UAE property: ‘Can I claim compensation if my landlord re-lets unit after evicting me?'

If a homeowner's reason for eviction is to sell the property and if they are unable to, they should then re-offer it to the original tenant, according to the law

When an eviction notice for reason of sale is served, technically you should vacate after the 12-month period has lapsed. Alamy
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Our landlord served us with a notarised eviction notice last year, stating that he was selling the property. Almost one year later, it remains unsold. Are we legally required to vacate the property?

If we vacate the unit if it is still not sold and the landlord rents it out to another tenant at a higher price, which we suspect may happen as rents have increased more than 20 per cent, then your previous columns state that tenants may be eligible for compensation.

How can prove it if this scenario occurs? We do not want to bother the new owner or tenants and will not even have access to the community to pass by and check. Is there a public source of information to monitor this? PK, Dubai

When an eviction notice for reason of sale is served, technically you should vacate after the 12-month period has lapsed. That said, there is no reason why you cannot try to negotiate your stay with the landlord until he finds a buyer.

When selling, most landlords want vacant possession because it is easier to sell when the properties are empty. In your case, I believe the sale has not happened yet because the owner is asking too much money for the property.

If you come to know that the landlord has re-let the property to someone else after you vacate, you are entitled to compensation. According to law, if circumstances change, the landlord should always re-offer the property to the original tenant even if they may have moved out.

Unfortunately, there is no public access to the Ejari system. This means you will have to investigate it yourself to prove that a new tenant is living in the property after you moved out. Then you will have to file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC) in Dubai to start proceedings for compensation.

I received an eviction notice from my landlord, which stated that he would be using the apartment I currently reside in for personal use.

I’ve been a stellar tenant, with no major claims, issues or payment defaults.

However, rents in the community have increased exponentially. The landlord cannot ask me to pay this exorbitant amount as it exceeds the limit set by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency index. He will probably rent out the apartment again once I leave.

Can I take any action with the Dubai Land Department to block the issuance of a new Ejari on this property or ensure that the landlord cannot rent it out again? RR, Dubai

Regrettably, there are very few things you can do to stop a rogue landlord from evicting you and then re-letting their property to someone else for more money.

I would, however, suggest the following. Firstly, (if possible) I would recommend a face-to-face meeting with your landlord to explain your points regarding the renewal rent and the increase stipulated by the Rera Rent Calculator.

At this meeting, it is important to reach a win-win scenario for both parties. Given the landlord is using “self use” as the reason for your eviction, he/she would have to prove they do not own another suitable property that could be used instead.

To issue a new Ejari, the old one has to be cancelled. This is relatively easy, but another hurdle the landlord and new tenant must overcome to complete the new rental agreement.

In short, there is not a lot you can do to stop the owner from re-letting his apartment. But if you find out that the landlord has re-let the property after evicting you, you can file a case at the RDSC to start proceedings for your compensation.

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: June 02, 2022, 6:53 AM
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