’s personal trainer/s and his use of the building’s gym for training purposes, especially if the contractual terms between them do not allow it,” he added