UAE Property: ‘Do I have a right to dispute my eviction?’

The tenant was made to sign a letter agreeing to vacate the property after one year

Landlords are legally required to send eviction notices in writing through a notary or registered mail. Alamy
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Question: I have been living in a villa in Dubai for the past seven years. During my last renewal, my landlord made me sign a letter that I would vacate the villa in one year.

He told me this was the one-year eviction notice and added that he intended to re-let the villa at a higher price.

With all the information online, I have now come to know that he can only ask me to leave for specific reasons and the notice needs to come through Dubai Courts.

I feel manipulated and am looking for advice on whether I have grounds to dispute this.

I offered to pay a higher rent according to the Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s rent calculator, but he now claims that he is going to do renovations and move his family to Dubai and live in the villa.

All these points are irrelevant as I do not want to leave and was not given the correct legal notice. For this reason, I believe I should have the right to extend my stay.

Do you think Rera would be supportive of my position and favour the tenant in this situation? MN, Dubai

Answer: The UAE law is not set on precedent and any judgment is given solely by a presiding judge at the time of any court hearing.

That said, I’m happy to offer my opinion taking into consideration all your points.

The only way to legally request a tenant to vacate a rented property is for a notice to be sent in writing through a notary or registered mail and this notice should be for no less than a 12-month period.

You are, therefore, correct that the letter you signed is not valid, given you are now disputing the eviction.

The key to finding a solution is to file a case at the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee, which will then decide what to do.

But before this happens, the court will ask the concerned parties to find a compromise. Given your mistrust of the landlord, this might be difficult.

The landlord does have a right to renovate and subsequently move in. However, you will need to be informed of this by the proper channels and be given 12 months’ notice.

A judge may request the landlord to serve you an eviction notice properly, but after this 12-month period expires, you will most likely have to leave.

Q: I purchased an apartment in August 2023 and informed the tenant immediately of my intention to move in through the email address stated in the lease contract.

I also sent my tenant WhatsApp messages about my decision for not renewing the current contract at the end of its term, which was December 26.

However, my real estate agency informed me at the time that my tenant was planning to buy an apartment and, hence, I did not need to send an eviction notice.

Unfortunately, the agency now tells me that my tenant could not buy the apartment and does not want to leave my property.

What can I do under these circumstances? Can I use the email and WhatsApp communication as a basis for eviction? SG, Dubai

A: It is unfortunate that your agent did not advise you of the correct manner of informing the tenant that you wish to move into the apartment.

The legal way to request an eviction of a tenant is to send a notification stating the reason by notary public and/or registered mail. In such cases, 12 months have to pass before the tenant is required to leave.

Sending emails and/or WhatsApp messages are not legal ways of executing an eviction notice, so unfortunately these don’t count.

Your option now remains to send this notice using the proper channels, giving the 12 months’ notice to vacate for the reason of moving in yourself.

This will delay your plans, so an alternative could be to arrange a face-to-face meeting with your tenant to see if you can come to some arrangement to get vacant possession.

This could take the form of some monetary compensation to entice the tenant to vacate sooner.

If this doesn’t work, your only option is to wait for 12 months after sending the notice in the correct manner.

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 11, 2024, 5:00 AM