UAE Property: ‘How do I renew my lease if landlord won't reply?’

The tenant has rejected a proposed rent increase as it exceeded Rera’s calculations

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Question: What can I do if my landlord does not reply or answer calls after I rejected, in writing, his proposed rent increase because it was more than the maximum allowed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency?

There are less than 60 days left until the contract expires and we haven’t reached an agreement yet. SM, Dubai

Answer: The fact that you have responded shows you are not in agreement with the landlord’s proposal. Even if you do not hear back from him, you can do one of two things.

Given that the rent increase the landlord wants is not allowed according to the Rera calculator, I would prepare the next renewal cheques/contract at whatever rate Rera states is allowed.

I don’t have this information, so cannot confirm one way or another, but please check yourself and then deposit these documents at the Dubai Land Department.

There is a charge for this service. They will then get in touch with the landlord to request that he collects the rent cheques and signs the contract.

The alternative would be to file a case with the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee, which will look into it and rule in favour of one of you.

Since you rejected the rent increase as it is higher than what the Rera calculator allows, the judge should find in your favour and ask the landlord to renew at the allowed rate.

Q: I live in Sharjah and my rental contract expired on January 29.

I started visiting the real estate office to renew the contract before the due date, but the accountant who usually accepts my cheques and documents is delaying the process.

Sometimes he asks me to vacate the apartment without any reason.

I have made my payments on time and sometimes even ahead of time. I don’t have any problems with my neighbours. What should I do? MA, Sharjah

A: Before considering your next move, I suggest you read Sharjah contract law number 2 of 2007. This provides provisions on the relationship regulations between the landlord and tenant.

If the real estate company does not co-operate with your renewal, I suggest you initially speak to Sharjah Municipality to get some clarity on how best to move forward.

The municipality's website is useful and you can also download its app. Alternatively, you can email info@shjmun.gov.ae or call 06 562 3333.

Once a tenancy contract expires, you have a grace period of 90 days to get it renewed.

Sharjah leases can be renewed digitally at Tasheel offices or any Sharjah Municipality-authorised typing centres.

The documents required to renew are: original Emirates ID, copy of passports of the landlord and tenant, copy of visa of the tenant and/or landlord, signed original tenancy contract, registration paper copy and Sewa bill.

Q: My landlord sent me an eviction notice six months ago, citing personal use. However, he recently sent me an email saying that a potential buyer was coming to view the property.

Is it legal for him to change the reason on the eviction notice? Would he need to issue another notice?

I recently found out that eviction notices are now transferable to new owners.

Would the new owner be able to rent the property or wait for two years to comply with the regulations? AN, Dubai

A: Firstly, I am under the impression that if the landlord changed the reason for eviction, he would have to send a new notice to reflect this change.

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

You are correct that the 12-month eviction notice is now transferable. The actual notice served is more important than either the reason behind it or who served it.

It is now likely that judges at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee will think carefully before deciding whether the initial notice is still valid, or if a new owner needs to serve their own notice.

We need to wait and see what transpires.

A landlord is not allowed to evict a tenant and then re-let the same property to a different tenant.

If the buyer is an investor, you will most likely be able to negotiate terms to stay on and renew the tenancy.

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 m.volpi@axcapital.ae

Updated: March 07, 2024, 4:00 AM