United Arab Emirates: Sharjah Rental Law - To Change Or Not To Change?

Last Updated: 12 December 2017
Article by STA Law Firm
Most Read Contributor in United Arab Emirates, December 2017

"Dubai rents have started to fall for the first time in three years."

As I turned on the radio and drove to the office this morning the first news item I heard was about the 1% dip in rentals in Dubai this quarter. It is therefore ironic that the first call I received when I arrived in office was from a tenant desperately asking for help having to receive his landlord's notice informing that the renewal of his tenancy contract would be subject to a rent increase of 67 %.

In a country wherein expats makeup, 90% of the population one of the areas that naturally assisted growth and development was the real estate sector. And whereas investment and acquisition of property are an option for part of the population, most of the expats have no choice but to lease their home.

In recent years the return of growth and economic development has turned the real estate sector into one of the leading engines of the economy. However, the growth and development of a sector does not always mean improvements in the quality of life of the inhabitants of a country. On the contrary, it has been proven to lead to a period of unprecedented inflation in residential rent, with thousands of tenants moving to smaller apartments or even to other Emirates to afford accommodation.

Accordingly, many Dubai residents, despite working in the Emirate, had to reconsider their finances and find cheaper housing alternatives. Thus, for those thousands of expats who decided to move out of Dubai, Sharjah became a desirable and affordable solution.

Therefore, the question is - from a legal point of view and in a short or medium term – is it worth the change?Is Sharjah the housing paradise where rents cannot be increased within the first three years of tenancy that it is made out to be, or there is something else that we should know before making a move and regretting it forever?

Sharjah's cheap rates are the token, and many families choose to change their residence only because of the appealing prices practiced in Sharjah. There it is possible to rent a two bedroomed apartment for the same price as a studio in Dubai. However, many families are unaware of the tenancy laws in Sharjah, and the dream may suddenly become a nightmare. This article aims to demystify Sharjah's tenancy law secrets, and help you to decide whether it is worth the move.

It is true that during the first three years all tenants benefit from a so-called "protection period" in which the rent increase cannot take place. As per Sharjah's 2007 law, the landlords can increase the rents after three years from the commencement of the tenancy contract, and there is no cap imposed upon that increase. Following this first rise, the lease-rent can be increased every two years thereafter.

Some landlords can take the lack of a cap as a green light to unreasonably hike the rent. Actually, as most tenants are unaware of their rights it is not uncommon for landlords to increase the rent by more than 70%, forcing the tenants to agree and pay through illegal means such as threatening them with eviction or merely disconnecting water and electricity supply.

For most tenants, the protection period of 3 years upon the commencement of the tenancy contract is also unknown. Accordingly, landlords exploit their tenants' ignorance of the law and increase the rents yearly, randomly and arbitrarily.

Despite persistent calls from tenants for the imposition of a rental cap, which would arguably be the only suitable protection for Sharjah's tenants, the authorities continue to defend the current position. In cases where the landlords increase the rent within three (3) years from the commencement of the lease agreement, tenants can choose to approach the police (in cases where tenants are compelled to accept the revised rent by illegal means) or approach the Sharjah Rent Dispute Committee (the RDC).  The RDC encourages the landlord to increase the rent in keeping with the prevailing rent rates applicable in that area and to have in mind the place, the status of the building and its maintenance, the level of services available, its age and the existence of parking spaces, gardens, swimming pool or gym. However, approaching the RDC involves costs. Even though it is alleged that the tenant can merely visit the RDC and submit the available form or submit his memorandum (complaint), experience tells me that the appointment of a property lawyer in Sharjah is a crucial factor in winning case.

Even if rents are starting to dip in Dubai, Sharjah's prices are still undeniably much more affordable. And yet though the lack of rental caps has already been demonstrated to be an issue requiring the urgent attention of the authorities, raising awareness of the applicable law and encouraging tenants to consult a lawyer immediately after receiving any controversial notices from the landlord may be beneficial to the disgruntled residents of Sharjah.

To know more about Sharjah Rent Laws, contact one of our lawyers in Sharjah today!

Update (December 2017):

The Executive Regulations of Law Number (2) of 2007 on Regulations of Landlord-Tenant Relationship in Sharjah (The Law).  

