Homefront: 'I've changed my mind about moving out. Can I withdraw my notice to vacate?'

The Dubai tenant wanted to move into a bigger home but was put off by poor quality viewings

City skyscrapers stand on the waterfront seen from a construction site of residential apartments, operated by Skai Holdings LLC, on Palm Jumeirah artificial island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. Skai Holdings Chief Executive Officer Kabir Mulchandani's comeback caps a career that has tracked the twists and turns of a Dubai property market that’s now offering second chances to the investors and developers who stuck it out when others failed or fled in the aftermath of a 2008 crash. Photographer: Gilles Ledos/Bloomberg
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I have rented the same studio apartment for the seven years with the tenancy contract due for renewal this month. When I noticed prices going down in my area, I became interested in moving into something bigger for a similar price to what I pay now. I sent a non-renewal notice to my landlord 70 days before the tenancy contract was due to expire, however, I know that by law it should be 90 days.
Then I changed my mind for many reasons such as fake ads for properties, the poor condition of apartments at viewings and the distance from a potential new property to my work. After deciding I wanted to stay in my apartment, I discovered my landlord had still not found a new tenant. However, he is insistent that the notice stays and that I move out. Is there any way to take back my notice period? How do I get around this?
 BS, Dubai 

I would like to firstly point out that Law 33 of 2008 amended certain parts of Law 26 of 2007 — the law that governs the relationship between landlords and tenants — and this law did away with the need to give a 90-day notice period for non-renewal. Therefore, sending your non-renewal notice at 70 days did not break any laws.

Everyone is entitled to change their mind so I do understand your reasoning for now wishing to stay in your present property. The key to success is to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the landlord (assuming they are based in the UAE). Getting an agreement from a personal meeting is more likely than communicating via email or telephone.

I agree that there is no logic in the landlord focusing only on your notice especially as he/she hasn’t found a new tenant yet.

Current market forces will dictate that a new tenant is more likely to pay the landlord less rent that an amount you might negotiate as you wouldn't have to pay agents fees, new utility deposits or removal costs etc.
Ultimately if the landlord does not wish to move from his position, this may actually be a blessing because despite the added mentioned costs, you are very likely to find a bigger property for the same rent. I think you have given up on the idea of moving by only visiting a small number of units. This and the fact that you have clearly not been dealt with professionally by agents has led me to believe you've given up too easily.  My advice is to try again and use only professional real estate agents registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. I'm sure this time you will find the right property.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for 35 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.volpi@engelvoelkers.com