In order to promote transparency in the landlord to tenant relationship, the D.L.D (Dubai Land Department) issued a new tenancy contract in regards to tenancy evictions. With this positive step taken by D.L.D (Dubai Land Department), there have been conflicting reports out there and tenancy termination is still being misunderstood by many. As a real estate agent, we have summed up everything you need to know about tenancy termination or eviction. If you are a landlord in Dubai or you are thinking of becoming, this article is for you. If you are in search of rental property in Dubai as well or you are already a tenant, you are at the right place. Here are rules and regulations that serve as a guidepost for both landlords and tenants.

What is the Dubai tenant notice period?

A landlord is obliged to serve a minimum of 12 month notice to the tenant to vacate the apartment at any period of the tenancy contract. The 12 month notice prior to eviction is non-negotiable.

How can eviction notice be served?

A landlord cannot just send a notice to the tenant to vacate the property via call or message or even verbally. There is a due process in which a landlord must follow when an eviction notice is to be given to the tenant. The notice must be issued in writing and must be sent by notary public or registered mail. This will stand as legal proof that the tenant eviction notice was issued and the tenant did receive it.

What are the RERA rules for termination of the contract in Dubai?

RERA rules for termination of the contract are found in Article 25 and 26 where the cases in which a landlord can evict a tenant are explicitly stated. The landlord cannot request the tenant to leave out of the Blue, Hence, understand the cases in which Dubai tenancy law early termination applies.

Article 25

  • If the tenant refuses to pay the rents or part of it within 30 day’s notice of payment have been served by the Landlord
  • If the tenant subleases the property or part of it without the landlord’s consent.
  • If the tenant uses the property for illegal purposes or allows others to do so.
  • If the tenant uses the property contrary to the purpose of leasing.
  • If the property is in danger of collapse supported by a technical report.
  • If the tenant makes alterations or changes to the property or allows others to do so that endangers the safety of the property.
  • If the tenant fails to abide by the tenancy rules and regulations within 30 day's of the landlord’s notifications.
  • In case the property is a commercial shop and the tenant left it unoccupied within 30-90 consecutive day's in a year, the landlord can ask the tenant to evict.
  • In case where the government authorities demand demotion or reconstruction to meet the development requirements.

A landlord can ask tenants to vacate upon expiry of the contract if:

  • The landlord wants to demolish or reconstruct the property
  • The landlord needs to make necessary maintenance or renovation on the property that cannot be carried out if the tenant is there.
  • The landlord needs the property for personal use.
  • The landlord wishes to sell the property.

Article 26

In this article, if the landlord asks the tenant to exit the property on the basis of personal use, the landlord is prohibited from renting it out to a third party. For residential property, the prohibition time is 2 years while it is 3 years for non-residential property.

What about tenant renewals?

In case either party wishes to discontinue the tenancy contract, 90 day's notice must be served before the expiry of the tenancy contract. Moreover, if the landlord wants to increase the rental payments, a 90-day notice has to be given to the tenants prior to the increments. If the tenant refuses the new increase, the tenant must give 60 day's notice to vacate the property to the landlord. This date should be before the renewal of the tenancy. If there is no ground for eviction, the tenancy contract is automatically renewed Based on the same terms and conditions of the contract.

Rent disputes

There are often cases of disputes and misunderstandings between tenants and landlords. All cases of disputes should be referred to as Dubai’s Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC). As a tenant, ensure the tenancy contract is registered with RERA. Plus, have documents and proofs of dealings with the landlord. Moreover, as a landlord, have all the paperwork and proof of plans to live in or sell the property. These documents will all come in handy. As seen above, the landlord has various options to terminate a rental agreement. Whatever the case, the landlord should seek guidance from an expert before the termination of the rent agreement.