Dubai’s 16 most frequently asked Q&A’s on property law for 2017

dubizzle has collaborated with the Dubai Real Estate Institute to help raise awareness on Dubai’s Property Law. Below are 16 of the most frequently asked questions in 2017 provided to us by the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee’s judges.

Index of questions:

  1. How does the tenant deal with service cuts by the landlord?
  2. How can the landlord evacuate the tenant on terms that he himself or relatives would be able to live in the property, sell it or demolish it?
  3. How can the landlord evacuate the tenant on reasons that the lessee is incapable of paying his/her rent?
  4. How can the landlord or tenant modify the payment or contract terms?
  5. How can the judgments issued by the Center be implemented?
  6. What is the role of the reconciliation administration and its strengths?
  7. Which party is in charge of paying governmental fees for the property during the time of lease?
  8. What is the cost for deposit and what is the purpose behind it?
  9. How can the contract be terminated?
  10. Can the tenant remove decors he has made in the rented property or sells them for their value during the time of evacuation?
  11. Should you be in a difficult financial situation, is there a way of getting funding support?
  12. What is the sublease and the rights of the landlord, the main tenant, and the sub-lessee?
  13. How can the rental lawsuits be filed? How much does it cost? What are the stages of it?
  14. Is it allowed in the contract, to agree to resolve disputes which arise through arbitration?
  15. What does the tenant do if the landlord refuses to receive the rent, after non-payment of rental amount after a payment date, and the center’s role in this regard?
  16. Is it allowed for the landlord to evict the tenant from a commercial store that he has closed and has not ceased to use since?

It’s important to note as a tenant, to you ensure that you are protected, you need to have a registered Ejari contract upon signing the contract with your agent or landlord.

1. How does the tenant deal with service cuts by the lesser?

The landlord is prohibited to cut off the services from the property or disturb the tenant in any way. If this happens the tenant has the right to approach the police with their disturbance or file a case at the Rental Disputes Settlement Center backed by official reports.

Judge Musaad Al-Sharif

Action by Landlord: Illegal

Action by Tenant: Notify Police

http://blog.dubizzle.com/knowyourrights/video/tenant-alfred-was-unfairly-evicted-what-could-he-have-done/

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2. How can the landlord evacuate the tenant on terms that he himself or relatives would be able to live in the property, sell it or demolish it?

A notification should be sent through the notary public or by the registered mail in which he/she will specify the date of evacuation – which should be within a 12 month period.

The notice should specify the seriousness of why the property needs to be sold; whether it be because he/she would like to live in the property, sell it or demolish it.

Judge Khaleel Mohammed Mostafa, Judge Mohammed Ali Ka’bi and Judge Yakeen Al Hammadi

Action by Landlord: 12-month notice to be given

Action by Tenant: Evacuate upon completion of contract

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3. How can the landlord evacuate the tenant on reasons that the lessee is incapable of paying his/her rent?

A notice should be sent to the tenant asking for rent to paid otherwise the tenant will face eviction and it should be sent either through the notary public or the registered mail.The legal authorization to postpone payment given to the lessee should be no less than 30 days and this applies if the lessee fails to fulfill his/her obligation.

Judge Fahid Bin Khadem

Action by Landlord: 30 days notice should be given

Action by Tenant: Rental payment should be made on time

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4. How can the landlord or tenant modify the payment or contract terms?

If either party would like to modify the rental value payment terms, they should modify the party not less than 90 days before the contract terminates. If both parties fail to come to terms, the Committee will determine a fair rental value taking into consideration the below:

  • Increase in rental rate from the Institute
  • Overall economic situation in the Emirates
  • The state of the property
  • The appropriate rental value according to similar properties in the rental market
  • Any other rental fee legislations stated in force in the Emirates
  • Any other factors that the Committee finds necessary

Judge Omar Al Mansoori

Action by Landlord: 90 days notice should be given

Action by Tenant: 90 days notice should be given

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5. How can the judgments issued by the Center be implemented?

