All the real estate agencies and agents should be registered with RERA and listed on their broker’s list. If this is not the case then the real estate agency or agent could be a fraud and trying to get your money. Always check if your broker is listed with RERA before any money changes hands. Furthermore, real estate agents are not entitled to charge a fee to show you around properties in Dubai. Their fee is paid once they have successfully rented the property to a tenant. That’s what the agent’s fees are for.

RERA’s role is regulatory; it also provides basic service to safeguard the rights of landlords and tenants and to regulate the leasing process by registering the tenancy contract. In case there is a violation or dispute between contract parties, the case must be referred to lease dispute committee in Dubai Municipality.

When renting a property in Dubai, it is important to be aware of the extra costs that you may pay. Firstly you pay the rent with postdated cheques. Some landlords will require the entire rental amount to be paid in advance in one cheque while other landlords will allow for 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 cheques. You can also negotiate the number of cheques you will pay, however the rental price may increase with the number of cheques.

Secondly, you need to pay the agents fee. This is not regulated by law, but usually it is 5% of the total lease amount or AED5000, whichever amount is higher. The agent will recover a fee from both the tenant and the landlord.

Thirdly, the tenant will also have to give a maintenance deposit in advance. This is a refundable fund which the landlord may use in order to restore the property to what it was like before he rented it out to the tenant. This would be 5% of the total rent amount. According to Article 20 of the law regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants (Law no. 26 of 2007);

An additional cost is setting up your DEWA account, which needs to be paid at the DEWA office, this will require a refundable deposit of AED1000 for an apartment and AED2000 for a villa.

And finally you need to register with Ejari. This authority is responsible for regulating the relationship between the landlord and the tenant and all rental contracts should be registered with Ejari. Registration costs AED160.

According to article 9 of Law no. 33 of 2008 that amends a law regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants says that, “The Committee shall specify the similar rent in accordance with the standards of specifying the rent increase percentage applied by the Agency and in accordance with the general economic circumstances in the Emirate, and pursuant to the property status the similar market rent in the same area and in accordance with any valid legislation in the Emirate regarding properties’ rent and any other factors the Committee may decide.”

In Dubai rental increase is regulated by the rental increase calculator and can be increased only by the amount that the calculator stipulates. For example if you are living in an area and your rent is well below the current market value, the landlord will be able to increase your rent.

Please note that rent cannot be increased by more than 20%, no matter how far below the market value you’re currently renting. Do not let your broker or real estate agent bully you into increasing the rent. The law is on your side and the rental increase calculator stipulates the exact amount that your rent can be increased by.

If the landlord intends to increase your rent, he must let you know three months before the expiry of the contract and vice versa. You can amend the contract at any time before the contract expires, however both parties have to agree to the amendment. This is in accordance to Article 14:

“If either party of tenancy contract wishes to amend any of its conditions pursuant to Article 13 of this Law, then he must notify the same to the other party not less than 90 days prior to expiry date, unless both parties agreed otherwise.”

The rent indicator is for guidance and not mandatory. However it is considered mandatory when dispute between the contracting parties arise to determine the rate of increase in rental value at contract renewal.

Nowadays, many landlords are issuing notice to vacate to their tenants saying that they wish to sell the property. Many renters are in the dark about this notice, which has caused much confusion in Dubai.

However The Notice to Vacate must be a 12 month notice and it must be Notarized and sent via Certified Mail on the proper form. As per articles 25 and 26 of Law no. 33 of 2008 that amends some of the provision stipulated in the law regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants stipulate the terms of eviction.

Article 25:

1. Landlord may demand eviction of tenant prior to expiry of tenancy period in the following cases:

  • If tenant fails to pay rent value, or part thereof, within thirty (30) days of landlord’s notification for payment; unless both parties agreed otherwise
  • If tenant subleases the property, or part thereof, without landlord’s written approval and in such case eviction shall be applicable to the tenant and the subtenant, and the subtenant’s right to refer to tenant for compensation shall be reserved.
  • If tenant uses, or allows others to use, the property for illegal or immoral activities.
  • If the leased property is a commercial shop and the tenant left the same without occupation and without legal reason for 30 continual days or 90 non-continual days in one year; unless the parties agreed otherwise.
  • If tenant causes changes that endanger safety of the property in a way that it cannot be restored to its original condition or if he causes damage to the property intentionally or due to his gross negligence to take proper precautions or if he allows others to cause such damage.
  • If tenant uses the property for purposes other than the purpose it was leased for or if he uses the property in a way that violates planning, building and land using regulations.
  • If the property is in danger of collapsing, provided that landlord must prove such condition by a technical report issued by Dubai Municipality or accredited by it.
  • If tenant fails to observe legal obligations or tenancy contract conditions within 30 days from date of notification by landlord to abide by such obligations or conditions
  • If development requirements in the Emirate require demolition and reconstruction of the property in accordance with government authorities instructions.
And for the purpose of this clause (1) of this Article the landlord must notify the tenant through the Notary Public or by registered mail.

