Homefront: ‘Can my landlord raise the rent only four months after signing the contract?’

An Ejari contract will protect tenants from landlords' unlawful actions

If you do not have an Ejari contract in place, it is more difficult for the law to protect any unscrupulous actions carried out by the landlord. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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I am currently have a lease where I pay rent each month of Dh6,000 plus utility charges. I have lived in the unit for four months and always paid my rent on time.

The landlord’s administration office has been recently harassing me to pay rent a day before the due date. Is this legal considering I go to the landlord’s office every month to pay the rent on the due date?

I feel I am under pressure because of the harassment, especially because I have never missed a rent payment. I told the administration person to treat clients properly and threatened to move out of the property if he disrespects me.

However, I have not served a formal notice to vacate the property and continue to stay in the unit.

The administration office is now threatening to increase my rent by Dh1,500. Can they increase the rent when the lease is only four months old?

Do I have any legal rights in this situation? I am worried. Should I find another place to rent? No one at the landlord’s office seems responsive. RN, Dubai

Do you have an Ejari contract or is it a month-to-month rental contract because it is more of a casual agreement with the landlord? Do you rent a room or the whole property?

If you do not have an Ejari contract in place, it is more difficult for the law to protect any unscrupulous actions carried out by the landlord.

Quote
[If you take out] an Ejari certificate legally, you will have the rental laws to protect you against any unsavoury behaviour
Mario Volpi, sales and leasing manager, Engel & Volkers

It is also important to note that an Ejari contract will not apply when renting a room only, therefore you will be at the mercy of the administration office or landlord going forward.

If this is the case, and in answer to your question, a proper Ejari contract lease cannot have the rent increased only after four months. So, I assume that the landlord is trying this with you because you might be renting a room.

This does not seem fair, so I suggest you seek alternative accommodation where you can rent a whole unit and then take out an Ejari certificate legally. This way, you will have the rental laws to protect you against any unsavoury behaviour.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for more than 35 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Updated: December 09, 2021, 4:00 AM
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