What Legal Steps Can Tenants Take For Apartment Malfunctions Caused By Building Flaws?

Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy


Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy is fully accredited to offer legal services and representation in the UAE, catering to both local and international clientele based in the UAE. Our firm specializes in a diverse range of practice areas, including family law, criminal law, and civil law, as well as corporate and commercial law. We also have expertise in banking, maritime and transport, labour law, litigation and arbitration, and real estate. Leveraging our deep understanding and extensive experience in these fields, we are committed to providing our clients with tailored solutions and exceptional service.
In Dubai, the majority of residents living in rented apartments often face issues with their living spaces disrupted by malfunctions caused by building flaws. From faulty plumbing to electrical malfunctions...
United Arab Emirates Real Estate and Construction
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In Dubai, the majority of residents living in rented apartments often face issues with their living spaces disrupted by malfunctions caused by building flaws. From faulty plumbing to electrical malfunctions, these issues can significantly disrupt daily life and compromise the safety and comfort of residents. In such cases, tenants have legal rights and recourse to address these concerns and seek remedies for their grievances.

Legal Provisions for Tenants and Landlords Under the UAE Laws:

Under the Law on the Regulation of Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, Dubai Law No. 26/2007 and amended by Dubai Law No. 33/2008, tenants are provided with legal recourse in situations where apartment malfunctions are caused by building flaws. Several articles within this law outline the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants, offering a framework for resolving disputes and seeking remedies.

Article 15 of Dubai Law No. 26/2007 stipulates that landlords are obligated to hand over the rented property in a usable condition that allows tenants to benefit from it as per the lease agreement. Additionally, suppose the leased property requires completion or improvements to ensure its usability. In that case, the law mandates that landlords are responsible for maintenance works and repairing any defects or faults that affect the tenant's use of the property unless otherwise agreed upon. This means that the landlord must ensure that the apartment is free from any structural defects or malfunctions that could delay the tenant's enjoyment of the property.

Furthermore, Article 16 of the aforementioned law holds landlords ‘responsibility for maintenance and repairs during the validity of the lease contract. This includes addressing any defects or faults in the property that affect the tenant's intended use of the premises. Therefore, if apartment malfunctions arise due to building flaws, tenants have the right to demand that their landlords take prompt and appropriate action to rectify the issues.

In the event that a landlord fails to fulfil their obligations regarding property maintenance and repairs, tenants retain legal recourse. Should the landlord fail to address the issue within a reasonable timeframe, the tenant may report the matter to the relevant authorities.

Moreover, Article 34 of the same law prohibits landlords from withholding essential services to the real estate or preventing tenants from benefiting from the premises. If a landlord violates these provisions, tenants have the right to file a complaint with the Rental Disputes Settlement Centre for investigation and potential compensation.

Additionally, Dubai Decree No. 26/2013 on the Rental Disputes Settlement Centre in Dubai provides a judicial framework to deal with rental disputes and improve the resolution thereof through a simple and expeditious mechanism. The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre, established under this decree, serves as a forum for resolving disputes related to tenancy agreements, including those arising from apartment malfunctions caused by building flaws.

Article 6 of Dubai Decree No. 26/2013 outlines the jurisdiction of the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre, which includes the settlement of all rental disputes between landlords and tenants of real estate located in the emirate or the free zones. This includes disputes arising from apartment malfunctions caused by building flaws, ensuring that tenants have access to a specialized platform to address their grievances.

Furthermore, Article 10 of the decree establishes an Arbitration and Reconciliation Department within the Centre, tasked with facilitating amicable settlement for each tenancy dispute. This department provides tenants with a means for resolving issues related to apartment malfunctions caused by building flaws through mediation and reconciliation efforts.


Tenants facing apartment malfunctions caused by building flaws in Dubai have legal recourse available to them for seeking resolution. By understanding their rights under the relevant laws and regulations, tenants can take proactive steps to hold landlords accountable and ensure the standard of living and safety of their rented premises.

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.

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