Occasionally, disagreements may arise between tenants and landlords. Usually these can be resolved amicably, however in some cases, you may need to escalate the matter to the Rental Disputes Settlement Centre (RDSC)
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Occasionally, disagreements may arise between tenants and landlords. Usually these can be resolved amicably; however, in some cases, you may need to escalate the matter to the Rental Disputes Centre (RDC).
The relationship between a landlord and tenant can sometimes sour if one of the parties fails to honour the terms of the contract during the tenancy period.
In Dubai rental dispute cases typically arise when you have exhausted all means of communication and cannot reach a settlement with your landlord.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for Dispute?
There are many reasons for dispute between landlord and tenant, but the most common ones are the following:
Unreasonable grounds for eviction
Increase of rent by the landlord without adhering to the Dubai rent increase law.
Cutting off essential services to the tenant
Leasing apartment with defects and pest infection
Unreasonable deduction from the security deposit (also known as dispute move out charges).
What Is the Entity Responsible for Tenants/Landlords Disputes in Dubai?
Whenever there’s a dispute between owner and tenant, they should go to the Rental Disputes Centre (RDC) in Dubai where a specialized committee will solve their case.
It was established specifically to help in the resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants. If you are unable to reach a mutually agreed rental dispute resolution, you may wish to file a complaint against the landlord to have Dubai authorities intervene.
How to lodge a rental dispute ?
To submit a rental dispute against the landlord you should make sure you have originals and copies of the following documents when filing your rental dispute:
Passport, Residence Visa, and Emirates ID
Recent DEWA bills
Rental deposit slip
Copies of cheques issued to the landlord
Title Deed and landlord’s passport copy
Copies of any correspondence between you and the landlord regarding the dispute
Any other relevant documentation which may support your case.
How Does the Process Go?
After preparing the above mentioned documents, it is important to note that they will need to be translated into Arabic, as this is the official language of the courts in Dubai. Once you have your documents ready:
You proceed to the RDC where a typing centre exists to fill out your complaint and file your case
Then the typist will translate the documents into Arabic and ask any relevant questions about the nature of your dispute so your complaint can be formalised correctly.
After you submit your complaint, you can use the government website for your rental dispute case inquiry.
If you want to file an appeal, this can be done at the Appeal Department in Dubai’s Rental Dispute Center.
How Much Does It Cost to Lodge a Rental Dispute?
To submit your rental dispute with the landlord, specific charges should be paid. Check below to know how much you should pay:
3.5% of the annual rent (minimum AED 500, maximum AED 20,000) to lodge a complaint
Approximately AED 210 per page translation fee for relevant documents
Approximately AED 110 administration fee.
Where Is the Rental Dispute Center Located?
The Rental Dispute Center is located in the Department of Land and Property in Dubai.
Rental Dispute Center Location: 7 Baniyas Road, Deira, Riggat Al Buteen, Dubai
Rental Dispute Center Contact Number in Dubai: 800 44 88.
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency is where you can complain about a rental agent who has cheated on you. Not just that, if they caused you any other problems while renting, don’t hesitate to ask for the agency’s help.
The eviction process has many rules that should be followed whether you’re a landlord or a tenant. This will help you in avoiding rental disputes that require a lawyer in Dubai.
Besides, if you’re an owner and want to know how to evict a tenant without a rental agreement, you should know your rights and duties well as per the law.
When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant Prior to Expiration of the Tenancy Period?
Under the Dubai Tenancy Law, Article 25 (1), a landlord may demand eviction of a tenant prior to the expiry of their tenancy period in the following circumstances:
The Dubai tenant didn’t pay the rent within 30 days of receipt of a payment notice, unless otherwise agreed
The tenant subleases the unit without the landlord’s written consent
The tenant utilises or allows others to use the property for immoral or illegal activities
The tenant risks the safety of the property, causing damage intentionally or resulting from gross negligence, or allows others to cause damage
The property is in the risk of collapse, as indicated by a technical report
The tenant makes use of the property beyond the permitted use or violates building regulations
The tenant fails to follow their legal or contractual obligations within 30 days of receipt of a remedy notice
The property needs demolition by a government authority.
When Can the Landlord Evict a Tenant Upon Expiration of the Tenancy Period?
