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Landlords and Developers Duty-bound to Share Costs in Wake of Severe Weather

It is not just a matter of financial burden but also one of ethical and legal obligation

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on May 11, 2024, 12:01:53


landlord, developer, weather, real estate, real estate in uae

Recent severe weather events have underscored critical issues regarding accountability and
responsibility within the real estate sector. The discussion surrounding the allocation of repair and restoration costs post-disaster is not just a matter of financial burden but also one of ethical and legal obligation.

Firstly, let's address the responsibility of developers in ensuring the resilience of their buildings. Developers, as creators of structures that become integral parts of communities, bear a significant duty to construct buildings that can withstand foreseeable environmental challenges, including those exacerbated by climate change.

While the law may not explicitly mandate developers to predict every potential climate-related risk, there exists a reasonable expectation for them to adhere to building codes and standards that mitigate such risks to the best of their ability.

Failure to do so could result in liability for negligence or breach of duty. Furthermore, landlords, as custodians of these properties, have a distinct legal obligation to maintain habitable living conditions for their tenants. This includes promptly addressing damages caused by natural disasters or unforeseen events.

Existing tenancy laws typically impose this duty on landlords, with provisions for tenants to seek remedies such as repairs, rent abatement, or even termination of the lease if the property becomes uninhabitable due to negligence on the part of the landlord.

Looking ahead, the call for greater collaboration and proactive measures is not just a suggestion but a necessity. Investing in infrastructure improvements, adopting stricter building codes and promoting transparency in property management practices are pivotal steps towards creating a resilient built environment.

Moreover, fostering accountability among stakeholders, including developers, landlords and governing bodies, is crucial in ensuring that these measures are effectively implemented and enforced.

In conclusion, the escalation in frequency and severity of extreme weather events necessitates a paradigm shift in how we approach property management and development. Landlords and developers must recognise their roles as stewards of the built environment and prioritise resilience in their practices.

By doing so, not only can they mitigate the impact of future disasters on their properties and tenants, but they can also contribute to the creation of a more sustainable and resilient society as a whole.

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