UAE Property: ‘My landlord has gone silent during contract renewal’

A rental contract automatically renews under the same terms and conditions if there is no communication between the tenant and property owner

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Question: I’ve rented a villa in Dubai for the past five years and the contract is due for renewal.

We’ve always paid the rent on time and maintain the villa like it is our own.

I had agreed to a rent increase in line with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency and the landlord sent the renewal contract, but he put the wrong figures in it.

I returned it to him and asked him to put the amount we had agreed so that I could get the Ejari.

However, he has gone silent for the past three weeks despite gentle reminders.

I am now getting reminders from both the Dubai Land Department and the community office that I need to upload the new contract.

What are my options if he remains silent? Should I just pay the old rent until he updates the contract?

What can I tell the developer if I don’t have a new contract? Can they evict me? ML, Dubai

Answer: I’m sure you are feeling frustrated by the lack of communication between you and the landlord.

However, technically a rental contract automatically renews under the same terms and conditions as before if there are no objections or communications to the contrary from all the parties.

In this case, I would just go ahead and pay the old rent until the landlord makes himself known again.

Explain the situation to the developer and tell them that you will pay the old rent so that you will not be in default.

I’m sure there is a legitimate reason for the lack of communication and, hopefully, it will be resolved soon.

Q: I would like to register a case against my landlord for subletting the apartment after sending me a notarised notice to vacate the premises on the pretext of selling the house.

Should I opt for mediation or file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee? MH, Dubai

A: In most cases, the RDSC will request you to speak to the landlord first to try to find a solution or common ground.

The committee doesn’t encourage filing cases on a whim. So, it will accept a case only after a period of mediation or reconciliation.

This can be done online or in person at their office in Deira.

Q: We rented a four-bedroom villa in Dubai on a two-year contract for Dh175,000 ($47,651) from 2021 to 2023.

In 2022, the owner sent us a 12-month eviction notice to vacate in July 2023 stating he was going to sell the property.

However, instead of selling, he has re-let the villa for Dh330,000.

We wanted to extend the lease and were willing to pay more but he insisted he wanted to sell and there was no room for negotiation.

I understand that as per UAE laws, this was not right on the landlord’s part.

If we want to file a case against the landlord for misleading us to vacate the property, could you shed some light on the process, timeline, documents required and the fee associated with it? TI, Dubai

A: Given the information, it is clear that your landlord has misled you regarding the eviction and, as such, you ought to be entitled to compensation through the RDSC.

Filing a case is relatively straightforward and can be done online. However, I would suggest you visit them at the Dubai Land Department building in Deira.

Here, you will find many helpful staff on hand to guide you as to how to proceed.

Please note the fee to file a case is 3.5 per cent of the rental amount. All the documents need to be in Arabic, so there will be other fees and charges related to translation and typing.

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: December 07, 2023, 3:30 AM