Tenancy laws in the UAE are separate for each emirate, but incorporate similar provisions. The following article attempts to outline the reasons for eviction of tenants from rented properties, with respect to the tenancy laws of Dubai.

The law governing tenancy in Dubai is Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007 On the Organization of the Relationship between the Lessors and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, as amended by Dubai Law No. 33 of 2008.

Non-payment of rent: A common reason for which you may be evicted, before the expiry of your tenancy contract, is if you have not paid the rent or a part thereof, even after notice from the landlord regarding the same. This is stated under Article 25(1)(a) of the Dubai Tenancy Law. The landlord will notify you either through the notary public or a registered mail, and once 30 days have passed since you received the notice but failed to pay the due amount, the landlord will have the right to evict you.

Will I be evicted from the rented property if I sublet it to my friend? Subletting your rental property without taking written consent from the landlord will result in the eviction of the tenant as well as the sub-tenant, i.e. you and your friend, as per Article 25(1)(b) of the Dubai Tenancy Law. In such a case, your friend will also have the right to claim compensation from you because of any damage that he may have incurred as a result of eviction.

Can I use a residential property on lease for commercial or other purposes? If you use your rented residential property for purposes other than residence, the landlord can evict you under Article 25(1)(f) of Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007. Using it for illegal or immoral purposes will also result in eviction, under Article 25(1)(c) of the said law.

On the other hand, if your property is of a commercial nature, and you leave it unoccupied for no valid reason for 30 consecutive days, or 90 consecutive days in a year, your landlord can ask you to evict the property under Article 25(1)(d) of the Dubai Tenancy Law.

Making changes in the rented property: Repairs and correction works can be carried out in the property by the tenant without any restrictions, but making significant changes in the property which alter its original condition permanently, or causing damage to the property intentionally or due to negligence may become the reason for eviction from the premises, before the expiry of the lease contract, as under Article 25(1)(e) of Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007.

Can I be evicted by my landlord without any fault on my part? Even if there is no fault of the tenant, the landlord can evict him before the expiry of the tenancy contract due to the following reasons:

a. If the property has been worn down and is not strong enough, under Article 25(1)(g) of the tenancy law

b. If, as per the government authorities, the construction development in Dubai requires that the building be demolished and reconstructed, under Article 25(1)(i) of the law

Failure to observe legal obligation: Article 25(1)(h) of the Dubai Tenancy Law states that if a tenant was obliged to fulfill a legal obligation as per the law or the tenancy contract, but failed to do so, he may be evicted from the premises of the rented property.

Eviction after expiry of contract: Based on the following reasons, mentioned under Article 25(2) of Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007, the landlord can ask the tenant to evacuate the rented property once the tenancy contract expires:

a. If the owner of the property wants to demolish it or add new buildings in such a way that it may restrict the tenant from enjoying the property

b. If the property requires renovation or maintenance works

c. If the owner of the property wants it for personal use or for first-degree relatives

d. If the owner wants to sell the property

Notice of the evacuation must be given at least 12 months prior to the set date of eviction, and must be served either through the notary public or by registered mail.

Decisions regarding evictions will be executed by a Special Judicial Committee formed for the purpose of settlement of disputes between landlords and tenants (Article 35).

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.