The applicant/claimant must open an execution file in order to reinforce the final judgment . to open an execution file, the applicant must submit a memo containing the claims and judgment details.Once the application is approved by the court, the applicant must pay the relevant court fees for activating the execution file.

Judge Sultan Lootah

Action by Landlord/Tenant: an execution file must be opened

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6. What is the role of the reconciliation administration and its strengths?

Their role is to make both parties reconcile and come to terms with a signed agreement. If either of the parties violates that agreement the other party has a right to open a file and execute its provisions.

The party who resorts to reconciliation will be granted several advantages. Some of the advantages they may receive are:

  • Timely disposition of the conflict
  • Confidentiality
  • Flexibility
  • Recovery of half the fees
  • A good relationship among both parties

Judge Abdallah Essa

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7. Which party is in charge of paying governmental fees for the property during the time of lease?

The tenant should pay the fees, taxes, and sub-lease as it corresponds to rental fees.Failing to pay these fees has the same consequences as not paying rent; the tenant has the right to claim and evacuate the tenant from the property.

Judge Ahmed Rams

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8.What is the cost for deposit and what is the purpose behind it?

No matter where you go to rent a property the landlord will approach you regarding deposit for the property. The purpose of the deposit is to guarantee you are at the end of the rental phase, to ensure the leased property is handed over in good condition and free from damages.

In case of damages, the value of the repair will be deducted from the amount of deposit paid. If it exceeds this amount, whether the damage was done intentionally or by mistake, the tenant must pay the excess amount.

Judge Mohammed Ramzi

Action by landlord: Ask for a deposit for property in case of damages.

Action by Tenant: Tenant must pay for damages on the property; it will be deducted from the deposit.

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9. How can the contract be terminated?

According to the Law no. 26 of 2007, amended in Law no. 33 of 2008, on the regulation of the relationship between real estate lessors and lessees in Dubai, the lease contract should not be terminated during the time of validity unless one of the below conditions occurs:

  • Consent: unless both parties consent to terminate the contract
  • The provisions of The Act: availability of one of the eviction cases contained in the Rent Act. (See questions 2 to 4)

Judge Ali Hassan

Action by Tenant and Landlord: Both parties consent to agree in terminating the contract.

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10. Can the tenant remove decors he has made in the rented property or sells them for their value during the time of evacuation?

The landlord has to approve the decoration of the property and needs to ensure:

  • That works do not affect the architectural structure
  • That documents provided by the tenant for the decoration works are approved by the official authorities.

It’s not permitted for the tenant to remove the decors set up by him/her or sell the decor for its value at the time of evacuation.

An exception can be made only if the landlord and the tenant come to an agreement and the landlord accepts the decor to be removed or sold for its value.

Judge Ahmed Idrees

Action by Landlord: Approve decoration to the property if it’s suitable

Action by Tenant: Provide decoration works approved by official authorities.

The landlord has to approve the decoration of the property and needs to ensure:

  • That works do not affect the architectural structure
  • That documents provided by the tenant for the decoration works are approved by the official authorities.

It’s not permitted for the tenant to remove the decors set up by him/her or sell the decor for its value at the time of evacuation.

An exception can be made only if the landlord and the tenant come to an agreement and the landlord accepts the decor to be removed or sold for its value.

Judge Ahmed Idrees

Action by Landlord: Approve decoration to the property if it’s suitable.

Action by Tenant: Provide decoration works approved by official authorities.

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11. Should you be in a difficult financial situation, is there a way of getting funding support?

The Committee (Yad-Al-Khair, which stands for “hand of giving”) is there to give an accurate number of cases which are negatively affected by the judicial rulings issued by the center due to financial hardships.

The judicial rulings’ consequences presented are if someone is evicted from their home or imprisoned due to the fact that they could not pay the late rental fees due not being financially secure.

