UAE Property: 'Can a landlord re-let a unit after evicting tenant?'

Owners can only re-let properties after giving the original renter first refusal to move back in

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Question: Can a landlord serve a 12-month eviction notice to a tenant through an email and not through a notary public, saying they plan to sell the property?

If the person renting the property voluntarily leaves it nine months after receiving the emailed eviction notice and the landlord fails to sell the unit and re-lets it instead, can the tenant claim compensation from the owner?

If the tenant files a case with the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee, will the court dismiss his claim? SB, Dubai

Answer: Sending a notice of eviction via email is not a valid way of informing the tenant of their 12 months’ notice.

Having said that, if the tenant has voluntarily vacated before the 12 months is up, they still have rights if the landlord fails to sell the property.

The landlord can only re-let in this situation after they have given the original tenant first refusal to move back in.

If the renter no longer wishes to move back in, the owner would then have to get a no-objection letter from the tenant before they can re-let the property.

If the property owner has re-let the unit without the no-objection letter, the tenant does have the right to claim compensation through the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee.

The actual outcome cannot be determined or predicted as any judgment is given by the judge at the time and is at their discretion.

Q: I served my tenant with a 12-month eviction notice because I intend to sell the property.

Can I ask my tenant to give me a signed and stamped no-objection certificate, so I can re-let the property? JL, Dubai

A: If your tenant is OK with being evicted for the reason of selling, but then you decide you no longer wish to do this and instead prefer to re-let the unit, the correct procedure would be to offer the tenant first refusal to re-let it.

However, it is not for me to interfere in your business. So, if your tenant agree to the re-let and sends you a notarised notification, you are free to lease the unit to someone without fear of any legal case filed by the outgoing tenant.

Q: I have been renting a property in Dubai for three years.

My landlord sent me a 12-month eviction notice because they plan to sell the apartment. This notice will end on May 5.

Can I ask the new buyer for another 12-month eviction notice?

Rents are going up in Dubai and I cannot find a place with affordable rents near my office. RR, Dubai

A: When a buyer is eventually found, they will fall under two categories, either an investor or an owner occupier/end-user.

If the buyer is an investor, they will buy the property with you as the tenant in situ. They cannot evict you to then re-let the property as this is not allowed.

You will be able to negotiate with the investor as your new landlord to achieve mutual terms, according to the law.

If the buyer is an end-user, it is less likely that they will allow you to stay for another year, given they bought the property to live in themselves.

It is, therefore, advisable to try to find some common ground by meeting your new owners to see if anything can be done.

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: March 21, 2024, 4:00 AM