UAE Property: ‘My landlord hasn’t signed the renewal contract’

The tenant has already paid a lease renewal fee and handed over two rent cheques

If the landlord has not signed the tenancy contract a few days away from the renewal date, the tenant should pursue the matter with the property broker. Getty Images
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Question: I signed my renewal contract and sent the cheques to the real estate agency. The renewal fee cheque and two rent cheques have already been cashed.

However, I am waiting for the owner to sign the contract and to receive Ejari but found out that he wants to evict all tenants in the building.

Since I have already signed the contract, handed over the cheques and not received an eviction notice, can the owner refuse to sign the renewal lease? DT, Dubai

Answer: I wouldn’t worry too much about it at this stage if there are still many weeks until the start of the renewal contract and, therefore, the landlord still has time to fulfil his obligations.

Presumably, you have a receipt that the renewal fee has been paid along with the rent cheques, so you ought to be OK.

If you get to a few days away from the renewal date and the landlord still hasn’t signed, you should step up communications with the agency to get the paperwork.

Just knowing the landlord wants to evict all tenants is no reason to panic at this point as there are procedures in place for this eventuality and proper notice periods must be served.

Q: I live in Europe. I am facing trouble with my letting agent who signed the tenancy agreement in his name.

He has not paid me rent for three months. Also, he did not transfer the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority account to his name and is not paying Dewa bills.

He is not communicating with me either. I sent him an email with a 30-day eviction notice but haven’t received a response.

Should I disconnect his utility supply as I am getting notices from Dewa for payment of about Dh3,200?

Is an eviction notice sent by email not acceptable? SS, Europe

A: At this point, knowing that he is your letting agent is not important because his profession shouldn’t matter, it is his behaviour as a tenant that is important.

The 30-day notice you sent via email is valid due to non-payment of rent.

This notification is to inform the tenant that they have this period of time to rectify the situation, because no one is allowed to remain in a rented property without paying rent.

After this time has elapsed, with presumably still no notification from your tenant as to what he intends to do, you will have no alternative but to file a case at the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee to ensure he is evicted.

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

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

It is illegal to disconnect the Dewa connection. While I understand this might seem like a quick solution, I wouldn’t advise you to do this.

Q: I am a student and live in a studio apartment near my university. The landlord sent me a 12-month eviction notice because he wishes to sell the property.

When the lease renewal came up during the notice period, the landlord’s agent arranged for a contract extension until the end of the eviction notice period.

However, I am finding it hard to find another unit in this area at a similar rate.

Can I continue to stay in the unit after the end of the notice period, or will there be legal consequences? MG, Dubai

A: You are facing this situation because rents have gone up by approximately 15 per cent to 20 per cent since last year.

With regards to you staying on beyond the notice period, this is largely down to negotiating with your landlord and only if he hasn’t found a buyer by the time the notice period expires.

If he finds a buyer, the only time the eviction could still be upheld is if the person is an end-user. The law states that it is illegal to evict a tenant to then re-let the property to someone else.

If the buyer is an investor, you can negotiate better terms with the new landlord to stay on.

Failing this, you will be at the mercy of market rents for another unit nearby or further afield, which perhaps might be cheaper.

Mario Volpi 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: April 11, 2024, 5:00 AM