Betterhomes witnessed a 36% increase in rental prices in Dubai in 2022, with significantly more tenants choosing to renew their tenancies. As a result of the strong market conditions, landlords have been increasingly raising rents - bad news for any tenant. But what is the maximum increase in rent that a landlord can demand in 2023? When can they do it? And if you are unhappy with a proposed rent increase, what rights do you have to negotiate or refuse?
These questions matter because it pays to know what your landlord can and can’t do. Whether you’ve recently received a notice of an increase in rent or expect one soon, here’s everything you need to know.
The short answer is yes. But, this increase cannot take place during your agreed lease period, only at the time of renewal.
The Dubai Land Department (DLD) requires landlords to provide tenants with at least 90-day notice if they intend to raise the rent. This means they should notify you at least 90 days before your tenancy contract is due for renewal, with the rent increase taking place at the time of renewal.
If the landlord fails to give you 90 days' notice, you have the legal right to refuse the rent increase. Put simply, a landlord cannot raise your rent if they did not notify you in writing or electronically. If your landlord did not comply with the 90-day notice, your contract automatically renews at the same rental price.
If your landlord insists, you can file a case at the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre. Doing so will set you back 3.5% of your annual rent. But, more often than not, the judge will award costs to a successful applicant.
Decree Number 43 outlines how much a landlord can increase rent in Dubai in 2023. If the existing rent is:
The DLD’s Rental Index helps both tenants and landlords determine the average market rental rate. Simply head over to the online rental index calculator. All you have to do is populate the required fields such as the property type, area and bedrooms and the tool will calculate the average rent.
The Rental Index is a nifty reference for both tenants and landlords for rental values. This tool can be used both for finding the average market rent as well as mapping out maximum rent increases.
No one wants to pay more rent than they should have to. If you’re convinced that the landlord is trying to increase the rent by more than is permitted by the Rent Index, speak to your landlord about this and state how much they are allowed to increase the rent. If you don’t have luck pushing back and you know you are in the right, you can file a case with the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre.
Whether it’s your first time renting or you have been doing this for some time, it can be quite a shock when you suddenly get a notice from your landlord saying that your rent will increase.
So if this happens to you, we hope this blog will help you understand when and how your landlord can increase your rent.
Our friendly, expert team is just a phone call or email away!