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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 7: The Kuwait Municipality tends to intensify penalties and punishments for real estate owners who violate the building laws, and convert private housing into investment, by making amendment to the Municipal Law so that whoever is found responsible either the owners themselves, engineering offices, consulting houses, engineers, supervisors, or contractors will be fined not less than 100 dinars and not more than 5,000 dinars in the event of committing acts in violation of the building, and in all cases the violator is required to remove the violation at his own expense, reports Al-Qabas daily.
The Director General of the Municipality, Eng Ahmad Al-Manfouhi, in a report he referred to the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, a copy of which has been obtained by the daily, said this is because of the spread of the phenomenon of converting private housing into investment areas through modifications, divisions after connecting the power supply, allowing him to convert the property into residential units (apartments/ studios) that allow him to lease to others, whether to families or singles, or singles only.
Eng Al-Manfouhi suggested making an amendment to some provisions of the municipal law so that it would allow power supply to be disconnected from the violating property in areas of private housing for other than the purpose intended for it, and it is not returned until after the removal of violations. He indicated that the legal department in the municipality has reviewed the amendment of some articles of Law 33 of 2016, which includes tougher penalties for building violators, or in terms of fines and penalties imposed by the court on anyone found to be in violation of building regulations.
Al-Manfouhi said that the legal department called for tougher penalties for violators of the building system, whether (construction or use) according to Articles 39 and 40 of the Municipality Law, so that whoever is proven responsible among the owners or owners of engineering offices, consulting houses, engineers, supervisors, contractors or others, shall be subject to the following penalties:
• A fine of not less than one hundred dinars and not more than five thousand dinars in the event of committing acts in violation of the building regulations, with the removal and correction of the violating acts.
• A fine of not less than one thousand dinars and not more than five thousand dinars per square meter of construction or use in violation of the applicable regulations shall be imposed, with the removal and correction of the violating works at the expense of the violator in investment, commercial, industrial, craft, service and other uses, and the fine shall not be less than fifty dinars and not exceeding five hundred dinars for each square meter of building or use in violation, with the removal and correction of the violating works at the expense of the violator in private and model housing buildings and the like in the event of constructing buildings without a permit, or constructing buildings in violation of the building permit issued by the competent authority. Or using the property for a purpose other than its intended purpose, or violating the decision to stop works.
• Anyone found responsible among the owners of engineering offices, consulting houses, engineers, supervisors or contractors for supervising the implementation of construction works by fraud shall be punished with a fine of not less than one thousand dinars and not exceeding five thousand dinars per building square meter, or not less than the value of violating works and the costs of removing and correcting them, whichever is greater, with the deportation of the non-Kuwaiti violator.
• Whoever is found responsible shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of no less than one year and not more than seven years, with the deportation of the non-Kuwaiti violator if the violation led to the destruction of the building in part or in whole, and imprisonment for a period of no less than two years and not exceeding fifteen years, with the deportation of the non-Kuwaiti violator Kuwaiti, if it leads to loss of life or permanent disability.
• The penalty for the fine for violating building works shall be doubled, if it is technically impossible to remove and correct them without causing serious damage or destroying the non-violating parts of the building. He stressed that the building regulations may include, in addition to the fines and the removal and correction of the violating works, the penalty of temporary or final closure, the withdrawal of the building license, its cancellation or suspension for a certain period, the suspension of licenses for activities based on the real estate temporarily or permanently, and the suspension of the license of the engineering office or consulting house or the contractor to temporarily stop, cancel or withdraw it, and deport the non-Kuwaiti violator.