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The relationship between landlord and tenant can sometimes sour if one of the parties fails to honour the terms of the contract during the tenancy period. Rental disputes typically arise when you have exhausted all means of communication and cannot reach a settlement with your landlord.

The most common reasons for dispute are:

The Rental Disputes Settlement Centre (RDSC) was established specifically to resolve all conflicts between landlords and tenants in Dubai. If you are unable to reach a mutually agreed resolution with your landlord, you may wish to file a complaint to have authorities intervene.

How to lodge a rental dispute ?

Make sure you have originals and copies of the following documents when filing your rental dispute:

It is important to note that all above documents will need to be translated into Arabic, as this is the official language of the courts in Dubai. Once you have your documents ready, proceed to the RDSC where a typing centre exists to fill out your complaint and file your case. 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.

Costs to lodge a rental dispute

For more detailed information please read How to file a rent dispute case?

Eviction

When is a landlord permited to evict a tenant?

Under Dubai Tenancy Law, Article 25 (1), a landlord may demand eviction of a tenant prior to expiry of the tenancy period in the following circumstances:

The Rental Disputes Settlement Centre was established in Dubai to help the landlord and tenant in time of a dispute.

Upon expiration of the tenancy term, the landlord cannot evict a tenant unless the reason for removal is clearly stated in Article 25 (2) of Dubai Tenancy Law. A landlord may demand eviction of a tenant on expiry of tenancy contract in the following cases:

However, in all the above mentioned cases, the landlord must notify the tenant with reasons of eviction at least ninety (90) days prior to expiry date of tenancy contract.

If landlord needs property for personal use:

If the landlord wants to retain the property for personal use, Article 26 (2) of the Tenancy Law prohibits the landlord from leasing the property to a third party for a period of two years, or in the case of non-residential properties, for three years, unless the (RDSC) determines a lesser period. 

If the landlord rents the property within the restricted timeframe, directly breaching Article 26 (2), a tenant can also request the RDSC award compensation.

What is the notice period for eviction?

The landlord must provide a 12-month notice to the tenant before the date of eviction through a notary public or by registered mail.

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Increase in rent amount

If your tenancy contract is approaching renewal, and you are thinking of renegotiating the annual rent amount with your landlord, it is useful to know your legal rights. 

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. The standard used to justify a landlord’s ability to increase the rent is based on whether the existing lease falls within the average rental for comparable properties as determined by RERA’s Rental Increase Calculator. 

When is a rental increase permitted?

Under the Dubai Rental Price Index, landlords may adhere to the following framework for rental increases:

RERA determines the rent index, and to what extent an increase will apply, based on the following:

The information used by RERA to obtain the average rent is collected from DLD’s Ejari system.

What is the rent increase notice period?

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? Dubai Tenancy Law states that when either party wishes to change the terms of the tenancy contract, they must notify the other party not less than 90 days before the expiry date, unless otherwise agreed.

Things to check

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 to negotiate a rental decrease, you must ensure a written request is issued to the landlord within the timeframe mentioned within the 90 day period before the expiry date of the tenancy contract, per Tenancy Law, unless agreed otherwise. 


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