KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: What happens if you want to terminate your contract early?

Go back to your tenancy contract and check for any exit clauses

As part of our series on knowing your rights as a tenant, offers you everything you need to know about cancelling your tenancy contract before the expiry date.

What do you do if you suddenly decide to move or leave the country, but your tenancy contract doesn’t expire anytime soon? Do you just lose the money you have paid for your property? Or is there a way to get it back? Follow the following steps for a smoother exit:

Know the law

Law 26. of 2007 by RERA, regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants does not provide an article for early contract termination but rather governs the relationship between the two parties as long as the contract is valid. So if you want to terminate your contract early, don’t depend on filing a case with RERA, especially if you don’t have a specific clause in your contract. 

Check your contract

Now that you know where the law stands from your decision, you can go back to your tenancy contract and check for any exit clauses or penalties mentioned for breaking the contract. Unfortunately, unless you have included an exit clause in your contract, the landlord is not obligated by law to let you off easily. Your next step would be to talk to your landlord and hope the two of you could reach an agreement.

Negotiate with your landlord

You’re highly advised to approach your landlord and count on his good nature. Explain the situation to him and try to negotiate an exit deal which suits both parties. This depends on your agreed terms of the tenancy contract. In that case, you have two options; you could either pay the penalty or offer to find him a substitute before you leave, in which case he wouldn’t be at a loss.

Look for replacement

Some landlords might pardon early contract termination if you take it upon yourself to find a new tenant before you leave. If your landlord is willing to negotiate, you could offer to find him a replacement, and only if you’re unable to find one in time, you then pay the two months’ penalty rent.

For more tips and advice on dealing with landlords and knowing your tenancy rights, visit our Guides section.

Visit for thousands of properties in Dubai.

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

This Blog is made available for educational purposes only, in addition to providing you with general information and a general understanding of its content, including referenced laws and regulations, and not to provide specific legal advice. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent advice from a licensed professional.