Their parallel efforts are represented in receiving material and in-kind donations to assist those cases.

To the present date, the Committee has received a large sum of donations, amounting to one million and one hundred thousand dirhams of the philanthropists and treated 20 cases.

Judge Abdel Aziz Anouhy

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12. What are the sublease and the rights of the landlord, the main tenant, and the sub-lessee?

Sublease means that the main tenant can re-rent the property to a third party.

Whether or not the landlord consents, if the main tenant fails to meet the terms of his contract and the conditions for his evacuation are satisfied then the eviction will not take place. The sub-lessee will continue to occupy the property until the end of his contract.

In case there is consent to the sub-lease, the eviction will apply to the main tenant and the sub-lessee.

Judge Harib Al Muhairi

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13.How can the rental lawsuits be filed? How much does it cost? What are the stages of it?

The center allows the registration for rental disputes from several channels such as:

  1. The Center’s website
  2. Offices of the Secretary of Real Estate Services

The process of stage registration has several stages:

  1. Registration of the case
  2. Check by the Center staff to ensure that the data and documents required to register the case are complete.
  3. Final payment of the case charges, which vary according to the applications filed by the Registrar.

The Center’s transactors can also obtain all information related to the mechanism of case registration or the required documents by reviewing the Center official website or through the call center 8004488.

Judge Mohammed Hammad

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14. Is it allowed in the contract, to agree to resolve disputes which arise through arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of litigation which the litigates agree with each other to resolve certain disputes.

The parties choose the arbitrator. This arbitration may be adjudicated by the accredited arbitration bodies such as International Commercial Arbitration

Center in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as other arbitration centers established in accordance with the applicable laws.

As for rental disputes the law does not prevent recourse to arbitration but it does state the below:

““If the landlord and tenant agreed in the lease or in any subsequent agreement to present

any dispute that may arise between them, regarding the execution thereof, to

arbitration, neither of them can take any action which would affect the property or

the prescribed rights and obligations to the both parties.”

If the dispute occurred and the landlord or tenant did not agree on the arbitrators or if one or

more of the agreed arbitrators abstain from work, retire, removed, dismissed by judgment, or prevented from performing their duties by any impediment, and there is no agreement between the parties regarding so, the Committee shall appoint the request of one of the arbitral parties an arbitrator/arbitrators. The number of arbitrators appointed by the Committee shall be the same number which is agreed upon.

Judge Ahmed Moussa Mohammed

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15.What does the tenant do if the landlord refuses to receive the rent, after non-payment of rental amount after a payment date, and the center’s role in this regard?

The landlord may resort to not take the rental value from the tenant, after notifying him of the payment, waiting for 30 days as stated by the law, to file an eviction suit, for the non-payment of the rent value against the tenant after passing the period of 30 days.

The tenant should pay attention and be cautious. They should address the Rental Dispute Settlement Center and deposit the rental value by a present and deposit file, provided that the Center undertakes the responsibility to notify the lessor.

Judge Ali Hassan

Action of the Landlord: Can take the option of whether or not to receive the payment and whether or not to file a suit after the 30 given days.

Action of the Tenant: Address the Rental Dispute Settlement Center and deposit the rental value.

For store owners:

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16.Is it allowed for the landlord to evict the tenant from a commercial store that he has closed and has not ceased to use since?

Law No. 33 of 2008, stipulates that the commercial store may be evacuated “if the leased property is a commercial store and the tenant leaves the same without occupancy for a period of 30 consecutive days or interrupted ninety days in one year without any legal reason, unless

otherwise agreed by the parties.”

Judge Khaled Karamstji

Action of the Landlord: Give notice period of 30 consecutive days or 90 interrupted days.

Action of the Tenant: Give a legal reason for leaving the commercial store unoccupied.

This is brought to you by the Dubai Real Estate Institute and dubizzle to raise awareness on the Dubai property law.