Want to know your rights as a renter and tenant in Dubai? What landlords can and can't do? In the dark about your next move? Hazem Balbaa provides for tenants renting in Dubai.
What's the most common issue people are having right now?
Arbitrary rent increases; and eviction by landlords seeking higher rents given the improving market conditions.
My landlord is trying to raise my rent, what are they entitled to do?
Landlords are entitled to raise rent given they've provided 90 days' notice 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. The Dubai Land Department provide the landlords with the following rights:
- no rent increase is permitted if the current rent is less than ten percent below the average market rental rate;
- a maximum of five percent increase is permissible if the current rent is less than 11 percent to 20 percent below the average market rental rate;
- a maximum of ten percent increase is permissible if the current rent is than 21 percent – 30 percent below the average market rental rate;
- a maximum of 15 percent increase is permissible if the current rent is less than 31 percent to 40 percent below the average market rental rate; and
- a maximum of 20 percent increase is permissible if the current rent is less than anything greater than 40 percent of the average market rental rate.
In the event both the landlord and tenant are in disagreement in regard to the rent increase, either party may proceed to file a claim with the Rental Dispute Committee. In turn, the Rental Dispute Committee shall determine the amount of the new rent.
What insurance should I have for renting in Dubai?
The Landlord and Tenant law does not explicitly place any obligation on either tenants or landlords to carry out insurance. However, it is common for landlords to carry out insurance on their property. It is also common for tenants to carry out insurance for their personal belongings.
What are my rights if things go wrong in the house?
Article 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Law makes it clear that the landlord is obliged to carry out maintenance work, repairs, or any damage that deprives the tenant from benefiting from the leased property. However, it is very common for landlords and tenants to agree on a certain threshold amount in which the tenant will be liable to carry out the repairs at their own cost. It is very common for tenants to handle repair bills that are for Dhs500 or less for apartments and Dhs1,000 or less for villas; this is subject to the agreement of the parties. You should advise your landlord immediately about any major damage that occurs in order to document the event and have the issue solved swiftly.
My landlord has asked me to move out before the end of my contract, what can I do?
Landlords are not entitled to evict their tenant before the expiry of the lease unless the tenant is in clear breach of their tenancy contract and law, or the property is in desperate repair.
The law provides an exhaustive list for eviction, including:
- Tenants failing to pay rent even after given thirty (30) days' notice.
- Tenant subleases the property without the landlords consent.
- Premises are used for illegal purposes.
- The premises are used for purposes other than the intended use.
- Even then the landlord is obliged to provide the tenant with notice served through the notary public or registered mail.
Landlords are entitled to evict their tenants at the expiry of the lease for the following reasons only:
- The landlord desires to demolish the premises in order to reconstruct it, or add new buildings and this addition will deprive the tenant from benefiting from the leased premises, provided that the landlord obtained the relevant approvals.
- The condition of the leased premises requires renovation or extensive maintenance, and such work cannot be carried out while the tenant is in use; provided that a technical report approved by Dubai Municipality is obtained to show the need of renovation.
- The landlord desires to occupy the leased premises for his own use or by any member of his family up to the first degree, provided that the landlord does not own any other similar
- suitable property.
- The landlord desires to sell the leased premises. Even then the landlord is obliged to provide the tenant with a 12 months' notice served through the notary public or registered mail outlining the reason for eviction.
This article was originally published for BSA in Time Out 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.