Article 22 was added to the Law in accordance with Article (2) of the Resolution of the Executive Council Number (2) of 2010 dated 10 February 2010.

Prior to the addition of Article 22, old law (the Old Law ) provided that for commercial and residential properties, either party - the Tenants were required to serve a sixty (60) days notice in writing to the Landlords expressing their desire to terminate the lease agreement. As Per the new Law, the Tenants cannot terminate the lease agreement (except for force majeure event) and are legally obligated to continue the lease until the end of lease term. In the event of early termination by Tenant, the Tenants are obligated to compensate the Landlord. We append Article 22 as under:

"Without Prejudice to Article 12 of the Law Number (2) of 2007:

  1. If the lease is for a fixed period, the tenant may ask for termination of such lease, before expiration of its period if it is proven by the tenant that there are unexpected force majeure events that make the execution impossible;
  2. the committee, may if it is content with such force majeure events, terminate the contract by obligating the tenant to pay compensation to the landlord in an amount not less than thirty percent (30%) of rental of the remaining period of the lease contract, unless otherwise agreed by parties;
  3. the plaintiff shall pay the compensation set out in paragraph (1) above. The committee shall not instruct to deliver the postdated cheques or advance rentals to the tenant unless such tenant delivers the leased premises free from anything and on the date determined by the committee;
  4. if the landlord is the one who has asked to terminate the contract, then the tenant will not be forced to return the leased premises until he receives the compensation or obtain a sufficient security to be determined by the committee taking in to account the humanitarian conditions;
  5. the lease contract terminates legally in case the plaintiff pays the full compensation mentioned in paragraph (1) above unless otherwise settled by parties. If the plaintiff fails to pay the compensation in the deadline, then the committee shall reject the claim and oblige the plaintiff to pay the previous rentals to the landlord unless they have been paid by the plaintiff through cheques or rentals under possession of the defendant (landlord); and
  6. provisions of this Resolution shall apply to all claims where no final judgment has delivered to them on the date of issuance of this Resolution

Article 22 of the Law also sets out that Landlord can terminate the contract (by serving a three (3) months notice only in the following two events:-

  1. If the Landlord wishes to demolish the leased premises for rebuilding or making a comprehensive maintenance that requires evacuation, provided the Landlord should obtain the necessary permits from the Sharjah Municipality and/or competent body;
  2. If the Landlord wishes to occupy, himself, or let one of his adult sons to occupy, the leased premises provided he does not own another property that is appropriate for residence at the jurisdiction of Sharjah Municipality where the leased premises is located.

In the event Tenant defaults in payment of rent (for residential property) to the Landlord, the Landlord in such event can evict the tenant and vacate the premises if rent payments are not paid within fifteen (15) days from the date the rent became due and in case of commercial properties, the Landlord can evict the tenant if the rent is not settled within thirty (30) days from the date the rent became due. As clarified in the article above, Landlord cannot change or increase the rent for a term of first three (3) years. After three years, the Landlords are permitted to change the rent every two years.

The Landlord is legally obligated to carry out each and all necessary maintenance of the premises. Minor maintenance works are the obligation of Tenant unless parties have agreed otherwise in their agreement. In cases where the Owner sells the apartment, building or property, the lease agreement between Landlord and Tenant will not be affected and shall continue to operate. This also applies in the event of the death of Landlord. 

The Sharjah Rental Dispute Committee comprises of three panel - one judge and two experts. The RDC is responsible to review all lease and rental matters for properties based in Sharjah. The decision made by the RDC is final in cases where the judgment value is AED 100,000 (UAE Dirhams one hundred thousand); provided however appeal may be possible for such claims in the following events (Article 24):

  1. If the judgment is contrary to rules of jurisdiction;
  2. if the judgment contains anything that was not requested by the litigants; or exceeds what was required by the parties but leaves out some requests;
  3. if the judgment is delivered to a natural or artificial person while such person is not correctly represented in the claim or that the declaration has been null and void;
  4. if the judgment is based on documents proven to be false or determined to be false or is based on a testimony of a witness that is proven to be a false testimony; and
  5. if either party to contract presents a document that might change the direction of examination of the claim.

 The appeal decision is final and binding and cannot be challenged or contested before any other court. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions