The ultimate guide to tenancy contracts in Dubai
- Rent Contract in Dubai
- Tenancy Laws
- Rights and Obligations
- Important Tenancy Clauses
- Tenancy Contract Details
- Required Documents
A tenancy contract in Dubai is the single, most important tool that regulates the rental property market. Understanding the rental contracts in Dubai and the rights and obligations attached to it can help you avoid ambiguities, errors and possible fallouts as a landlord or tenant in Dubai. MyBayut has compiled the ultimate guide to tenancy contract so that you know what you’re in for when you seal the tenancy deal in Dubai.
WHAT IS A TENANCY CONTRACT IN DUBAI?
In simple terms, the tenancy contract or rental agreement is a legally binding contract that allows the tenant to use a property for a particular purpose and specified time period. The agreement details out all the lease terms and the mutually agreed-upon expectations and requirements of both parties. Having a formal rental agreement in Dubai helps to prevent misunderstandings and future disputes that may occur.
WHERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TENANCY CONTRACT IN DUBAI?
The standard rental contract in Dubai can be downloaded from Dubai Land Department’s official website. Landlords and tenants can download the tenancy contract from the Dubai REST app.
This fully-editable tenancy contract form is available in both Arabic and English. The landlords and tenants have the right to add or amend any special conditions that they might want to include in their rental contract.
Dubai’s standard tenancy contract covers the following aspects:
- Governing laws
- Obligations of the landlord
- Obligations of the tenant
- Contract terms and conditions
- Ejari registration
Ejari registration and other associated costs are among additional costs of renting in Dubai. So make sure you are aware of them beforehand.
WHAT ARE THE TENANCY LAWS IN DUBAI?
Whether you live in a villa or studio flat for rent in Dubai, you must know about the tenancy laws. The rental contracts in Dubai and the resulting relationship between tenants and landlords are regulated by the Dubai Rental Law No. 26 of 2007 and the amendment Law No. 33 (2008). These laws deal with the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in Dubai.
All matters of increasing property rent in Dubai are dealt with under the stipulations of Decree No. 43 of 2013. The settlement of rental disputes via arbitration or courts is administered through the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre that was formed under Decree No. 26 of 2013.
To ensure proper registration and monitoring of rental contracts in the emirate, RERA uses the Ejari system. It is mandatory on all landlords and tenants to register their tenancy agreements in Dubai on Ejari to formalise their rental agreement in a government-approved format.
THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF TENANTS AND LANDLORDS IN DUBAI
When it comes to rights and obligations, the RERA tenancy laws in Dubai have definitive parameters that government the tenant-landlord relationship. The division of responsibilities is clearly defined and it is needless to say, that the rights of one party become obligations of the other.
WHAT ARE THE TENANT RIGHTS IN DUBAI?
For now, let’s look at the rights of tenants in Dubai.
- The tenant has the right to receive the property that is in good condition and comfortably livable.
- Any maintenance and restoration of property to make it comfortably livable should be undertaken by the landlord, unless the contract specifies otherwise.
- The tenant has the right to full use of property. The landlord cannot make any changes that disrupt the tenant’s intended use of the property.
- The tenant is legally allowed to live in the rented property even if the property is transferred to a new owner during the term of their tenancy contract.
- The tenant has the right to challenge unfair increase in rent that is not in line with RERA’s Rent Increase Calculator.
- The tenant must be informed through a formal notification of any intended amendments to the tenancy contract, 90 days prior to its expiry.
WHAT ARE THE LANDLORD RIGHTS IN DUBAI?
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) property laws also define the rights of landlords under a tenancy contract in Dubai.
- Landlords have the right to receive the agreed rent value on the set due date.
- The landlord may collect a security deposit as a coverage against any damages to the property, provided it is refunded in part or full at the end of the contractual term.
- No renovation or redecoration can be carried out by the tenant without the landlord’s permission.
- Once the tenancy contract expires, the landlord has the right to receive the property in the same condition it was handed over to the tenant.
- Landlords have the right to retain any leasehold improvements made by the tenant.
- All property charges, taxes and government-imposed fees should be paid by the tenant, unless agreed otherwise.
Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, it is important to register Ejari online for your tenancy contract. Ejari makes the contract legally binding and facilitates the process of dispute resolution, where necessary. In order to register Ejari, you first need to fill out the “consolidated lease contract” more commonly called the tenancy contract in Dubai.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT TENANCY CONTRACT CLAUSES ONE MUST REMEMBER?
While the contracting parties are free to add their own contractual clauses, there are some important tenancy clauses that are already part of the contract.
The parties can attach an addendum to the standard contract. The addendum must enumerate and elaborate all terms and conditions governing the rental agreement. This can include, but isn’t limited to:
- Who pays for what services
- What instances require an NOC from the landlord
- To what extent tenants can carry out maintenance (if any)
Breaking the tenancy contract is only possible if BOTH parties agree to it, unless they agree otherwise. This means the contract term is automatically renewed for the same duration or 1 year, whichever is lower, if the tenant continues to live in the property with no objections from the landlord.
