KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: landlord leases unit after telling you he needs it for himself

As part of Propertyfinder series on providing residents with information about their rights as tenants, we will be answering some of the most compelling questions, and providing solutions for most situations tenants face when dealing with landlords.

Surely you’ve heard of at least one case of eviction on the grounds that the landlord wishes to live in the property himself, but what do you do when you find out that instead, the property is being rented out for someone else, at a higher price?

movers

Many people face difficulties with rent and accommodation simply because they don’t know their rights as tenants. Dubai Land Department, in accordance with the UAE law, has set a number of rules and regulations to guarantee the rights of tenants, and ease their relationship with landlords. One of the pillars of these rules is that landlords cannot evict tenants unless one of these reasons occur:

  1. The tenant breaches the contract agreement or breaks the law.
  2. The owner of the property wishes to sell it.
  3. The owner of the property wishes to live in it himself.

The third reason for eviction has been abused by some landlords, especially those who use the reason to evict the tenant, only to rent out the unit for a higher rate. So what can you do if this ever happens to you?

contract

You have every right to file an official case to prosecute the landlord, which clearly deceived you and gave you false reasons for eviction. This is not only immoral, but it is also illegal. In this case, we advise the following:

  • Prepare all you supporting documents, including emails and messages between the both parties, as well as copies of passports, your Emirates ID, tenancy contract, Ejari certificate, Dewa bills and copies of cheque that were issued to your landlord’s name.
  • The rent committee form must be typed at the RDSC (Rental Disputes Settlements Centre) and non-Arabic documents must be translated into Arabic.
  • The fee is 3.5% of the annual rent, and must be at least 500 AED.
  • Most cases are settled within 75 days, and compensation is given to the former tenant depending on each case.
  • It is highly advised to keep all communication between you and the landlord via email or any other written form, as verbal communication doesn’t hold a weight in court.

For more useful information about tenancy rights, click on our Tips & Advice section.

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The information presented above is not legal advice, we encourage readers to seek legal consultation when needed.