UAE property: ‘Can I evict my tenant for poor home maintenance?’

Tenant failed to maintain the swimming pool despite an addendum in the rental contract

An addendum in the lease agreement states that the tenant must use the services of a pool maintenance company at least once a week. Getty Images
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I own a house in Dubai and have a tenant on a two-year lease agreement that is valid until August 2023.

An addendum in the agreement states that the tenant must use the services of a pool maintenance company at least once a week. However, the maintenance company told me that the tenant does not use them to clean the pool. Instead, he uses a landscaper who prunes trees and picks up leaves from the pool.

A couple of weeks ago, I found the pool to be in a bad state, with less water and the pumps at risk of overheating, among other issues.

I hired a pool cleaning company that identified a leak, which would cost Dh10,000 to fix. I am aware that I need to bear this cost since I am the owner. However, the repair would have cost a fraction of this if the tenant had alerted me earlier.

I asked the tenant to sign a pool maintenance contract and said that he is in breach of our tenancy agreement. But, he is not responding to my messages.

Can I evict the tenant from my property due to non-compliance with the tenancy agreement? MH, Dubai

In theory, you are correct that the tenant has signed the lease agreement and has to abide by clauses in it.

However, technically speaking, what happens during the period of the tenancy does not matter, as long as the property is returned to you at the end of the contract in the same condition as it was at the start.

The tenant is obviously in breach of one of the clauses in the contract. However, as long as the pool is in working order and maintained at the time of the tenant’s departure, there is little you can do.

I would suggest you meet face-to-face with your tenant to explain your point of view and that you expect him to adhere to the terms and conditions of the contract that were agreed while signing the lease.

Alternatively, you can file a case with the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC).

My lease agreement ends in August 2022. My landlord sent me a one-year eviction notice in September 2021, stating that they wanted to sell the property.

If my landlord sells the property before September 2022, is the new owner also required to send me a one-year eviction notice if they intend to move into the property?

What happens if the property is sold after September 2022 and I am still renting it? Does this mean that my rental contact will be renewed automatically unless my current landlord wishes to occupy the unit, which is not the case?

Will the new landlord be required to send me a one-year eviction notice when the property is handed over to them? ZD, Dubai

I cannot confirm what might happen if your landlord files a case with the RDSC. This is because the law is not set on precedent.

Any judgment is up to the discretion of the presiding judge at the time of the hearing. However, some judges at the RDSC have said the new buyer would also need to send you a separate 12-month eviction notice, assuming they plan to move into the property themselves.

If the property fails to sell by the time stated, then technically your agreement would automatically renew unless otherwise agreed with your landlord.

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: May 19, 2022, 4:00 AM
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