I am a tenant in Dubai, and my landlord wants me out

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Price increases can result in tensions between landlords and tenants

landlords and tenants rights

 

For tenants who have lived in Dubai since before 2008, the current residential property situation will probably feel worryingly familiar. Prices are increasing, and landlords want to evict tenants who do not want to or cannot pay large increases.

 

If you are a landlord who has owned property in Dubai since before the worldwide economic crisis, you may be feeling frustrated that your tenant is currently paying well below market rate and keen to start making a much better return on your investment.

 

Who is in the right in this scenario? While both sides will be unable to admit it, they both are, and with prices continuing to increase, the conflict between tenants and landlords will continue to rear its head, therefore both sides need to be able to compromise.

 

As a tenant, it is worth remembering, that the fact that your landlord wants to evict you to is usually not personal. Many property owners in Dubai are investors keen to get the best possible return. You have to ask yourself if you would do something similar if you were in their position.

 

That said, it is the case that there are relatively few circumstances under which a landlord is legally allowed to evict a tenant. Better Homes recently updated its website information on this as there was a change in the law at the end of 2013.

 

Landlords should make sure they are aware of the relevant laws so they do not run into problems if they want to evict a tenant from a property.

 

There are some simple steps that both tenants and landlords can take to avoid conflict -

Tenants

  1. At the start of your tenancy, read your contract carefully so you are fully aware of the length of your tenancy, your rights in terms of renewal and, other issues including what maintenance is your responsibility and what is your landlord’s. This will prevent misunderstandings or disagreements during your tenancy.

  2. Always be courteous. If you feel your landlord is not fulfilling the terms of your contract, for example, by not carrying out maintenance stipulated in the contract, be firm but polite.

  3. Be aware of your rights under Dubai law, click here to read the current laws affecting tenants.

  4. Try to negotiate. When you meet your landlord to discuss issues, politely state your position under Dubai law.

  5. If all else fails, you can consider opening a case against the landlord at RERA.

Landlords

  1. Before you let your property, consider using Better Homes Property Management division. That way the hard work will be done by us.

    If you decide to go for it alone, try to maintain good relations with your tenant. If there is mutual respect, your tenant is more likely to take better care of your property which is good for your investment in the long-term.


  2. Landlords too have a responsibility to be aware of their rights under Dubai law, and that it currently states that the only reason landlords may evict tenants are if they wish to sell or if they wish to move into the property themselves. Click here for more information

  3. Make sure the tenancy contract is clear, explaining exactly what maintenance the tenant is responsible for and what you are responsible for. If you feel the tenant is asking you to carry out maintenance that is outside what is stipulated in your contract, explain this politely and promptly so that the tenant can take his or her own steps to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

  4. If you firmly believe your tenant is being unreasonable, consider opening a case at RERA.

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