UAE Property: ‘Can my landlord demand rent in one cheque?’

Tenant wants to know if the owner can refuse to renew the lease if he disagrees with the new payment term

It is up to a judge at the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee to decide if going from four cheques to one cheque in one go is reasonable. Alamy
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Question: Can the landlord of a commercial unit I rent in Dubai request for the rent to be paid in one cheque instead of four during renewal?

Can he refuse to renew the lease if I don’t agree to the new payment term? I’d never consider renting the shop with one cheque payment only.

He informed me of the change in the lease terms 90 days before the contract expiry. SM, Dubai

Answer: Any changes to a rental contract have to be communicated at least 90 days before the expiry of the agreement and there has to be an agreement between the parties.

The landlord is perfectly entitled to request this one cheque payment.

But if you don’t agree, the only option would be to file a case at the RDSC and let the judge decide if going from four cheques to one cheque in one go is reasonable.

Ultimately, it is down to both of you to find a compromise. If this is not possible, filing a case will be the last resort. To do so will cost 3.5 per cent of the rental amount.

Q: I rented my apartment to a tenant last year and the contract has already expired.

However, the tenant has neither signed the renewal contract nor paid the rent. I have sent a legal notice to the tenant.

The Dubai Land Department told me that my tenant had breached the law. He should vacate the apartment within 30 days, according to the legal notice.

However, the tenant said he would not move out even after receiving the 30-day legal notice. He has stopped replying to my messages, too. What should I do? YL, Dubai

A: A tenancy contract automatically renews under the same terms and conditions as before, unless otherwise agreed.

However, your tenant cannot reside in your property without paying rent.

The DLD is correct that if the tenant has still not vacated the property or paid the rent after the 30 days have expired, you can then go to the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee to file a court order to evict the tenant with immediate effect.

Q: I am a new property owner and served a one-year eviction notice to my tenant in September.

The tenant is vacating the apartment at the end of the current lease in January 2024 and does not intend to renew it.

Can I lease my apartment from February to September next year till the eviction notice is valid? Do I have to serve another legal notice to the new tenant? AB, Dubai

A: There are a few things to consider here. Firstly, the reason for the eviction: is it for you to move in or for sale?

Also, what do you intend to do with the property after September 2024?

In any case, if the current tenant has confirmed that he or she will not be renewing, the easiest way to re-let the property would be to get a no-objection letter from the departing tenant.

You cannot evict a tenant to then re-let again as this is not allowed. However, if the current tenant is leaving on his or her own without any pressure from your side and allows you to re-let, you can go ahead and find another tenant for this period.

If you want to evict the next tenant, you will have to serve them a separate 12 months’ notice.

Mario Volpi is the sales director at AX Capital. He has worked in the property sector for 40 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: January 04, 2024, 4:00 AM