Renting in Dubai: When can landlords ask tenants to vacate property before end of contract?

Rents in Dubai have been on the rise for over two years as the emirate’s population continues to increase, reaching 3.616 million.

In order to regulate the rental market, the Dubai government has enacted laws to guarantee the rights of individuals, investors as well as real estate companies. For example, Decree No. 43 of 2013 of Determining Rent Increases for Property in Dubai regulates the relationship between landlord and tenant. The law also sets the average rent in accordance with an index that determines the rent as approved by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency in the Emirate of Dubai.

The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDC) has been established to implement the rental laws to adjudicate rental disputes to achieve justice, simplify procedures and speed up the release of judgments to achieve social stability for families who are on lease and achieve economic stability for all investors, including the real estate rental sector.

According to Advocate Mohammad Abdul Rahman of Galadari Advocates and Legal Consultants, the necessity to register the lease with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) applies to the tenant or the landlord. In the event that the lease expires and the tenant remains in the leased property without the landlord objecting to that, the contract will be automatically renewed for another year with the same conditions.

As per Dubai laws, Abdul Rahman shares some of the reasons that a landlord could ask the tenant to vacate the property before the expiry of the agreed lease term under the local laws:

1. Failure to pay the rent or any part of it within 30 days from the date of notification, unless the two parties agree otherwise

2. Subleasing the property without the consent of the landlord

3. The tenant uses the property for illegitimate purposes or in violation of public order and public morals

4. Making a change in the property that affects the safety of the property or causes damage to it

5. The property is in imminent danger of collapsing

6. Demolishing the property for urban development purposes by the competent authorities.

7. There are cases where the landlord may request the tenant to vacate the premise 12 months prior to the date of vacating, provided that the tenant should be notified through a notary or registered mail with reasons:

8. The owner desires to demolish the property in order to rebuild it, and the priority is for the tenant to return to the property.

9. Renovation of the property which cannot be done with the tenant in it.

10. The owner’s desire to use the property for personal purposes or for one of his first-degree relatives

11. It is worth mentioning that the law confirmed that the landlord may not disconnect the services from the property which would make it difficult for the tenant to benefit from the property.

The most important obligations of the tenant mentioned under the law are:
1. To pay the rent.

2. To maintain the property.

3. It is impermissible to make changes or maintenance in the property without the permission of the landlord.

4. The tenant must, at the end of the lease, hand over the property in the condition in which it was received.

5. The tenant may not assign or sublease the property to a third party without the written consent of the lessor.

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