The legal lowdown on rental increases and maintenance fees
Rent in Dubai is on the rise, however as a tenant in Dubai you don't have to just sit back and go with the flow when it comes to rental hikes. There are legal limits on how much rent can be raised. So how much can your rent increase? And as a tenant what are you responsible for? Associate Hazem Balbaa answers these questions for Time out Dubai.
What rights do tenants have?
The landlord must carry out maintenance work and repairs, but it is common for landlords and tenants to agree on a certain threshold – typically, this would be for tenants to handle repair bills that are for Dhs500 or less for apartments and Dhs1,000 or less for villas.
Tenants have the right to renew their contracts, provided they let their landlord know 90 days before the lease is up.
Tenants have the right to stay in their leased property provided that they are not evicted for a valid reason and the relevant notice period is provided by the landlord. The Landlord and Tenant Law provide an exhaustive list of reasons in which a landlord is entitled to evict their tenant.
How much can your rent be legally raised?
Landlords are able to raise rent provided 90 days' notice is given, prior to the expiry of the lease. However, the landlord is only entitled to raise rent within the limits prescribed by the Dubai Land Department. In a dilemma?
You can work this out by visiting the Land Department's RERA Calculator, which will tell you the amount they're allowed to raise it by.
Rent increases are determined by a tenant's current rent amount, against the average market rental rate in a specific area.
Want to know what you're looking at? Click here to find out.
What do you do if your landlord goes above that?
If there's a disagreement about the new expected rent amount, either party may proceed to file a complaint with the land department.
What are the major pitfalls to avoid?
Tenants should not submit easily to arbitrary rent increases, as the law is clear how much landlords are allowed to raise rent by.
If a tenant is evicted, they should explicitly state to their landlord before moving out that they are vacating the premises due to the landlord's desire and not their own.
If you're uncertain about a legal matter, don't respond or put down anything in writing unless confirmed by a legal consultant.
The full article can be read here: Time Out Dubai: Renting in Dubai
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.