Sunday, 29 September 2013

We Is Own Your House

English: Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus. F...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Umm, excuse me? What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm grilling smoked mackerel using a portable barbecue in your living room. I would have thought that's obvious."
"I can see what you're actually doing, I suppose what I meant was why are you doing it in my property? Get out!"
"Well, it's not actually your property."
"Yes it is, I rent it from you."
"So we have the right to nip in and make sure things are shipshape. If you read today's Gulf News, you'll see that Dubai Municipality has confirmed that developers are regarded as the owners of the buildings. So I have the right to conduct inspections to see if you're running a private business from it, such as offering tuition."
"Okay, but that doesn't give you the right to grill smoked mackerel in my living room at half past eight in the morning!"
"Not explicitly, but we're establishing a precedent, see?"
"Get out now or I'll clobber you!"
"Now now, no need for that. I found the mackerel in your freezer by the way."
"So theft, now? What's that another precedent?"
"Look, let's be fair about this. Here's Dhs50 for the mackerel."
"Thanks, but you can still get out."
"Actually, I'm repossessing your house. Come on, lads! Get the women and kids out before we start moving the furniture!"
"What the hell gives you the right to do that?"
"You were conducting a business in your house. You're not allowed to do that. I thought that was clear."
"What business?"
"Selling mackerel. That fish was priced at Dhs35 and you sold it to me for Dhs50 which is a Dhs15 profit, so it's a business transaction. Sorry, matey."
"That's outrageous!"
"Well, I'll tell you what, I'll let it go with a Dhs2,000 fine. Because you've got an honest face."
"A Dhs2,000 fine for accepting Dhs50 from a mackerel grilling bastard who invaded my home?"
"Sound grasp of the facts, I see. Cash or cheque?"
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Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Just imagine, in a one man state, the Ruler could absolutely change the property ownership laws in line with Shariah!

And they said it couldn't happen!

Alexander McNabb said...

After a major outpouring of concern and rage on Twitter, I confirm no mackerel were harmed in the creation of this post.

Seabee said...

Alex, I read the GN article as applying to tenants, where the owner is still the developer and the property hasn't been onsold freehold.

Alexander McNabb said...

Post duly modified to make it less funny but actually reflect reality as SeaBee's point is bang on the money and I hadn't bothered reading the GN piece thoroughly as I was in a rush to get to a radio appearance this morning.

Third stupid mistake I've made in as many weeks. I think I might be going senile.

Luke said...

I have just been looking at the comments on GN and am surprised that the conversation is more focused on the "why can't i teach students in my home" and "why should students need extra tuition anyway" questions. Surely the fact that a DEVELOPER can issue fines is the bigger ...errrr ... issue here.

Readers seem to be more concerned with blessing the teachers and praying for better tuition.

The article is a mess. Are they saying that the notion of a home office is illegal?

Either way, the message between the lines is that if you think you own your home, you are wrong.

Alexander McNabb said...

As SeaBee pointed out, Luke, this seems to apply to tenants renting from developers, not people buying from developers.

Although, even then, the notion of your landlord dictating what you do in the home you have rented is rather odd by, say, European standards...

Luke said...

True Alex, but if push came to shove, I think you'll quickly find out who actually "owns" the land your house is on.

The comments are hilarious. There's even one from someone arguing for the correct use of the word "tuition":

First of all it is NOT tuition. Tuition is the fee that you pay to attend school. Helping a student with their work is TUTORING of which you may pay tuition for the service.
Scooter, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

He writes "first of all", I am still waiting for the second point...

And in any case, he is wrong. The word has a couple of meanings.

Seabee said...

I don't think it's particularly unusual for there to be restrictions on commercial activities in residential areas - the big difference here is that it's the landlord rather than local government making the decision.

That's popped up in other instances too, such as who's responsible for things like roads and lighting. Dubai Municipality generally seems to say that anything in the freehold developments is all the developer's responsibility.

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