- Dubai tenancy laws
- Terms of the tenancy contract
- Law on rent increases
- General rules for tenants
- General rules for landlords
- Notice for vacating the property
- Tenancy law on evictions
Before you sign on the dotted line of your rental contract in Dubai, it is important to familiarise yourself with the RERA tenancy contract rules. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) tenancy laws regulate the rights and obligations of and the relationship between tenants and landlords in Dubai.
RERA laws that govern tenancy contracts in Dubai
When it comes to the RERA tenancy law in Dubai, there are four main laws to keep in mind:
- Law No. (26) of 2007: This law regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai.
- Law No. (33) of 2008: This law amended certain articles of Law No. (26) of 2007 and also governs the landlord-tenant relationship in Dubai.
- Decree No. (26) of 2013: This law established the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre (RDSC), which handles all types of rental disputes in Dubai.
- Decree No. (43) of 2013: This law specifically governs rent increase in Dubai.
Let’s take a closer look at the tenancy law in Dubai. Essentially, this post will cover all you need to know about the RERA tenancy contract rules as outlined by the Law No. (26) of 2007.
Terms of the RERA Tenancy Laws in Dubai
Within the Law Regulating Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai No. 26 of 2007, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency has specific contractual parameters that ensure smooth functioning of the rental property market in Dubai.
According to Article 4 of Law (33) of 2008, it is obligatory for the tenant or landlord to register the tenancy contract with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) through Ejari. This ensures that the unit is not leased twice at the same time.
Article 6 of RERA’s tenancy Law (26) of 2007 states that if the tenancy contract expires and the tenant continues to live in the property without objection from the landlord, the term of tenancy will be extended automatically for the same period or one year (whichever is less), on same terms and conditions.
According to Article 28 of the property rent law in Dubai a transfer of property ownership to a new owner will not impact the tenant’s right to occupy the property.
Amending the terms of the contract
According to Article 14 of the Dubai tenancy law, if the landlord or tenant wishes to amend the terms of the contract, they must notify the other party at least 90 days before the contract’s expiry date.
Thus, if the landlord or tenant wishes to make any changes to the rent amount and contract tenure or include/exclude any clauses, they must convey so three months before the tenancy contract’s expiry.
Terminating tenancy contract in Dubai
Article 7 of the RERA tenancy law in Dubai says that valid rental agreements cannot be unilaterally terminated during its term by either tenant or landlord, unless it is agreed upon by both parties.
According to Article 27, the tenancy agreement does not expire even if the tenant or landlord dies. In such cases, the tenancy relationship is transferred to the party’s heirs and unless they decide to terminate it, the contract stays valid. The heirs, if they choose to, must give 30 days or days remaining to the expiry of contract, whichever comes first as notice.
There is no RERA property rent law that specifically governs early termination of tenancy contracts in Dubai. If a tenant wants to break the rental contract in Dubai, they need to adhere to the exit or early termination clause in their contract. If such a clause does not exist, the landlord could demand compensation for ending the tenancy contract early.
Rent increases in Dubai
Article 9 of Law (26) of 2007 requires landlords and tenants to specify a mutually acceptable rent value within their tenancy contract. This rent amount cannot be increased before the end of a two-year tenure from the date the original contract.
As with all other amendments to the tenancy contract in Dubai, the landlord must inform tenants of any intended increase in rent at least 90 days before the expiry of the contract. The tenant can accept or refuse the increase, with at least a 60-day notice prior to the renewal date in the event of a refusal.
If both parties cannot reach an agreement or the tenant wishes to contest an unfair rent increase, they can file a rental dispute in Dubai at the Rent Dispute Settlement Centre.
All increases in rent for properties in Dubai must be in accordance with Decree No. (43) of 2013. According to this rental law in Dubai, there are different caps on the maximum increase in rent, depending on the current rent of the property.
For instance, the Dubai tenancy law states that no rent increase is allowed if the current rent of the property is up to 10% less than the average rent of similar units, while 5% increase is allowed if current rent is between 11% to 20% less than the average rent.
Article 10 of Law (26) of 2007 grants the sole authority of specifying the rent increase percentage in Dubai to the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. Landlords and tenants can use RERA’s rental calculator available on the DLD official website to find out the percentage of rent increase they are eligible for.
General obligations of tenants in Dubai
Here are some RERA tenancy contract rules for tenants in Dubai to keep in mind when renting a property in the emirate:
- Article 19: The tenant must pay the agreed rent on the due date. The tenant also cannot carry out any maintenance, restoration or make any changes to the property unless the landlord permits it once they obtain relevant licences from the official authorities.
- Article 21: At the end of the lease agreement, it’s also incumbent upon the tenant to surrender the property in the same condition, with the exception of ordinary wear and tear.
