UAE Property: 'Can I claim compensation if my landlord re-lets unit?'

It is illegal to evict a tenant from a property to rent it out to another person

The Rent Dispute Settlement Committee will push tenants and landlords to find an amicable solution before filing a case. Alamy
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Question: I recently had to vacate the apartment I rent after my 12-month eviction notice came to an end on the basis that the landlord was selling the property.

All was fine until I realised the landlord had re-rented the apartment within a few days of us leaving and registered an Ejari contract for a higher amount of rent.

There was a difference of Dh12,500 ($3,403) between what I was paying and the new rent amount.

When I presented this information to the landlord, he said he had sold the apartment and was merely helping the buyer to move in his daughter.

I informed him that I would initiate a Real Estate Regulatory Authority case to claim the cost of moving and any additional costs.

He said he could prove he has taken a deposit for the sale of the property, although he admitted the mistake of re-renting the property and registering the Ejari.

Do I have a case to take to the Rera to claim the cost of having to move and any further costs of moving into a new property?

The landlord has offered an amount of Dh10,000 as compensation, but I have instead asked for Dh15,000 to resolve the matter without going to the Rera, considering it cost me so much to move.

What is the best course of action? JG, Dubai

Answer: As you know, it is illegal to evict an in-situ tenant from a property in order to re-let it to another renter.

In your situation, the judge at the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee is the only person who can decide if you will succeed should you file a case, or if they will find in favour of the landlord.

As long as you have all the evidence, including the landlord’s offer of compensation, this should help your case.

If you can agree on an acceptable compensation amount, this is always the best option and will save a lot of time and hassle going forward.

In any case, the RDSC will push you to try to find an amicable solution before filing a case.

Q: I have rented a villa in Dubai for the past six years and the current 12-month tenancy runs out on June 30.

On February 6, I was sent an eviction notice from Dubai Courts, which stated that I must vacate the property by February 6, 2025, because the landlord wants to sell or have personal use of the leased property.

My understanding of the law in Dubai is that the 12 months’ notice should be given at the end date of the existing tenancy agreement.

Is the landlord permitted to act in this way? What are my options since the landlord is not open to discussion? ML, Dubai

A: Law 33 of 2008 states that the 12-month eviction notice ought to be served upon expiry of the tenancy agreement, thus giving the tenant one more year from renewal in the property before having to vacate.

However, many judges at the RDSC have allowed the 12 months’ notice to be served at any time, so, technically speaking, the eviction date from your landlord is legal.

Q: I own a property in Dubai and recently signed a tenancy agreement that starts on March 1.

However, my tenant has not paid the deposit nor given me any dates when he will pay it or the first rent instalment.

Property prices in the UAE so high you need a helicopter to visit

Property prices in the UAE so high you need a helicopter to visit

Does this mean the tenancy contract is null and void or does he have any rights since I signed the agreement? EK, Dubai

A: Signing a contract is a fundamental step in any agreement, but paying the rent and the deposit also forms an integral part of this contract, so only signing and not paying cannot finalise the deal.

I assume you have used the services of a broker, so I suggest you use them to speed up the process.

If the tenant hasn’t paid by March 1, there is no deal. You will not give the keys to him to move in until this is concluded.

For future reference, it is advisable that the tenant should always sign the tenancy contract first and then the landlord can sign, not the other way around.

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: February 29, 2024, 6:32 AM