Question: My landlord served me an eviction notice to vacate the property I am leasing by March 31. However, he has not been able to find a buyer for the property.
My lease agreement ended on December 31, but I extended it for three months. I am now negotiating for an extension of two more months until May 31.
The owner has offered a new proposal for the two extra months based on market rent. This is significantly more than what I currently pay.
In addition, the landlord is asking me to sign a no objection certificate, which would allow him to lease the property without the two-year blocking period, as per the rules of an eviction based on sale of property.
If I do not sign the NoC, will the owner be banned from renting out the property for the next two years from the date of eviction?
Is there a database in the Real Estate Regulatory Agency that would hinder a new lease agreement or Ejari from being registered?
As the previous tenant, am I entitled to compensation by the owner if he re-lets the property?
Will that compensation be granted automatically or do I have to apply for it? Which entity should I approach and how much will the compensation be?
How can I find out if the property has been re-let, rather than sold? JS, Dubai
Answer: A landlord cannot evict a tenant to then re-let the property to someone else for a higher rent. If they do this, a penalty will be imposed.
However, if the tenant agrees to sign the NoC, the landlord is then free to re-let the property.
If you do not agree to this request and the reason for evicting you is for selling the property, moving in himself or next of kin of first degree, the landlord will not be able to re-let the property for a two-year period.
You will have to file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee for the judgment to recognise that there is a block in the Ejari system.
If you find out that the owner has re-let the property, you will be entitled to compensation amounting to the annual rent. You will have to file a case at the RDSC for the judgment to follow.
Getting information on who is living at the property after you move out is not easy, but if you knock on the door and ask the occupants, you may get the details you need.
Alternatively, if the property is an apartment, perhaps speaking to security or the building management may get you more information.
Q: I have been renting a villa in Dubai since 2021. About 10 months ago, my landlord verbally told me that he would like to sell the villa to fund his investment in more properties.
Since then, I have been co-operative to allow frequent viewings.
As my contract ends in May, my landlord verbally informed me that I should start looking for alternative accommodation as he will probably not renew the lease because he needs to refurbish the villa to improve its marketability.
To date, he has not found a buyer as his asking price is unrealistic.
From my research, I have found that rents have escalated exponentially in my community.
Although I have indicated verbally to my landlord that I will look for alternative accommodation, how can I continue staying in the current villa for another year?
Should I wait for him to inform me of his intention 90 days before lease expiry or should I take the lead by informing him of my situation? MK, Dubai
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A: The landlord is duty-bound to renew a rental contract if a tenant wishes to do so. They do not have the right of refusal, but can request eviction of a tenant giving 12 months’ notice served via notary public or registered mail for the following four reasons:
- If the landlord wishes to sell.
- If the landlord or first degree next of kin wishes to move in.
- If the property requires extensive refurbishment that would prevent the current tenant living in the property during the work.
- For the reason of demolition.
For points three and four, the landlord will need to provide you proof of approval from the municipality and/or building management.
Since your landlord has only given you notice verbally, you do not need to vacate at this time because he has to provide you with the 12-month eviction notice sent via notary public or registered mail.
Even if he wants to refurbish the property and requests your eviction to do so, he will have to provide you with the same notice.
After the work is done, he must offer you first refusal to move back in. Only after you confirm you don’t want to move in, the landlord can re-let the property.
I recommend you to do nothing at this stage and wait to see what your landlord does. You will be able to remain in the property for at least one more year.
Mario Volpi 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 firstname.lastname@example.org