Upon expiration of the tenancy term, the landlord cannot evict a tenant in Dubai unless the reason for removal is clearly stated in Article 25 (2) of the Dubai Tenancy Law.
A landlord may demand eviction of a tenant on expiry of the tenancy contract in the following cases:
Development requirements in the Emirate require demolition and reconstruction of the property in accordance with government authorities
The landlord wants to demolish the property
The property requires renovation or extensive maintenance that cannot be conducted while the tenant is occupying the property
The landlord needs the property for his personal use or by immediate next of kin.
When Should the Landlord Notify the Tenant with the Eviction Reasons?
Whatever the eviction reason is, the landlord must notify the tenant with reasons of eviction at least ninety (90) days prior to the expiry date of the tenancy contract. This is the specified eviction notice period in Dubai according to the law.
What If the Landlord Needs the Property for Personal Use?
If the landlord wants to retain the property for personal use, Article 26 (2) of the Tenancy Law prevents the landlord from renting the property to a third party for a period of two years.
However, in the case of non-residential properties the landlord cannot rent it before three years, unless the (RDC) determines a lesser period.
If the landlord rents the property within the restricted time frame, directly breaching Article 26 (2), the tenant can also request the RDC award compensation.
What Is the Notice Period for Eviction?
Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, eviction rights are important. You should know them well as Dubai has a specified eviction notice period according to its law.
The landlord must provide a 12-month notice to the tenant before the date of eviction through a Notary Public or by registered mail
If the landlord wants to do potential viewings to sell the house, a 24-hour notice is needed (should be defined in the rental agreement).
A 90-day notice is the maximum notice the tenant should give before expiry of contract to vacate or amend terms (not a law).
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What Is the Allowed Amount of Rental Increase?
You should know your legal rights to avoid rent increase disputes. It is important especially if you are about to renew your tenancy contract and thinking of renegotiating the annual rent amount with your landlord.
Decree No. 43 of 2013 governs rental increases for property in Dubai. This law establishes whether a landlord is entitled to increase the annual rent, and the percentage increase that can be applied to the property.
There are standards used to justify a landlord’s ability to increase the rent. They are based on whether the existing lease falls within the average rental for similar properties or not.
This is known through using the Rental Increase Calculator by RERA to limit rental disputes.
When Is a Rental Increase Permitted?
Under the Dubai Rental Price Index, landlords may adhere to the following framework for rental increases:
No increase is permitted when the rent increase calculator shows the current rent paid is within the stipulated range
A 5% rent increase is permitted when the rent falls between 11–20% less than the average for the location
A 10% rent increase is permitted when the rent falls between 21–30% less than the average for the location
A 15% rent increase is permitted when the rent falls between 31–40% less than the average for the location;
A 20% rent increase is permitted when the rent is less than 40% of the average for the location.
What Are the Variables that Affect the Amount of Rent Increase?
RERA determines the rent index and to what extent an increase will apply, based on the following:
Type of property (residential, commercial, or industrial)
Freehold or leasehold
Villa or apartment
Location of the property
Number of bedrooms.
The information used by RERA to obtain the average rent is collected from DLD’s Ejari system.
What Is the Rent Increase Notice Period in Dubai?
If the landlord demands an increase in the rent upon renewal, you are not obligated to agree to it.
So, what are your rights in this situation?
Whenever any party wants to change any term in the tenancy contract, they must notify the other party within 90 days before the expiry of the contract.
This is the minimum notice period according to the Dubai Tenancy Law, unless the two parties agreed on other terms.
Things to check in case the landlord asks for rent increase:
Whether the proposed rent increase is within the bounds of RERA’s rental increase calculator
If your community is not listed in the rental increase calculator, then the regular rules of rental increase do not apply
In this instance, you and your landlord will have to agree upon what you feel is a fair price.
If your community is listed in the rental increase calculator but you believe one or both of the above mentioned requirements have not been met, you can contest the landlord’s notice.
If you do not reach an agreement, you can submit a complaint to the RDC.
What Should You Do After Refusing the Rent Increase?
If you refuse the rental increase as proposed by the landlord, you must provide 60 days notice before the renewal date that you will be vacating the property.
Conversely, you are seeking negotiating a rental decrease, so you must ensure a written request is issued to the landlord.
It should be submitted within the 90 day period before the expiry date of the tenancy contract. This is according to the Tenancy Law, unless both parties agreed on other details.
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