Question: My landlord recently told me that he has no intention of renewing the lease and wants me to move out a month ahead of the expiry of the tenancy contract.
I informed him that he was legally obliged to give me a notarised 12 months’ eviction notice, which he did on February 2.
The landlord’s agent advised me 90 days before contract expiry that he plans to ask for a market evaluation of the rent because the Real Estate Regulatory Agency calculator does not allow an increase.
Does the 90-day notice apply for the actual change in contract terms or is it just to notify that the landlord intends to change the terms in the rental lease?
I would like to think that by 90 days, he must provide actual renewal terms rather than just an intention to change the terms. It has been two weeks since and I have heard nothing from them.
Also, since he has already served me with an eviction notice, why should I entertain an increase when the Rera calculator says otherwise? HM, Dubai
Answer: Any changes to a rental contract for renewal have to be communicated in writing, giving 90 days’ notice of the same.
When it comes to rental increases, the landlord does not have to say exactly what the amount he requires is until the actual renewal contract is drawn up, which can be anytime from 90 days before contract expiry until the end of the previous contractual date.
Some landlords explain that there will be a change in rent (upwards in this case) but reserve the right to confirm the actual amount later on.
This is perfectly legal as long as the final figure is in line with what the Rera rental calculator states is allowed.
Having said this, the two parties are also at liberty to agree to a higher figure as long as all are in agreement.
The fact that your landlord has used this time period to get an increase is in order.
What is now at play are the negotiations. It’s up to you to decide whether you wish to allow an increase in rent upon renewal, given the rent calculator states no increase is allowed.
I agree that you are more likely to not be in agreement, given the fact that he has served you the 12-month eviction notice.
Perhaps you can meet to explain your side of the situation and inform the landlord that you may be more likely to accept an increase in rent should the vacating notice be withdrawn.
Q: Our previous landlord served us with a 12-month eviction notice on January 23, stating that he was selling the property.
The house was sold a week later and the new landlord now wants to occupy the property.
Does the new owner have to serve us with a separate 12-month eviction notice or is the current notice from the old landlord still valid? MS, Dubai
A: Given your landlord has issued you with the 12-month notice legally, if you do not agree with it and do not wish to vacate, you would have no alternative but to file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC).
In the past, some judges have requested that the new owner also send their own 12- month notice to vacate.
However, it is not guaranteed that this outcome will be awarded to you, as the decision will be up to the presiding judge of the day.
My advice would be to accept the legal notice due to the fact that only a short time has passed between the issuance of the notice and the change of ownership.
Q: Our current Ejari is valid from June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023. However, the landlord served a 12-month eviction notice on September 6, 2022.
The 12-month period ends on August 31, 2023. Should we vacate the property on August 31 and give an additional cheque for the period from June to August? DK, Dubai
A: Although Law 33 of 2008, which amended some parts of Law 26 of 2007, states that a 12-month eviction notice should be served upon expiry of the tenancy agreement, past cases resulted in some judges at the RDSC allowing these notices to be served at any time.
In your case, the 12-month eviction notice goes past your official rental period, so you will have to organise an extension to your agreement from the contractual date of June to September.
The details of the rental amount for these extra months can be negotiated between you and the landlord.
Alternatively, you can move out before September 6 if you choose.
Mario Volpi is the sales director at AX Capital. He has worked in the property sector for 39 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