Rent disputes in UAE are very common. Most of the time these disputes are resolved amicably, but there are times when a legal way is the only solution. When the relationship between a landlord and tenant gets sour, and one of them does not honour the terms of their tenancy contract, legal help is required. The tenancy law may vary in different emirates but the basics remain the same.
What are the common reasons for rent disputes in UAE?
There can be lots of reasons for disputes between a tenant and landlord, but below are the most common ones:
- Unspecified or unreasonable reasons for eviction.
- Increase in rent without adhering to the Emirate’s rent law.
- Deduction in security deposit without any strong reasons.
- Cleaning and maintenance of the property.
- Cutting of essential supplies like electricity or water in case of argument.
- Not informing the tenant about the defects and pest infestation.
Entities that are responsible for managing rent disputes
All emirates in UAE have their own Rent Regulation Department. The rental dispute and regulation departments are responsible for creating flexible mechanisms for accuracy, impartiality, and transparency. Departments also have a specialized judicial system that deals with rental disputes, and conciliation procedures. The departments ensure social and economic stability, thus, aiding the sustainable growth of their respective Emirates.
The jurisdiction of these departments extends to any rental and tenancy disputes in the Emirate, except for finance lease contracts and long-term lease contracts. The arbitration department at the rental dispute departments aims to settle the dispute amicably within 15 days. If parties fail to reach any settlement, they may file a suit in the First Instance Department.
How to lodge a rental dispute?
When you decide to submit a case against your landlord for a rental dispute, you need to make sure you have the following documents with you ready.
- Ejari certificate
- Resident Visa
- Emirates ID
- Tenancy contract
- Recent bills related to electricity and water
- Rental deposit slips
- Receipts, copies of cheque of bank statement to ensure your financial transactions.
- Title Deed
- Copies of any correspondence between you and the landlord, for example, emails, written communication, etc.
- Any document that may support your case.
Free zones have special judicial courts and committees to settle any rent dispute that may arise inside their boundaries.
Tenancy Law at different Emirates: At a Glance
Tenancy law in each Emirate varies a bit. However, UAE’s rental law has been pro-tenant. In a country where over 80% of its population are immigrants, it becomes the government’s responsibility to make laws that are beneficial to both nationals and expatriates. Abu Dabhi has a rent cap of 5%, while tenants in Sharjah can enjoy the rent cap for the first 3 years.
Some of the salient features of the Law:
- The landlord is responsible for the maintenance, repairs, and fixing of damages to the property. Unless the damage is caused by the tenant.
- It is the landlords’ responsibility to repair any defect that affects the tenant’s enjoyment and use. In case of failure, the tenant has the right to cancel the lease.
- For any urgent repair work done by the tenant, the landlord is obliged to pay for the repair work done to the tenant.
- Landlords are not responsible for cosmetic defects. Any defects that do not affect the integrity of the property, unless it had been agreed by the party and mentioned in the contract.
How can you avoid a rent dispute?
Our real estate lawyers in UAE advise that one must always read the agreement before they enter a contract. There are many fine prints and small details that tenants overlook at the time of entering a contract. For example, the tenancy contract may state that any repair work below Dh200 must be paid by the tenant and anything above that will be taken care of by the landlord. It is suggestive to let a property lawyer have a look at your contract before you finally sign it.
Who fixes the faulty construction?
According to the law, the developer is responsible for the repair work for at least 1 year after the handover of the property. Rental dispute departments have the complete authority to receive the application against the developers if they fail to oblige the law. The developer is responsible for the replacement of faulty fixtures, electrical work, sanitary fittings, sewerage, etc. When it comes to structural defects, the developer has a liability of 10 years to maintain and fix them.
Where Is the Rental Dispute Center Located?
The Rental Dispute Center is located in the Department of Land and Property in Dubai.
- Rental Dispute Center Location: 7 Baniyas Road, Deira, Riggat Al Buteen, Dubai
- Rental Dispute Center Contact Number in Dubai: 800 44 88.
- Rental dispute centers in the UAE
Rental Dispute Centre
Dubai Land Department
Baniyas Road, Dubai
Call: 800 4488
Abu Dhabi Rent Dispute Settlement Committee
Call: 800 2353
Sharjah Rental Dispute Committee
Rent Regulation Department, Near Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Call: 06 593 1525
Ajman Rent Dispute Committee
Al Rashidiya 3, Ajman
Call: 06 744 8884
Both parties need to enter a reconciliation agreement once they reach an amicable settlement. If the rent claim is over AED 100,000, the parties may choose to file an appeal. You can file an appeal under certain special circumstances that are covered under Article 17 (1) of Law no. 26 of 2013.
- Is in violation of the jurisdiction rules.
- Involves eviction ruling
- Is more than the parties requested
- Is based on forged documents.
- Is based on false testimony.
The judgement issued by the First Instance is final and unappealable, unless any of the above circumstances are true.
If in any case, you feel that you have entered in a rent dispute with your landlord or tenant, it is always advisable to hire a reputed and experienced real estate lawyer.