UAE Property: 'Can a landlord raise the rent by any amount?’

The actual increase is determined by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency rental calculator

The law states that the most any landlord can increase the rent by in any year is 20 per cent. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Question: I am a tenant in a two-bedroom apartment that I previously rented directly from my landlord for Dh45,000 ($12,253) a year.

Unfortunately, my landlord expired and his properties are now handled by a rental company.

They sent me a notice that my next rent will be Dh65,000 a year, an increase of 46 per cent. Is the rental company legally allowed to do so? Please advise. NA, Dubai

Answer: I have so many questions to ask before I answer yours. I am not sure what you mean by your landlord has expired.

Do you mean he died or is he still the owner even though a rental company now handles the properties? Do they have power of attorney to act for the landlord? What documents have you seen to prove they are able to deal with his properties?

In any case, requesting an increase in rent has to follow certain procedures. Firstly, the notification of the change has to be communicated in writing (email is fine), giving you at least 90 days’ notice of the change.

The actual increase in rent is determined by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency rental calculator, not just the landlord’s wishes.

The law states that the most any landlord can increase the rent by in any one year is 20 per cent and only if the rental calculator or Decree 43 of 2013 allow for this amount.

So, to answer your question, it is not an arbitrary figure and the rental company cannot request this level of increase at renewal.

Q: I have a tenant who rented my apartment in 2019 at Dh75,000. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, he made me reduce the rent to Dh50,000 as he refused to move. I lost my husband and was not in the right state of mind and agreed.

I subsequently did not allow him to renew but he went to the Rera, registered a case and renewed at Dh50,000 last year.

He wants to renew at Dh55,000 now but I have asked for Dh68,000 as he needs to pay chiller fees and has not done so for the entire period.

He has refused to pay the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority bill and that now stands in excess of Dh4,000. I need him to pay the chiller fees, whose arrears stand at Dh100,000 now.

Can you please advise as to how I can contact the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee?

The tenant has also messed up the apartment and refused to give me access to it. He also refuses to give his visa page so I can contact his employer, and has also sub-let the apartment's parking. SH, Dubai

Inside Dh56m property on Dubai's Palm

Inside Dh56m property on Dubai's Palm

A: In cases like yours, I’m sure that the rental committee will see that your tenant has taken advantage of you during difficult times. Therefore, I advise you to file a case to find satisfaction and close this chapter.

You can choose to file a case in one of two ways – either online or in person. Online seems easier, but as you may have questions, my advice would be to visit the centre in Deira and speak directly to them.

Either way, it will cost you 3.5 per cent of the rental amount in fees. However, this is often (but not always) returned back to you, should you win the case.

For online applications, visit the official website of the Dubai Land Department or download the Dubai Rest app.

Go to the rent dispute resolution portal page, fill in the required information, upload the documents to acquire judgment with an execution writ seal and pay the fees online.

Alternatively, as stated, you can visit the RDSC at the Land Department building in Deira.

There are typing centres and translation services there, given that the documents need to be in Arabic. The staff are also very helpful and can guide you step by step.

Mario Volpi is head of brokerage at Novvi Properties and 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: May 09, 2024, 4:38 AM