- Article 22: Unless the landlord and tenant have agreed otherwise, the latter is responsible for the payment of necessary taxes and fees that are due to the relevant government departments.
- Article 23: At the time of vacating the property, the tenant must not remove any improvements made it, unless otherwise agreed between the parties.
GENERAL OBLIGATIONS OF LANDLORDS IN DUBAI
According to the RERA property rent law, the landlords in Dubai have the following obligations.
- Article 15: The landlord must ensure the property handed over is in good condition and allows full use to the tenant as per the contract.
- Article 16: Unless agreed otherwise, for the entire term of the tenancy contract, the landlord is responsible for maintenance, repair and restoration of any faults, defects, wear and tear caused to the property.
- Article 17: The landlord should not make changes to the leased property that would directly or indirectly hinder its full intended use by the tenant.
- Article 18: The landlord must provide the tenant with official permits and/or licences required to carry out any construction or redecoration of the property, where relevant.
Vacating notice to the landlord
As per Law No. (33) of 2008, the tenant is not required to provide any notice prior to vacating the property upon the expiry of the contract.
Law No. (33) of 2008 removed the previously mandatory requirement of providing a 90-day vacating notice to landlords in Dubai.
However, the priority is given to the terms of your tenancy contract, which may require a specific notice period in the case of non-renewal of the contract.
In case you do not adhere to this clause in your contract, the landlord may be able to demand compensation as penalty for failing to provide the required notice.
When vacating the property, the landlord is also required to refund the security deposit to the tenant, either in full or the amount remaining after making deductions. Find out how to get the security deposit from your landlord in our dedicated guide.
Tenancy law in Dubai regarding evictions
Article 25 of Law No. (26) of 2007, which was amended by Law No. (33) of 2008, states that there are certain cases where the landlord can demand the eviction of the tenant before the expiry of the contract:
- Tenant fails to pay the rent within 30 days of being served with the landlord’s written notification
- Tenant subleases the property without the landlord’s written approval
- Tenant uses or allows others to use the property for immoral or illegal activities
- Tenant causes or allows others to cause damage or changes to the property that endangers the safety of the property
- Tenant uses the property for purposes other than what it was leased for
- Tenant fails to comply with any of the terms of the tenancy contract or the law within 30 days of being served a written notification from the landlord
- In cases of commercial properties, a landlord may demand eviction if the tenant has closed business operations for 30 consecutive or 90 non-consecutive days without giving any valid reasons
- If the demolition of the property is required by the government entity for urban development of the emirate
According to the RERA tenancy contract rules, the landlord can also seek eviction upon expiry of the tenancy contract if:
- The landlord wishes to reconstruct or demolish the property
- The property requires significant maintenance or renovation that cannot be done while the tenant is occupying it
- The landlord wants to sell the property
- The landlord wants to use the property for his personal use or even for his relatives of the first degree.
For such cases, the landlord must provide the other party with 12 months of written notice through a registered mail or public notary.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
While the property rent law in Dubai clarifies most of the ambiguities related to tenancy contracts and the rights and obligations of the contracting parties, people sometimes have question specific to their situation.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions relevant to the subject.
HOW DO I EVICT A TENANT IN DUBAI?
The property rent law in Dubai defines a proper procedure for eviction. To evict a tenant in Dubai, you need to:
- Have a valid reason for eviction in line with the Article 25 of Law No. (26) of 2007
- Issue a written 30-day eviction notice to the tenant via registered mail or public notary
- Get eviction authorised by RERA
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAINTING, LANDLORD OR TENANT IN DUBAI?
Painting the premises falls under the parameters of repair and maintenance work. According to the law, it is the landlords responsibility to carry out such works, unless agreed otherwise.
WHERE CAN I COMPLAIN ABOUT MY LANDLORD IN DUBAI?
In the event where you have exhausted all means of resolution to a problem between you and your landlord, the last resort it to file a RERA complaint at the Dubai Land Department’s Rent Disputes Settlement Centre. Their head office is located in Deira.
We hope this quick guide to the RERA tenancy law in Dubai will clarify the terms of your contract and help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a landlord and tenant!
But before you go out souring for rental properties, learning about all the things to consider when renting in Dubai will help you make better, informed decisions.
Whether you’re buying, selling or renting property in Dubai, familiarise yourself with all the RERA forms and the purpose they serve in the property market.
If you’re planning to move to the UAE’s capital city, we recommend familiarising yourself with tenancy laws in Abu Dhabi. Each emirate is governed by different rental laws, thus, there will be different procedures and obligations to keep in mind.
Stay tuned to MyBayut for more articles on Dubai tenancy law!