UAE property: 'Can I verbally tell my tenant to vacate my property?'

The landlord must send the eviction notice through notary public or registered mail 12 months before contract expiry

Eviction notice being delivered. Getty Images
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I notified my tenant in September 2021 that I wish to move into my property. The tenancy contract had an expiry date of October 2021. Although the tenant promised to vacate, they eventually did not.

We renewed the contract in November 2021 and added a clause that the tenant needs to vacate the property in October 2022.

Can my tenant cause me further trouble by refusing to vacate the property, although it is mentioned in the contract and we also served him a 12 months’ notice by renewing the contract? PG, Dubai

You say you notified your tenant last year that you wanted to move into the property yourself. But the only way to actually make a tenant move out is to send them 12 months’ notice of the same, citing the reason for eviction.

It appears to me that the only communication between you and the tenant was verbal. Unfortunately, this is not sufficient for a notice.

Even renewing the lease for one more year is not effective if you fail to send the specific eviction notice through notary public or registered mail.

You now have three choices. Either wait until the end of October this year and see if the tenant will vacate, or you can immediately send a 12 months’ notice of eviction for the reason of moving in yourself.

Lastly, you could ask the tenant to put in writing that he or she will definitely move out at the end of October, but this notice has to be notarised too. It cannot be an email.

A written note from the tenant saying they will vacate is not good enough without the notary stamp.

One of the bathrooms in my townhouse in Dubai has water damage. The developer inspected the house and removed the tiling and plastering in the bathroom. They also checked the neighbouring villa.

In a report, the developer said that the wall on my villa’s side was dry. However, they identified that the bathroom wall in the neighbouring villa was damp.

I am unable to fix my bathroom till my neighbour takes action. I have written to the owner’s representative and requested for a resolution. However, I have not received a response as yet. What are the next steps to fix the problem? SP, Dubai

Getting hold of the concerned people in these situations seems to be harder than resolving the actual issue at hand.

Continue to communicate with the owner or representative because the only way forward is for the neighbour to initiate proceedings from their side. If you cannot do anything without their intervention, then wait and or be persistent in trying to communicate.

Often, owners are absent as they may not live in Dubai, so you have to be insistent with representatives or tenants who might live there.

Presumably, the owner has insurance in such instances. While you are waiting, you could check your insurance policy to see what could be the procedure in the event of non-co-operation by the neighbour.

You could also try to find someone at Dubai Municipality to see if they have more persuasion towards leaning on your neighbour.

My tenant has a two-year tenancy contract, which is valid until July 2023. However, his UAE residency visa expired last week.

I know that he is required to obtain a new visa within 30 days or leave the country, procure a tourist visa or have some other legal title to stay in the UAE.

Am I, as the landlord, entitled to receive a copy of the tenant’s new visa and Emirates ID?

If the tenant does not provide this within 30 days from the date of expiry of his old visa, is this a ground for eviction? If yes, how do I go about it? MH, Dubai

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A tenant needs to have a valid visa to rent property long term (longer than six months).

If your current tenant’s visa has run out, then you are entitled to see documents of his new visa and Emirates ID.

If the tenant cannot produce any documents within the time frame mentioned above, then he must provide written evidence that the new visa is under process by a new employer or equivalent (assuming this is the road map to obtaining the new visa).

However, if he cannot obtain a new visa within a reasonable time frame, you are within your rights to offer him another 30 days to vacate the premises. This should be done via the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee in Dubai and preferably via notary public.

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: July 14, 2022, 4:00 AM
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