The Dubai Land Department has established the Rent Dispute Resolution Centre to allow Dubai tenants to appeal eviction notices from their landlords. With the sharp rise in rents, there has been an increase in reports of property owners evicting their tenants unlawfully or unethically. Many residents are confused as to the rights of both parties in this case.
There are laws in place to safeguard the tenant from being evicted in an unfair manner. “Law 33” from 2008 clearly outlines the manner in which a landlord may request an eviction once the tenancy contract has expired. Permissible reasons for eviction are:
- The landlord may evict the tenant(s) if he wishes to demolish the property for reconstruction or to add new structures which prevent the tenant from enjoying the property. The proper licenses must be obtained beforehand.
- Eviction may be requested if the property requires any type of renovation or maintenance which is not possible to carry out with the tenant living in the property. A technical report must be either submitted to Dubai Municipality or accredited by them to be enforced.
- If the landlord wants to take back the property to be used by him, his family, or first degree family, he must prove that he does not own a suitable alternative property. Eviction can then be requested.
- In the event of the owner wishing to sell the property, he can then request an eviction.
In all of the above cases, the landlord must give the tenant a notification period of twelve months. This notification must also be notarized by a notary public and sent through official registered mail. One of the most popular ways property owners evict their tenants is to claim they now need the property for their family, even though their main motive is to charge higher rent to a new tenant. It is important to remember in this case that the landlord must prove that they do not own another suitable property, such as a currently vacant property.
As property owners look to gain from the booming real estate market, they will try to come up with new and crafty ways to evict tenants. This is a result of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s cap on rent increases. Above all else, tenants should always check with reliable sources before agreeing to amend or break a lease.