Homefront: 'My Dubai tenant wants to add his wife's name to the contract. Will this cause me problems?'

The reader thinks the request is dubious and would be a hassle if there were any legal wrangles in the future

Having one or two names on a tenancy contract is not an issue, says property expert Mario Volpi. Satish Kumar / The National
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My tenant has asked to add his wife's name to our rental contract. I am a bit dubious about this. I have had a few bad experiences with past tenants and I am concerned that if any issues should arise, I could find myself in court trying to chase two people as opposed to one. Should I be concerned? MA, Dubai 

I can see why you would want to have only one name on the tenancy contract but honestly speaking whether it’s one name or joint names, it doesn’t really make any difference, even if there are problems down the line. Single or joint names on the tenancy contract are one thing but the Ejari is another. Ejari registration is mandatory as per Law 26 of 2007 but the Ejari does not recognise more than one name in the system, it is normally the sponsor or person who has issued the rent cheques who will be named on the Ejari.

If you insist on having just the one name on the tenancy contract itself, I would use this Ejari excuse to highlight your wish. To appease the tenant, you can always list the names of the occupants (wife, children etc.) on the observation/conditions section of the tenancy contract hopefully this should make everyone happy.


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I have rented an apartment in my personal name for my staff. The business is due to close this week and I have requested the real estate agent to return my cheques dated for November 7 and February 7 2018.  They have refused. What is the law regarding the tenant giving notice to the landlord in Ajman. Is one month's notice enough? HG, Ajman

The cancellation of a lease is only possible with the agreement of all the parties. The first thing to do would be to check your contract to see if there are any clauses that allow for early termination, if not, the landlord is not obliged to accept your exit. What is quite common however is for a landlord to demand two months rent as compensation if he allows you to break the contract. The key to success is to speak with your landlord in the hope you can find a mutual agreement. Some landlords might pardon early termination if you take it upon yourself to find a new tenant before you actually leave. Either way the key is not to let your unfortunate situation affect the landlord as otherwise he is unlikely to accept your departure before the end of the contractual date.


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We left our apartment in Abu Dhabi in July but we have still not received the deposit. When we left, we received a report and agreed on the total quantity that we will get back. The last time I checked with the management company, they told me they will get back to ne in 10 days, but almost a month has passed since. In total we've have been waiting over three months. What route can we take so they are more cooperative and finally produce the cheque? Is there any legal procedure that we could start? IL, Abu Dhabi

Unfortunately, there are no sure fire ways to guarantee any deposit is returned back in a timely manner. The best suggestion I can give (despite your patience in waiting) is to continue with direct dialogue. Perhaps making an appointment to meet with the management company to have a face-to-face discussion. If all else fails the only other suggestion is to speak to the Abu Dhabi Municipality. They will be able to advise further what can be done. Their location is on Sheikh Zayed Street. The contact number is 02 6788888 or 800555.

Mario Volpi is the chief sales officer for Kensington Exclusive Properties and has worked in the property industry for over 30 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@kensington.ae