I rented an apartment in Dubai in August 2015. This was done through a property management company and according to the law; the company had power of attorney (POA) for the landlord. The lease was paid in cash and I received a receipt, and Dewa and Ejari were both in my name. We found out last week that the property management company had closed down and had only paid 40 per cent of my rent to the landlord. The landlord asked me to provide all paperwork to him so he can go the police and Rera. He also informed me that he will look into terminating the tenancy contract. Can you advise if I should cooperate with the landlord knowing that he will build a case to get me evicted? Who is responsible for refunding the security deposit? Do I also need to report to Rera about the above or lodge this case with the police? AF, Dubai
I have to make certain assumptions before making my comments here below. Given the details in your email, I am presuming that you have seen legal evidence of the power of attorney from the landlord to the property management company and that in this documentation it states that they can sign on his behalf and also collect the rental amount including deposit, on behalf of the landlord. Paying the rent in cash is not (in this situation) ideal especially as I suspect you have paid the full yearly amount to the defunct company. Either way you have nothing to worry about as you have a legal rental contract between the landlord and yourself. The situation that the landlord now finds himself in, while unfortunate, should not affect you at all; you are entitled to remain in the property as you haven’t done anything wrong. The dispute is between your landlord and the company. His situation is complicated as he has given a legal POA to the company to act on his behalf and I presume to also collect monies too. Do cooperate with the landlord in giving him all the paperwork he requires despite his suggestion to evict you. From here on in, I would actually do nothing else, just wait for the landlord to make his move. If he does try to evict you, I would, at that point go to the rental committee to file a case preventing him from doing so as this is not allowed. With reference to your deposit, if you have a proper receipt to confirm this payment, then the return of the same will be the responsibility of the landlord.
I renewed my tenancy contract on February 15 and my landlord sent me the eviction notice from the Dubai Court on February 19, so four days after the renewal. Is he right to do this? I have read that a landlord has to give 12 months notice before the renewal. The reason of eviction is that he wants to do some renovations on the flat, but he never came to check it. Shall I vacate the flat in January next year or shall I stay? SB, Dubai
Law 33 of 2008 states that a landlord may seek eviction from a tenant by giving 12 months notice sent either via notary public or registered mail upon expiry of the tenancy agreement. The fact that your landlord sent the eviction notice after the contract started (albeit only four days into the new contract) shows he has not followed the correct procedure. That said, it is always up to a presiding judge of the rental dispute committee to decide who is correct as any judgement is not set on precedent but each case is looked at on an individual basis.
In theory, you would be in your right to request he sends you another notification, only this time, sent upon expiry of the agreement for next year. In practice, as stated, you are both in the hands of the judge. At this stage I would like to point out another interesting factor. Yes, your landlord is entitled to request your eviction for reasons of renovation or comprehensive maintenance, which cannot be executed while you are occupying the property but he has to provide a technical report that would be issued by the municipality or accredited by them. I suggest you engage with your landlord to explain the above and see if a compromise can be agreed upon.
Mario Volpi is a real estate professional who has worked within the industry for the past 31 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not reflect in any way those of the institutions to which he is affiliated. It does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org