Homefront: 'Will I be compensated for being asked to leave my flat early?'

The Dubai tenant has been asked to leave the property after a change in ownership

Young couple receiving apartment key from landlord or real estate agent, Germany
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My tenancy contract is valid until August 14 this year but the owner sold the apartment and sent us an eviction notice.

The new owner sent us a notice asking us to vacate on March 31, 2022. We agreed to the notice but added a paragraph that in case we decide to vacate, we must be reimbursed for the remaining duration of the tenancy contract.

Am I obliged to continue paying monthly rent to the previous owner and ask the new landlord to reimburse us instead? I must be reimbursed for being flexible and agreeing to vacate the apartment about six months before the end of the contract. AL, Dubai

When a property is sold and is subject to a tenancy agreement, the new buyer becomes your landlord and the terms of your existing signed agreement with the previous landlord remains the same in its entirety.

When it comes to reimbursements, you will have to wait to see who is holding your deposit or current rent. Has the previous landlord already forwarded the money to the new landlord?

With reference to breaking the tenancy agreement early, you should not only talk about reimbursement of your unused rent but also request some form of compensation.

When a tenant leaves early by their choice, the landlord often is compensated by an amount equal to one or two months’ rent. The same should apply to a tenant if they are being asked to vacate early. If, however, this is your choice, then no compensation is required.

I am interested in renting a property in Dubai from a landlord, furnishing the unit and then renting it out as a short-term holiday home.

I will offer the landlord 10 per cent extra rent in return for their permission to rent it to other guests.

When it comes to breaking the tenancy agreement early, you should not only talk about reimbursement of your unused rent but also request some form of compensation
Mario Volpi, sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers

Can you see any reason why this would not work? How do I obtain the correct permissions?

Should I approach landlords directly via social media advertisements or through an agency? JO, Dubai

Your idea to sub-let your rented property is plausible. The key is convincing the owner to agree in writing to your proposal because it is illegal to sub-let without their permission.

Offering the landlord only 10 per cent more than the annual rent may, however, not be enough to secure their permission. Renting a unit on a daily or weekly basis can be quite lucrative. To receive the landlord’s approval, you could consider increasing your initial offer.

After you have received the owner’s approval, register and have the property approved by Dubai Economy and Tourism.

This can be done online. The documents required are the property’s title deed, a signed copy of the landlord’s Emirates ID, trade licence if the landlord is a company, along with the Emirates ID or passport copy of the authorised signatory.

You will also need to produce a recent Dewa bill and tenancy agreement for the individual tenant. The tenancy agreement has to be registered with Ejari.

The fee is Dh1,500, plus a Dh10 knowledge fee and a Dh10 information fee.

The property will be graded as either standard or deluxe, depending on the services and amenities offered, and this will determine the cost you can charge on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

In terms of finding landlords to propose this idea to, it might initially be easier to check out “for rent by landlords” posts on property websites. However, real estate agents can also assist in your search for the right property as they are incentivised by a commission.

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: January 13, 2022, 4:00 AM