UAE property: ‘Can I rent my apartment out as a share let?’

Leasing a property on a sharing basis is not allowed in the UAE

It is important to seek approval from the building management if a landlord wishes to rent out their property on a sharing basis. Getty Images
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I own a two-bedroom apartment in Dubai and was living there with my family until my husband lost his job.

Since the annual rent from a single occupant would be too low to cover our mortgage payment, we decided to rent the unit on a sharing basis to women only.

Now, the building management has told us that the practice of room sharing is not allowed.

Can I allow women to stay in my apartment, as they haven’t caused any trouble to anyone? What are my rights as a property owner? FR, Dubai

Your question seems simple enough to answer but it can be interpreted in many ways.

You would think that as the owner, you have the right to lease your property to whoever you choose but the reality is not that simple.

Renting on a sharing basis can be troublesome and this is one of the many reasons why it is not technically allowed.

Although you have suggested that your tenants are not causing any issues, the building management knows what you want and are watching you to see what you will eventually do.

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You are at liberty to rent the unit in its entirety to one family but it’s the sharing aspect that goes against the building management rules
Mario Volpi, sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers

You are at liberty to rent the unit in its entirety to one family but it’s the sharing aspect that goes against the building management rules.

Therefore, I suggest you organise a face-to-face meeting with the building's management to explain your situation and perhaps look to persuade them to your way of thinking.

My current one-year tenancy contract is valid until August 2022. However, I received an eviction notice in November last year, which stated the eviction date as November 2022.

My landlord is a developer and not an individual. Although the eviction notice cites “self-use” by the landlord, an email confirms that they intend to sell the apartment.

I acknowledged receiving the notice by email, but never confirmed any dates to vacate the unit.

From your earlier columns, I understand that an eviction notice should be served upon expiry of the current tenancy contract and not midway through the lease.

Am I legally required to vacate the apartment by November 2022 as stated in the notice or by August 2023, which is 12 months after expiry of my current contract?

What is the best way to contest the eviction date? RR, Dubai

I presume you want to stay in the property for as long as possible. I believe you will be able to stay in the unit until at least November 2022.

You state that your landlord’s reason for eviction is the sale of the property.

Judges at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC) often request that the new owner also serve the tenant a 12-month notice to vacate if the reason for eviction is for their own use.

If you want to contest the eviction notice, you can file a case at the RDSC. However, it shouldn’t matter who the landlord is, whether it’s an individual or a company.

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 17, 2022, 5:04 AM
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