The landlord MUST provide the tenant with a 90-day notice sent via registered mail prior to contract expiry, in case they want to make any changes to the existing contract.
If the landlord or the tenants dies, the rent contract in Dubai does not terminate automatically. It is instead transferred to the deceased’s heir unless the heir(s) opts for the termination of tenancy contract, which comes into effect after a 30-day period of informing the landlord.
If the property is transferred to a new owner before the end of the tenancy term, the tenant has the right to continue living in the property until the end of the contractual term. While it is not legally required to change the tenancy contract at this point, it is advisable to update the details with Ejari to avoid any disputes at a later date.
WHAT DETAILS ARE INCLUDED IN A DUBAI TENANCY CONTRACT?
Essentially, the Ejari system has a standard format for the tenancy contract. This format requires landlords and tenants to include the following details in their contract:
- Name and contact details of the tenant
- Name and contact details of the landlord
- Property usage
- Property address, location, building name and size
- The property plot number
- The DEWA premise number
- Agreed rent amount
- Security deposit amount
- Signing date of the contract
- Contract period
- The method of payment
Besides the above mentioned standard Tenancy Contract terms, the landlords and tenants can add an addendum that outlines any other special terms and conditions they mutually agreed upon.
WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR RENT CONTRACT IN DUBAI?
To prepare a rent contract in Dubai, you require the following documents:
- Emirates ID
- Copy of passport (landlord and tenant)
- Copy of valid residence visa
- A cheque for security deposit
- A cheque for agency fee (where required)
WHO NEEDS TO SIGN THE RENT CONTRACT IN DUBAI?
Once you have drafted the tenancy contract, the parties need to sign it in front of a witness to make the agreement valid. The Dubai Land Department considers the following groups of people to be official signatories for rent contracts in Dubai:
- The landlord
- The tenant
- Legal representative of the landlord with a Power of Attorney
- Licenced property management companies
- The Power of Attorney lasts for two years only. It needs to be re-stamped at the Dubai Courts to be valid after the two-year period lapses.
- DLD-licenced property management companies can sign tenancy contracts only for the properties they manage.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When dealing with rental contracts in Dubai, people often have the following queries.
WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE AS A TENANT IF MY TENANCY CONTRACT IS NOT REGISTERED?
The law requires you to register your rent contract in Dubai and any amendments thereof with RERA. Your rental contract is deemed legally binding only when you formalise it through Ejari. Without it, the law does not intervene in or protect the rights of both landlords and tenants.
CAN I TERMINATE MY RENTAL CONTRACT EARLY?
The tenancy laws in Dubai do not dictate the specifics of the early termination of tenancy contracts in Dubai. However, if the tenant chooses to vacate the property before the end of the contractual term, the landlord has the right to refuse the remaining rent refund.
The only way this can be avoided is if the original rent contract has an exit clause that addresses the early termination of tenancy in Dubai and clearly outlines the required notice period and the amount of penalty to be charged.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY OR NOTICE PERIOD FOR TERMINATING A LEASE EARLY IN DUBAI?
Again, the notice period and the amount of penalty payable on early termination of tenancy contracts in Dubai depends on the termination clause included in the agreement. In case there is no termination clause, the tenant much give at least 60 days’ notice for termination. The amount of penalty depends on the landlord to decide.
CAN THE LANDLORD ENTER THE LEASED PROPERTY IN THE ABSENCE OF THE TENANT?
No, they cannot. Once the property is leased the landlord can only enter the premises with the tenant’s permission, unless the tenancy contract includes an access clause that allows otherwise.
The tenant’s consent is required even if the landlord wishes to sell the property and conduct property viewings on the premises. A 24-hour notice is also required for the viewings to take place after the tenant grants permission.
I HAVE OCCUPIED THE SAME PROPERTY FOR YEARS, DO I HAVE ANY SPECIAL RIGHTS?
No, the length of property occupation has nothing to do with the extension of rights. Regardless of how long the rental agreement has been valid, there are no special privileges or rights for tenants in Dubai.
That’s all we have for you now – a complete guide to the tenancy contracts in Dubai. Now that you understand the basic structure of and the laws that govern the tenancy contracts, you can easily deduce the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords attached to it.
In case of any unsolvable issues between the landlord and tenant, the parties can always file a rent dispute in Dubai with the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre.
Renting in Dubai has its own dynamics, quite different to the tenancy rules in other emirates. If you’re a potential tenant, it’s best to learn about how the property rental market in Dubai works.
Whether you’re interested in villas for rent in Dubai or are more inclined towards the portfolio of rental apartments in Dubai, there is no shortage of options. You can find it all, from a 1 bedroom for rent in Dubai to a larger unit.
However, it is a good idea to evaluate the pros and cons of renting apartments vs villas in Dubai to get a clearer idea of which property type works best for you.