Can my landlord increase my rent in Dubai?

  • Better Informed
  • 15 Aug, 2022
Can my landlord increase my rent in Dubai?

Getting a notice of an increase in rent is a bad news for anyone. Across the emirate, rent hikes are taking place with more and more landlords raising prices. As a matter of fact, some sought after areas are seeing an increase of up to 21%. 

For tenants in Dubai or anywhere else for that matter, rent hikes are a fact of life. But what is the maximum increase in rent that a landlord can demand? And when can they do it? Does a tenant have a right to negotiate or file a complaint? 

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.

Can my landlord increase my rent?

The short answer is yes. However, your landlord cannot raise your rent during the duration of your lease.

That’s because the Dubai Land Department (DLD) requires landlords to provide tenants at least a 90-day notice if they intend to raise the rent. If you agree to the rent increase, the new rental amount will take effect upon renewing your contract.

What if my landlord did not comply with the 90-day notice?

You have the legal right to refuse the rent increase. Put simply, a landlord cannot raise your rent if he or she 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. More often than not, the judge will award costs to any successful application.

Is there a cap on how much the rent can be increased by?

Decree Number 43 of 2013 outlines how much a landlord can increase rent in the emirates of Dubai.

If the existing rent is:

  • less than 10% below the average market rental rate, no rent increase is permitted.
  • between 11% and 20% below the average market rental rate, a maximum increase of 5% is permitted.
  • between 21% and 30% below the average market rental rate, amaximum increase of 10% is permitted.
  • between 31% and 40% below the average market rental rate, maximum increase of 15% is permitted.
  • more than 40% below the average market rental rate, a maximum increase of 20% is permitted.

How do I know the average market rental rate?

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 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. 

What can I do if my rent increase isn’t reasonable?

No one wants to have to pay more money more than they should. If you’re convinced that the rent increase your landlord is demanding is not fair (that is, it is not in accordance with maximum increase permitted), consider negotiating. 

If you don’t have luck pushing back and you know you are in the right, you can always 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.

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