Question: I have been renting an apartment in Ras Al Khaimah since September 2013.
The landlord’s broker initially said in an email dated September 11 that I am entitled to stay in the property until December 31.
My last rent payment covered the period from August 1 until October 31 and the next two months were offered free by the previous landlord.
The estate agent said that as the transfer of ownership had not taken place and the current rent belonged to the previous owner, it needed to be cleared to do the transfer and clear any dues owed.
I replied asking the new owner to send me an email that he has purchased the apartment and that I have three months to vacate, as this is required by law in Ras Al Khaimah.
I agreed to immediately transfer the rent for the August to October period after hearing from the new owner.
On October 2, the new owner sent me an email saying that he plans to move into the property at the end of the month.
He said the broker should have already communicated this to me. Since his current tenancy had expired and his landlord wanted him to vacate the unit, he wanted me to move out of his property by the second week of October.
I am currently in the US for medical reasons and the new owner is aware of this.
Through the broker, I was earlier informed that the new landlord plans to spend two months renovating the apartment before moving in. So, I do not believe he is being truthful.
Do I have three months from the date of the written notice to vacate? MG, Ras Al Khaimah
Answer: According to the rental rules of Ras AI Khaimah, if either party does not wish to renew the contract, they should inform the other party (in writing) three months before the expiry of the tenancy contract.
The notification should be sent by registered mail, so that the other party is assured of receiving it.
I am not aware of the finite details as to all the communications between the parties, but it is clear that you can stay in the property at least until the end of December, according to the agent’s correspondence.
However, I would suggest that you clarify the position with the owner as his wishes appear to be different from what the agent confirmed with you.
Q: My relationship with my landlord was always tough. He hammers me with messages whenever he needs something and completely ignores all my emails when it’s the other way around.
This year, after many attempts to increase the rent to the asking price, he sent me an eviction notice right before contract renewal, claiming that he wanted to move in.
I had already submitted the cheques with the full amount and now he wants me to vacate a few weeks before the contract expires.
Furthermore, I’ve been asking him to share the title deed and he’s been ignoring my request.
I’ve been considering appointing a lawyer to advise, but I don’t know how to start with this process and what the cost would be.
What would you advise? AN, Dubai
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A: The landlord serving an eviction notice, for the reason of moving in himself, is a legitimate way of gaining vacant possession.
However, the notice has to be sent either via notary public or by registered mail for it to be legal. Twelve months’ notice must also be given.
I’m sure that the landlord serving you the eviction notice does not require you to move out just before the contract expires. The period has to be for 12 months, as anything less is not legal.
I assume you require the title deed for Ejari registration and it is your right to request the document.
I presume your request for a lawyer would be to put pressure on your landlord to be more communicative.
However, he cannot ask you to vacate without 12 months’ notice, so you are protected by law to stay for the next year.
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