UAE Property: ‘Should my new landlord serve a fresh eviction notice?’

The old landlord had issued a notice to vacate citing personal use but has since gifted the property to a new owner

When an existing landlord serves an eviction notice and then sells or gives the property to another party, some judges at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee prefer to ask the new owner to send a separate notice to vacate. Getty Images
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Question: My landlord and I could not reach an agreement on the tenancy contract’s renewal terms and conditions.

As a result, I received an eviction notice (dated February 2) on February 22 and I need to vacate the unit on February 21, 2024.

The reason cited in the notice was specifically for “personal use” and not for next of kin to the first degree.

I filed an “offer and deposit” certificate dated March 4 with the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee on the same terms and conditions as the previous tenancy contract. This sets the new tenancy contract period from March 22, 2023, to March 21, 2024.

There was a change in the ownership of the property by means of gifting on May 7. A tenancy contract on the same terms and conditions as the earlier one was signed with retroactive effect in the new landlord’s name on July 10.

An Ejari certificate was issued on July 24 registering the above tenancy contract and the landlord made a formal receipt on August 5 indicating he had received a single rent cheque for the entire rental period.

Is the eviction notice still valid and enforceable or is it legally null and void as a result of all the above facts? Is there anything I should do, if at all, to protect my interests? AT, Dubai

Answer: When a 12-month eviction notice is served by an existing landlord, who then goes on to sell or gift the property to another party, it has been shown by some judges at the RDSC that they prefer to request the new owner also send their own 12-month notice to vacate if they wish to use the property themselves or their next of kin of first degree.

While this is not 100 per cent guaranteed, it is becoming more and more prevalent by judges to think in this way.

My advice for you is to just sit tight. If the new owner insists that you vacate, it would be at this point that I would recommend you to file a case at the RDSC.

Q: I gave my tenant 12 months’ notice to vacate my property, according to the Dubai court. The tenant initially agreed to move out.

However, while serving the last 20 days of the notice, my tenant appealed to the RDSC, which asked me to allow him to stay.

Although I rejected his demand to continue to stay in my unit, the court approved it.

The villa is 20 years old and I want to fully renovate it and need him to vacate. I intend to sell the property after all works are done.

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What is the best thing to do? The court is asking me to pay Dh7,000 in costs, which I think is wrong as I followed the law. MR, Dubai

A: When filing a case at the RDSC, please note that the outcome of any case is based on the interpretation of the law by the judge presiding at the time of the hearing.

This is why you now find yourself in the predicament of calling into question the findings of the court.

You are at liberty to appeal the current decision, but this will again come at a cost.

So, the only other alternative is to try to negotiate with the tenant to find a solution to gain vacant possession.

Alternatively, is it possible that you might be able to work around the tenant by doing the renovations gradually in order for the tenant to still reside in the property and pay you rent?

This way, you will be commencing the work and the time the court has allowed the tenant to remain will also be ebbing away.

If the work can be completed within the additional 12 months, you will be able to sell the property. This is a suggestion to potentially try to use the additional time wisely.

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

Updated: September 28, 2023, 4:00 AM