Question: My rental contract will expire in six days. Even though my landlord sent a rent increase notice via email on January 9, which was 90 days before the expiry of the tenancy contract in accordance with the law, he did not mention how much the increase would be.
However, the notice said the rent would be “potentially” increased based on a physical evaluation of the property.
I responded positively, saying that I wanted to stay another year in the apartment.
However, I said that the Real Estate Regulatory Authority does not allow for a rent increase in the area.
On January 31, my landlord responded, saying that he would share updates with me once the evaluation was completed.
The rental evaluation certificate was delivered to me last week and it showed a 30 per cent increase from my current rent.
I was shocked, so I decided to approach the Dubai Land Department.
According to Article 9 of Law No. 26 of 2007, the notice of increase must specify the new rental amount the landlord intends to charge, otherwise I cannot make an informed decision on whether I should move out or not.
I feel blindsided and misinformed by my landlord, and that my rights as a tenant are not being respected.
I feel like I will be forced to make to make an offer and open a case with the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee.
What can I do in this situation? Does the rent contract continue as is? Do I need a new Ejari? OU, Dubai
Answer: Any changes to a rental contract do have to be communicated in writing to the tenant, giving 90 days’ notice of such changes.
However, in your case, I would question a few points. First, your landlord offered you the required notice to alter the contract, in this case looking to increase the rent.
But rather than wait for the valuation report, he should have said that whatever the changes are must be in line with what the rental calculator states is allowed at the time of the changes being effective.
Despite what article 9 of Law 26 of 2007 states, it is OK to not confirm the exact rent increase amount at the 90-day point, but it has to be in line with what the rental calculator says is allowed.
These rental valuation reports should not be allowed because they can give only an opinion of fair market rent based on a vacant property, not one where the tenant is still residing. That’s the job of the rental calculator.
Therefore, my advice would be to contest this report by filing a case against the landlord for trying to use it to increase your rent by too much at once.
You state that the rental calculator confirms no rental increase for this renewal. While this may be correct, my advice would be to try to find common ground with the landlord by offering a more affordable increase.
This way, you are showing willingness on your part to find a solution.
If you cannot agree, then you will need to file a case at the RDSC and let the judge decide.
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Q: I purchased an apartment in Dubai last month and intend to move in with my family.
The tenant was served a 12-month notice last November by the previous owner and his contract ends in November 2023.
I consulted the DLD and was told that I need to serve a new 12-month eviction notice to the tenant as the previous one no longer applies because of the change of owner.
I sent a new contract draft to the tenant with an expiry date of November 2023, but am yet to hear from him.
I also asked him to provide me with his documents as well as the current Ejari since it needs to be cancelled before the new one can be issued.
But my tenant has not renewed his Ejari since January 2023, despite the fact he had an active contract with the former landlord.
Should I still serve him the new 12-month legal notice to vacate since his Ejari has expired?
Or am I right to consider that his contract with the former landlord is not valid since it was not registered and he shall vacate in November 2023? KT, Dubai
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A: The rental contract is still valid because the tenant did have an Ejari on his tenancy.
All that has happened is that he has not renewed it, which doesn’t invalidate his current tenancy agreement.
I suggest he renews the expired one, so the paperwork is in order. You can still go ahead and serve him your own 12-month eviction notice for the reason of moving in yourself.
It is important to remember that this has to be served via a notary public or by registered mail.
Given you will serve your notice to him shortly, he won’t need to leave the property until 12 months from the date of your eviction notice, so he will most likely stay on longer than the November 2023 date, assuming you don’t agree otherwise.
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 email@example.com