2. Landlord may demand eviction of tenant upon expiry of tenancy contract limited to the following cases:

  • If the owner wishes to demolish the property for reconstruction or to add new, constructions that prevent tenant from benefiting from the leased property provided that necessary licenses are obtained.
  • If the property requires renovation or comprehensive maintenance which cannot be executed while tenant is occupying the property, provided that a technical report issued by Dubai Municipality or accredited by it is to be submitted to this effect.
  • If the owner of the property wishes to recover the property for use by him personally or by his next of kin of first degree provided that he proves that he does not own a suitable alternative property for that purpose.
  • If the owner of the property wishes to sell the leased property
And for the purpose of clause (2) of this Article, landlord must notify tenant with reasons for eviction at least twelve months prior to the determined date of eviction subject that such notice be sent through the Notary Public or by registered mail.

Article 26:

If the Committee decided for the landlord to recover the property for his own use, or use by his first degree next of kin pursuant to the provision of paragraph (c) of clause (2) of Article (25) of this Law, then landlord shall not rent the property to others for at least two years for residential properties and three years for non-residential properties from date of recovery of the property, unless the Committee decides less period for reasons considered by it, otherwise the tenant shall have the right to request the Committee to order proper compensation to him.

Finally Article 28 or Law no. 26 of 2007 protect the tenant from early eviction should the landlord decide to sell the property. “The transfer of title to a new landlord shall not affect tenant’s right to continue occupation of the premises in accordance with tenancy contract signed with the previous owner, provided that tenancy contract has fixed date.”

The answer is, yes, ONLY if: both parties agree to the amendment and the amendment is notified to the party in writing 90 days prior to expiry of the contract RERA Law 33, Article (13): For the purpose of renewing tenancy contract, landlord and tenant upon expiry of the tenancy contract may amend any of the contract's terms or review the rent whether by increase or decrease. If the parties do not reach an agreement regarding this, the Committee may decide fair rent considering the standards referred to in Article No. (9) of this Law.

Article (14): If either party of tenancy contract wishes to amend any of its conditions pursuant to Article (13) of this Law, then he must notify the same to the other party not less than 90 days prior to expiry date, unless both parties agreed otherwise.

The answer is No.

In the present judgment, the Appeal Department of the Rental Dispute Center (RDC) emphasized the importance of UAE public policy and regarded this clause to be in breach of such policy. Article 25(2) of the Tenancy Law lays down the four limited grounds whereby a landlord can demand eviction of the tenant upon expiry of the tenancy contract and any other ground would not be acceptable to RDC.

The answer is No.

RERA only recognizes a notice to vacate the property, if it is done as defined by the law.
A proper notice to vacate is:
The Notice to Vacate must be a 12 month notice AND
The Notice to Vacate must be Notarized and sent via Certified Mail on the proper form.

The answer is Yes.

The notice to vacate can be sent at any time. A legal notice to vacate is:
The Notice to Vacate must be a 12 month notice AND
The Notice to Vacate must be Notarized and sent via Certified Mail on the proper form
In your case, he sent it after you renewed your tenancy agreement therefore, once your renewal is up, he will need to give you a new tenancy agreement for the remaining months.
For example, you renewed your tenancy agreement for one year starting on May 1, 2014. Your landlord sent you a legal notice to vacate on July 1, 2014. Legally, you have the right to stay in the property until July 1, 2015.

As Law 33 of 2008 Article 25(2) of the Tenancy Law provides four grounds, the four grounds are as follows:

  • If the owner wishes to demolish the property for reconstruction or add new constructions that prevent tenant from benefiting the leased property, provided that necessary licenses are obtained.
  • If the property requires renovation or comprehensive maintenance which cannot be executed while tenant is occupying the property, provided that a technical report issued by Dubai Municipality or accredited by it is submitted to this effect.
  • If the owner of the property wishes to recover the property for use by him personally or by his next of first degree relations provided that he proves that he does not own a suitable alternative property for that purpose.
  • If the owner of the property wishes to sell the leased property.

Law 26 of 2007, a Landlord may sell their property during a running tenancy agreement. In any case, the tenant has the privilege to possess the property till the end of the tenancy contract.

Best Practice manages that if a tenanted property is to be sold, the Seller ought to give a duplicate of the present tenancy contract to the Sales Listing Agent and guarantee that a 'Special Condition' clause be embedded into the agreement by the Agent. This ought to detail the requirement for having the Landlord (the Seller) and the Tenant give a 'Property Condition Report' determining any issues and an exchange of the Tenant's security deposit from the old Landlord to the new Landlord and alarming the Tenant to the same.

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