Your Questions - Our Answers

The Landlord last year renewed the rent for me for the second year but he insisted to put in the rent contract that the contract can not be renewed. However, I want to renew now and he insisted that I should leave the apartment. This is the third year to me in the apartment. Can he force me to leave ? or is it legal? BM, Dubai


Firstly, the words non-renewable on a tenancy contract are not upheld in the Dubai Courts.  

Landlords should be made aware of their responsibilities and the issues they may face as landlords.  We will add an article or two about this soon.  

You will find that he (the landlord) MUST provide you with a letter, 12 months in advance from when he wants you (the tenant) to leave.  In other words he needs to give you 12 months’ written notice.  

This is the only way he can ask you to leave.

He needs to give you a full reason (acceptable to RERA) for asking you to leave – this should be on the written notice.

The notice needs to be notarised and couriered to you to ensure there is a record of you receiving it.  The 12 month period starts from the date of receipt.

If he hasn’t given you any notice to renew the contract within the 90 day notice period before the expiry of the contract then he cannot change any aspect of the contract and it is deemed to remain the same for the next year as it was for the previous year – does that make sense!?

Obviously, different circumstances can change the above information. For example, if you are using the property for illegal purposes or if you haven’t paid your rent then he has reason to ask you to leave but again he should ensure that the Dubai Courts are in agreement.  He would be required to serve a 30 day notary public notice to you.

If any problems arise visit either RERA in the Land Department building – there is a reception area (not on the ground floor, walk past that one and take the elevator which is on your left).  Go early in the morning – it is open at about 7.30 – and ask your questions of a RERA employee.  Take advice from someone in RERA if you are at all worried.

Usually, a landlord will accept the law so it is best to talk to him and try to negotiate a deal where you are both happy.  Don’t be anxious.  The law is on your side if you have acted as a responsible tenant.

If all else fails you can approach the Rent Dispute Centre on Al Baniyas Road in the Government building along from the Land Department.  You need to pay 3.5% of the annual rent which will be returned to you by the landlord if you win your case.  In reality, it’s better to try to negotiate with the landlord.  It make life easier all round 🙂

We hope this helps but always double-check any information with RERA.  You can contact them on +971-600-555556 (chargeable) or the local phone number +971-422-222-51.  The number for the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre is 8004488 (toll free).  The usual working hours are 07.30 – 14.30.


In your "Tenancy Contract Renewal" article (http://dubaisurvivalguide.com/guide/tenancy-contract-renewal/), under Rule 1, you state that if tenants wants to leave a property when the contact expires, they should give 90 days notice to the landlord. Can you please tell me in which article of the Dubai Real Estate legislation is this rule stated? DA, Dubai


Here you will find the details under Article 14

It’s always better to develop a good relationship with your landlord 🙂 so try to discuss this with him/her before the 90 day period and always follow up your conversation with an email so that you have a written record.

We are in the 6 year of living in our villa the rent is low and the landlord has been very good and fair, we have had problems with the outside of the house huge cracks all the way around, some in the bedrooms, they have been repaired twice before, this time we offered to pay towards the workman don't turn up for weeks we told the landlord we would fix and paint the bedrooms, he could continue with the outside as we had visitors and wanted the work completed. We found out the person we dealt with is the owners brother as he speake english, the owner and her husband and 3 other woman all came and looked at the house inside and out, since then the owner and more other women came and wanted to come inside we let them but they came into the lounge and kitchen that have no cracks, yesterday the owners husband came early morning and came back again with his wife the owner and a woman and 2 young girls, amnd told my husband they want to come in and see all the rooms, it was my husbands birthday we had my family here, so he told them it's not convenient and that we also had paid and completed the work in the bedrooms. Where do we stand should they keep turning up, and expect to come into our home when they feel like it, we feel because we have improved the property they want to move back in. I look forward from hearing from you, our contract is until September.

Dear LM

I can understand your frustration!

Please check your contract – it should state that the landlord/owner has the right to inspect the villa but that he should give you notice – normally it is 48 hours.  If there is nothing on your contract state simply that you have no objection to him/his family visiting the property but that you wish to receive at least 48 hours notice before he visits the property again because he is invading your personal life.  If he doesn’t agree but it sounds has though you have had a good relationship up until now, explain that he would find it objectionable if someone turned up at his property unannounced.  If he doesn’t get the message then you can inform him that you will take your case to RERA.  Hopefully it will not come to that.

Great re the low rent – have you checked it against the RERA Rental Increase Calculator – this only shows 3 months prior to the expiry so you’ll need to enter a date in June to get a rough idea of where the rent stands.   He has 90 days prior to the expiry to ask for any increase.  If he ignores this 90 day notice period then he cannot increase the rent.  It is up to him to take advice and therefore it is not  your responsibility to inform him of this.  If you intend to leave at the expiry of the contract you need to give him 90 days’ notice.

He must provide you with 12 months’ notarised notice to leave the property and again there are regulations – he or a close family member wants to move into the property and that he must prove he/they do not own any other suitable property, he wants to carry out substantial renovation works which would make the property uninhabitable, and lastly he wishes to sell the property with vacant possession.  Of course, if he lets it out again to a member of the public within a 2 year period you can raise a case against him in the Dubai Rent Dispute Center and gain compensation.

If you have any conversations with him you should follow it up with an email so that you have a written record of who said what and when etc.

I hope this helps.  Please contact us if you have any other queries.  Please remember that we are not legal advisors and that the rules and regulations can change at any time.

I have a question: my landlord failed to give enough notice for increase (he missed the 90d window period) but nonetheless asked for a 15% increase 55 days before expiry of the contract. I told him he could not increase because he missed the 90d window period and asked him to send me a renewed contract with the same terms as the current contract. He didn't reply to any correspondence regarding the renewal of the contract. Bottom line: my contract expires at the end of this month and I have no renewed contract. To avoid being in an apartment without valid contract I looked for and found a new one with a proper contract starting 01Arp15. I called my current landlord to tell him that I was leaving the apartment in 1 week (at the end of the my current contract) because I had absolutely no news from him and no renewed contract in hands. He replied that I was too late to quit the apartment and that he would check with RERA rent dispute community to see if I owe him money because I did not respect the 90d notice to leave the unit. Can he raise a case against me at RERA for the fact that I am leaving without a proper notice period ?

Dear BM

Thank you for your email.

We understand there are two issues here:

1The Landlord did not give you the correct notice for an increase in rent


2You did not give the Landlord the correct notice to leave

Both situations are correct in a very simplistic sense but you have every right to stay in the apartment even after the expiry of the contract and with no rental increase for the next year if the landlord has not provided the correct notice.  He should provide a renewed contract.

If you haven’t signed for the other apartment  and  if you want to stay in your current apartment speak to the landlord again and try to negotiate.  Have you checked the RERA Rental Increase Calculator to find out if he is entitled to any increase?  If he is entitled to an increase and you want to stay you could offer him a small increase IF you wish.  Otherwise, you do not need to offer anything.  If he refuses you can take a case against him at the Dubai Rent Dispute Center. This situation is all dependent on whether you want to stay on in the apartment for another year.

On the other hand, if you have signed the contract and want out of the current tenancy contract then yes, you should provide the landlord with the correct notice period before the expiry of the contract and yes he has the right to claim against you for two months’ rent plus one month’s notice.

However, he seems to know the law for this but not for the 90 day notice period to increase the rent?  That’s odd.

You could take a case against him at the Rent Dispute Centre and explain your reasons for leaving the flat, i.e. you did not know that the contract would remain in place under the circumstances, that the landlord did not respond to your emails and that you didn’t know about the notice period when leaving as you thought the contract would expire.

The best way forward would be to try and speak to the landlord and explain it from your point of view without any acrimony.  This is a difficult situation because both parties are right and we do not know how the Rent Dispute Centre would view this.  To our mind it would be more sensible for them to see it from your point of view but the law dictates their judgement.  There is no current arbitration system, that we know of, prior to lodging a case.

As before, if you haven’t signed the contract for the new property and you’re happy to stay in the current apartment that may be the best course of action.

We’re responding to the facts as per your email. We are not legal advisors and it may be that you should visit the Rent Dispute Centre and ask for advice before you take a case against the landlord.  There’s a guide on the website as to how to do this.  On the other hand you could simply wait until the landlord takes a case against you.  However, you may need a Move Out Certificate/Permit from your building so you should double check this too to ensure the landlord cannot stop you.

We appreciate that this may not be as helpful as you would wish but as mentioned it is not an ‘open and shut case’.

If we can help in any other way please do not hesitate to contact us.

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