UAE Property: ‘Can I evict my tenant for breach of contract?’

The landlord claims the renter is using the property illegally and made alterations to the unit without his consent

The landlord is required to offer the tenant 30 days’ notice to vacate the property in the event of a breach of contract. Getty
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation
An embedded image that relates to this article

Question: I have been informed that my tenant is using the property in an illegal way.

I have also been told that there is a criminal case against him for allegedly accepting funds from investors without a business licence.

The tenancy agreement includes the following clause: “The property is not to be used for any illegal or immoral purpose in contravention of any Emirate regulation or law.”

Can I evict him from the property once there is a judgment from the court?

My tenant has also breached two other clauses in the tenancy agreement. He made alterations to the property without my written consent and he has not signed a pool maintenance contract, which is part of the contract. MH, Dubai

Answer: Given that your tenant is in breach of the tenancy contract, you would be quite within your right to demand eviction.

However, I would wait until the court issues its judgment. This will add weight to your case.

In order to evict a tenant for reasons of any contract breaches, you would be required to offer the tenant 30 days’ notice to vacate.

If you file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee, they will also ask you to serve the 30-day notice.

I would advise you to notarise the 30-day eviction notice and deliver it via registered mail to the property, where it will be posted on the door in case the tenant is not in the residence at the time of delivery.

Q: I have lived in a villa in Dubai for the past five years. Before my last tenancy contract renewal, my landlord informed me by email that one of his family members wanted to move into the villa. He wanted to serve me with a 12-month notice to vacate the unit.

However, I did not receive the eviction notice by registered email or notary public.

I was suspicious that the landlord was trying to evict me to sign another tenant at a higher rent.

I replied to his email that the eviction notice would be valid only if his family member moves in after my eviction.

That was the end of the communication and we renewed the tenancy contract. However, a few weeks after the renewal, the landlord hired a real estate broker to sell the villa.

There have been many viewings and I assume the villa will be sold before my tenancy contract expires.

Is the eviction notice still valid even though the reason for eviction has changed?

If the property is sold, should the new landlord serve me with a separate 12-month notice to vacate or can they move in or rent out the villa right away? DG, Dubai

A: Requesting a tenant to vacate a rented property can only be officially done via notary public or registered mail. Any other form of communication such as WhatsApp, Telegram and email is not valid.

You can, therefore, assume that the eviction notice sent via email will not count, according to the Dubai rental laws.

Watch: The $60 million mansion — we take a look around Dubai's newest party palace

As the property is now available for sale, the buyer will become your new landlord and will have to respect all the terms and conditions within your current tenancy agreement.

If the new landlord wishes to move in himself, or have his next of kin of first degree move in, he will have to send you a 12-month eviction notice via notary public or registered mail to gain vacant possession.

Therefore, I would sit tight at the moment and do nothing. Let the sale happen and then communicate with the new landlord to understand what they want to do with the property.

Nothing changes in your current rental contract even if a buyer is found, because any changes to the contract have to be communicated 90 days before the expiry of the agreement.

In this case, email communication is fine to change the contract terms.

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 mariovolpi64@gmail.com

Updated: January 26, 2023, 5:00 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS