UAE Property: ‘My landlord wants to increase the rent by 100 per cent’

The tenant believes the owner is proposing an unrealistic deal to deny the right of first refusal

The most a landlord can request as an increase in rent in any given year is 20 per cent. Getty Images
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Question: Our landlord issued a renewal notice in September 2022 for a 60 per cent increase in rent based on a rental valuation certificate from the Dubai Land Department.

However, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency index confirmed that no rent increase was permissible.

We tried to negotiate and offered a 15 per cent increase but the landlord declined and insisted on the 60 per cent hike.

We filed an offer and deposit with Rera, the landlord ignored it and we eventually went to court.

The court ruled in our favour and used the rental valuation certificate to decide the Rera bracket, which was a 15 per cent rent increase.

We simultaneously received an eviction notice on the basis that my landlord would like to sell the property and gave us 12 months’ notice, which ends in January 2024.

We paid the new rent with the court-approved 15 per cent increase and even offered to pay the following year’s rent (with a further 60 per cent increase) in one cheque. He declined.

We started to search for a new home and recently found one. We were just about to sign the new contract, which would start in December, when we received a new offer from our current landlord but with a 100 per cent increase on our current rent.

We are very confused and wondering if this new offer invalidates the eviction notice?

If it does, shouldn’t the rent for 2024 be capped at a maximum of 20 per cent of the current rent? My landlord must surely know this, having already been to court once with us.

We are also aware that if the landlord rents the property after our departure, we could potentially claim some amount back from him.

Could this be why he is baiting us with an unrealistic rental proposal? If we respond to him and try to negotiate our 2024 rent, would this invalidate any potential claim later? NK, Dubai

Answer: Given that the landlord has offered you a renewed offer to extend beyond January 2024, it invalidates the 12-month eviction notice, but only if you accept the offer in its entirety.

Obviously, you do not want to accept a 100 per cent rent increase, even though you want to renew, so in this case the eviction notice will remain.

It is true that the most a landlord can request for an increase in rent in any given year is 20 per cent. Therefore, this needs to be reiterated to the landlord.

In addition, as the reason for the original 12-month eviction notice was for sale, the landlord cannot then re-let the property after the tenant has vacated.

If the owner’s situation changes and he re-lets the property, the only legal way to do so would be for the landlord to give the outgoing tenant first right of refusal to re-let the property.

If the tenant is not interested in moving back in and confirms this in writing, and also gives permission for the owner to re-let to someone else, then the landlord can re-let the property legally.

If he goes on to re-let the property without a no objection confirmation in writing from the outgoing tenant, the latter can file a case at the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee for compensation.

If the committee finds in the tenant’s favour, they will be awarded compensation worth the amount of the year’s rent plus costs.

If you go ahead and negotiate an agreement with the landlord, at whatever rate you both agree upon, it will harm your position if you go on to file a case at a later stage.

Q: I have been renting a town house in Abu Dhabi for more than three years.

Our landlord has increased the annual rent by 5 per cent as per the law, however he failed to notify the increase two months before the renewal of the lease.

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We received the notification by email 33 days before the lease expired. When we expressed concern, he asked us to file a case with the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee.

What are my options? I am worried that if I raise a dispute and win the case, he will evict me the next year. DB, Abu Dhabi

A: All laws are in place to protect individuals and the rental laws governed by the emirate of Abu Dhabi are no different.

So, while you are at liberty to file a case at the rent committee to find justice, nobody can confirm what actions the landlord will take should he lose the case.

It is obvious that your business relationship could potentially break down, but this should not be the reason to not go ahead if you feel it is the right thing to do.

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: October 05, 2023, 4:00 AM