Dubai landlord has failed to follow procedure on tenancy renewal

A vague email issued months before, without any figures, is not an acceptable notification for a Dubai landlord to make any changes to the existing contract terms.

Our tenancy agreement is due for renewal in mid-July, and while we received an email in February to say the rent would increase to “market value”, with no figures mentioned, we didn’t hear anything further. The 90 days’ notice period went past and we did not hear anything so we contacted the landlord to request renewal information. He has responded to say that our rent will be going up by nearly 30 per cent and we can either accept that or leave at the end of the tenancy period. He claims that the email in February was enough, but I can’t see how it can be. Can you clarify? KC, Dubai

Article 13 of the rental law clearly states that a tenant must be given 90 days’ notice of any changes to the existing contract terms. A vague email issued months before, without any figures, is not acceptable notification. In addition, rent can only increase by the percentage stated by the Rera (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) calculator, and in this case the figure is no more than 10 per cent of the existing rent, although this is now academic as the proper period of notice was not provided. My view is that the vague email is not valid as no amount was stated, which means the rent cannot be increased at all, as tenants are not obliged to accept any changes that are not notified with the proper period of notice.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

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Published: May 9, 2014 04:00 AM

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