How to send an eviction notice by public notary in Dubai

Property expert Mario Volpi offers a guide to landlords and tenants on the steps needed to notarise an eviction notice.

Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai. Jeff Topping / The National

I read your column every week and you repeatedly tell landlords that if they want to evict tenants they must do so via public notary or by sending the notice via registered mail. What does that mean exactly? Can you outline the steps I need to take to send an eviction notice via public notary? And again, what constitutes registered mail here in Dubai? SA, Dubai

Let me answer the easy part of the question first. Registered mail is effectively another name for a postal courier. A document that is sent this way will require a signature at the delivery end, therefore the recipient cannot say that they never received it.

A notarised document is more official. This process begins with the landlord going to any notary public or the Dubai courts to get it typed up. The landlord will be required to show certain documents before this legal notice is prepared. The documents include: the tenancy contract, the Ejari documentation and passport copies of both landlord and tenant. The cost of producing this document is about Dh350.

In this legal notice, which is normally written in Arabic but can also be in English and Arabic, two parties are mentioned, the summoner (landlord) and the summoned (tenant). The address of the tenanted property is obviously mentioned, so is the reason for not wishing to extend the lease beyond a certain period.

The legal 12 months’ notice period is also mentioned and a clause that states the tenant will be liable for compensation for losses and damages upon any delay in vacating the property once the expiry of the notice period has taken place.

I have a specific question regarding my eviction notice I received. What exactly is the legal requirements for a "notarised" eviction letter please? I was a long-standing tenant of an Emaar building in Dubai Marina until June 2013 when Emaar sold the building. I was issued with an eviction letter by Hamptons (building management agent) which was signed, stamped by a Hamptons representative and delivered to me by courier. In September 2013 the unit was sold and I received a new tenancy contract from the landlord. A few facts about the new contract: 1. the first page is the standard green tenancy contract with 'not negotiable' written across it; 2. in the addendum reference is made to the Hamptons eviction letter making the new contract not renewable, plus I have to vacate in June 2014; 3. the rental period in this tenancy agreement is only nine months, in other words from the time he bought the unit in September 2013 until June 2014. Today I visited the Rera office where I was told that: 1. the eviction letter must be notarised by Dubai courts, so since the Hamptons letter was not it's not a legal document; 2. the new landlord should issue me with his own eviction letter if he wants me to vacate. Can you assist in explaining exactly what a notarised eviction letter is – must it have stamps from the Dubai courts (which mine does not)? I've done some research about the law but it's not very clear. LT, Dubai

The details within your letter are a bit contradictory. When you went to the Rera office they said that the Hamptons notice should have been notarised by the Dubai courts and as it was not, therefore it was not legal. The law states that the 12 months’ eviction notice should be either notarised or sent via registered mail. So you can see that as the notification was couriered, it did meet one of the requirements for delivery. A notarised eviction notice has to be done by notary public (as detailed in the answer above). It is written in English and Arabic and states the reason for eviction, and it is also stamped by the issuing offices.

I've seen your column in The National regarding landlords having to give 12 months' notice to rental tenants. I wanted to clarify that a landlord doesn't have to give 12 months' notice to repossess a property at the end of a contract if they are saying they are moving their family in. OQ, Dubai

If a landlord wishes to repossess his property for the reason of moving in himself or his immediate next of kin, then this is permissible by law provided he gives his tenant a notarised notification and the statutory 12 months’ notice to vacate. Emailed notifications are not regarded as the proper way to notify; the eviction notice needs to be sent by registered mail or via notary public only.

Mario Volpi is the managing director of Prestige Real Estate in Dubai (prestigedubai.com). He has 30 years of property industry experience in the emirate and London. Send any questions to mario@prestigedubai.com

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