UAE Property: ‘Can my landlord give a 90-day notice to vacate?'

The 90-day notice is applicable only for any changes to the rental contract at renewal, such as rent or payment method

The landlord has to give a tenant 12 months’ notice to vacate and the notice has to be sent through a notary public or registered mail. Getty Images
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Question: I live in a serviced apartment in Dubai and it is very comfortable since everything is taken care of.

I got a good annual deal on the property last year and shipped all my belongings to my home country since this property is fully furnished.

Most other serviced apartments in this building have also been rented on a long-term basis.

However, the management has now sent me a notice 90 days before the lease expiry, saying they want me to move out. They claim that they plan to use the units as hotel apartments and rent them out to tourists.

Is this a legal reason to evict me? I believe they want to get more rent than what I currently pay and will evict me to then re-let the unit at a higher market rate.

Most other tenants in the building have also been served with a similar notice. Everyone is unhappy.

What can I do? I would like to stay since I am used to the convenience of this place. SRC, Dubai

Answer: If you are living in this serviced apartment on an annual basis and the owner wants to evict you, they can only do so by one of the following four ways:

1. For the reason of selling

2. For the reason of moving in himself or his first-degree next of kin. In this case, the landlord also has the burden of proof that he does not own another suitable property he could use instead. Also, if he uses this reason to evict you and he does not move in, he cannot re-let the property for a period of two years.

3. For the reason of extensive modernisation that would otherwise prevent the current tenant from living in the premises while the work is carried out.

4. For the reason of demolition

For all these four reasons, the landlord has to give you 12 months’ notice to vacate and the notice has to be sent through a notary public or registered mail, so giving you just 90 days’ notice to vacate is not allowed by law.

The 90-day notice is only in place to change parts of the rental contract at renewal, for example, rent or payment method, etc.

If the landlord or management company do not agree, you can always file a case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre. They will explain the law to the landlord.

Q: I was informed by a friend that my landlord has to provide proof that he does not own any similar properties in order to evict me for the reason of moving in.

Is this the case? If so, how can I issue some sort of formal request for proof? AN, Dubai

A: If the landlord has evicted you for the reason of moving in himself or his next of kin of the first degree, he has the burden of proof to confirm that he does not own another suitable property that he could use instead.

In terms of proof, the landlord mainly has to confirm in writing that this is the case.

But if you feel an email from him confirming this is not sufficient, you can always request him to send you a notification directly from the Dubai Land Department that this is the case.

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 mario@novviproperties.com

Updated: June 06, 2024, 4:48 AM