UAE property: ‘Can my landlord evict me if he owns another home to live in?’

If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they must prove they do not own another suitable property that can be used instead

If a landlord is selling his property, the reason for eviction of a sitting tenant should have been stated as this. Alamy
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My landlord served me with an eviction notice via notary public in July 2021. Although he already owns another property, which he lives in, the notice claimed the landlord was evicting me because he wanted the apartment for his own use.

He sold the property I rent in February this year. Is the eviction notice valid if my landlord owns a second property? Also, is my current landlord required to serve a new 12-month eviction notice? SS, Dubai

When a landlord serves a tenant with a 12-month notice to vacate for reason of own use or for use by first-degree next of kin, he has to prove that he does not own another suitable property that he could use instead.

If he has another property that he uses as his residence, then technically his reason becomes invalid, unless it is for his first-degree next of kin.

If he was selling the property, the reason for eviction should have been stated as this. If you file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee, it will be up to the judge to decide if you need to vacate or not.

With reference to your second query, I can confirm that some judges at the RDSC request the new owner to serve their tenant with a 12-month eviction notice.

My rent contract states that I have to inform the landlord about my intent to renew or not renew the agreement within 60 days before my lease ends. My contract ends on March 15, so I have not exceeded the time frame to inform my landlord.

However, the contract does not specifically mention when the landlord has to inform me about the rent she intends to charge on renewal.

I know that as a general rule in the UAE, landlords have to notify tenants of any rent increase 90 days before contract expiry.

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Some judges at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee request the new owner to serve their tenant with a 12-month eviction notice
Mario Volpi, sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers

Will this general rule apply to me since no specifics are mentioned in the contract? Also, since my landlord has missed the 90-day time frame to notify me of a rent increase, can I assume that the rental price will remain the same as last year? CJ, Dubai

If you have any specific clauses that you both agreed to in your rental contract, these need to be adhered to.

If there are any discrepancies regarding these clauses, the default position will always be what the law states. So if your contract doesn’t have any provisions for changes, as stated, the default position is the law.

Given there are no provisions with reference to any specific time frame for contract changes, the correct way to proceed would be to communicate these changes in writing (email is also fine) and serve 90 days’ notice from the lease renewal date.

If this time has passed, technically no changes can be made and the rent contract has to remain the same.

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

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Updated: March 10, 2022, 8:50 AM
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