UAE Property: ‘Can landlords offer tenants conditional contracts?'

Leases are already conditional with a start date agreed by all parties in advance

A rent contract is not ratified by the Ejari system until all parties have signed and agreed to the terms and conditions. Alamy
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Question: Can landlords and tenants make conditional tenancy contracts with a future start date in Dubai?

For instance, as a landlord, can I make a rental contract that is subject to the advance payment of a certain amount or the payment of a certain number of cheques?

Once these conditions are met, the lease will be registered with the Ejari system.

Then, if the counterparty does not comply before the start date, can I cancel the registered lease in Ejari and act as if nothing had happened?

The landlord will be protected in this case since the contract will not be effective if the tenant does not make the payment or provide rental cheques.

The tenant will also be protected by the fact that they have the Ejari-registered contract. Therefore, they only need to fulfil the conditions (pay or give cheques) to make the contract operational. WD, Dubai

Answer: All rental contracts are conditional with a start date agreed by all parties for some time in the future.

But the contract is not ratified by the Ejari system until all parties have signed and, therefore, agreed upon all the terms and conditions.

In case of disagreement, no one party can unilaterally cancel a contract without there being dialogue and agreement from all sides.

Remember that the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee is also on hand to hear any cases of disagreement.

The Dubai Land Department offers a rent-and-deposit scheme when communication between landlords and tenants are fractious at best or non-existent at worst.

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency acts as a go-between the parties to facilitate agreements and costs Dh1,500 ($408).

Q: My landlord served us a 12-month eviction notice, which ends in January 2024.

We found a new home and signed the contract but our current landlord then sent us a revised offer with a 100 per cent increase in rent.

Should we reply to his recent email about the new rent proposal? If we do not reply, would the unreasonable offer of a 100 per cent rent increase count as a change of situation for the owner and a valid right of refusal by me in the eyes of the court?

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Considering that my family has already found a home and signed a contract on the basis of the eviction notice, we cannot continue to stay here.

If we reply and explain that we are moving out pursuant to the eviction notice, does that allow the landlord to re-rent the property?

Should we reply to his email now or 60 days prior to the expiry of the current contract?

Basically, we are moving at the landlord’s request (eviction notice for sale).

However, we now interpret that he wants to re-rent and keep the door open to take action in case he does. NK, Dubai

A: My suggestion to you would be to inform your landlord that his unreasonable requests have unsettled you and your family.

As such, you do not feel secure any longer living and dealing with someone with such irrational behaviour, especially when it comes to negotiating any future contract renewal.

Therefore, you will be forced to vacate the property and you will leave under duress.

I also suggest that you confirm your right as a tenant to know if he re-lets the property before two years from your eviction date has elapsed.

This will then trigger your potential action of filing for compensation with the RDSC for wrongful eviction.

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: November 09, 2023, 4:00 AM