Homefront: 'I won a case to evict my tenant. How is the ruling enforced?'

The landlord wants to understand the procedures involved in removing a tenant and ensuring they collect their belongings

Dubai skyline seen from Deyaar properties on Business Bay.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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I am a landlord and filed an eviction case at the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre against my tenant which I won. The whole case took 24 days to complete and the tenant was ordered to evict my property. The tenant was also ordered to pay damages, including the rent until the eviction or handover date and any utility bills. My lawyer informed me that 15 days after this judgement's notification, I must submit an application for it to be executed. This is understandable, but I have some questions:

a. How long will it take (approximately) to get my apartment back once the execution case is filed at RDSC?

b. When it comes to handing back my apartment, what does the process involve once it is executed by the court?

c. If the tenant does not show up on the appointed date and time given by the court, what will happen to the tenant's belongings? SA, Dubai 

With reference to your first question, in theory you should get your apartment back immediately especially as you already have an eviction order. In practice, however, you ought to give the tenant a few more days to actually vacate. I suggest that the most time needed/required might be no more than seven days. If the tenant does not vacate by this time, you can take this matter further by visiting the police; they will execute the court's wishes and ensure your tenant vacates.

With reference to the tenant's belongings, again you must set a specific time and date (in writing) in order for the tenant to respond by removing or collecting their belongings. A notice period is normally no less than 14 days. If the tenant does not show up or has not removed the belongings by then, you are quite within your rights to dispose of the items as you see fit.

This would include selling them with the proceeds being retained by you to cover any potential losses.

The important thing to note here is the length of time given to the tenant to remove the belongings. If a reasonable time is given, but the items are then not removed, you can go ahead and dispose or sell as stated. Going forward, it might be useful to write a clause in your next rental contract that in the event of a future tenant default and non-collection of items/belongings, the landlord reserves the right to dispose of the items as seen fit.

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