Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 29 October 2020

UAE property advice and information: from breaking tenancy contracts to maintenance problems

Mario Volpi provides information for readers on the main issues faced by tenants, landlords and home owners in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

The tenant is disputing the landlord's claim for repainting and repairing of their recently vacated flat in Dubai Marina. Pawan Singh / The National
The tenant is disputing the landlord's claim for repainting and repairing of their recently vacated flat in Dubai Marina. Pawan Singh / The National

Mario Volpi, the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers in Dubai, provides readers of The National with a weekly column containing the latest advice on how do deal with property issues within the UAE.

He has worked in the property sector for more than 35 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any further questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Here's an accessible breakdown of the questions posed by readers during the past 12 months:

Tenants moving out early, breaking leases and bounced cheques

'Can I break the lease on my town house if it is infested with rats?'

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'My Dh15,000 rental cheque will bounce as my work has dried up amid Covid-19'

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'I've lost my job and need to move out. Do I have to pay a rental penalty?'

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'Our landlord has found a buyer for our Dubai villa. Do we have to move out?'

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'Should my landlord agree to a rolling monthly rental contract?'

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'I've lost my job, so can my landlord charge a penalty for moving out early?'

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'I'm on unpaid leave and my landlord is chasing me for rent. How do I pay?'

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'I've lost my job and cannot move out. How do I negotiate with my landlord?'

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‘Do I have to pay a two-month penalty for vacating early?’

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'Can we stay to the end of our contract even if we terminated early?'

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

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'I bounced nine rental cheques despite asking the landlord for a short delay'

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'Can I break a tenancy contract I am unhappy with?'

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'Will I be penalised for bouncing a cheque to avoid a fraudulent agent?'

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'Should Dubai tenants give 90 days' notice before moving out?'

Dubai Sports City. Antonie Robertson / The National
Dubai Sports City. Antonie Robertson / The National

Help for landlords

'My tenant has not paid the rent since October and uses Covid-19 as the excuse'

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'I've cut my tenant's rent amid Covid-19. Do I have to stick with this rate?'

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'I've bought a Dubai property. What notice period do I give the tenant?'

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

Help for home owners

'The developer is denying access to a storeroom that is legally ours'

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'Should Dubai owners still pay service charges directly to developers?'

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'Can I sell my Dubai apartment without using a real estate agent?'

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'Can a new developer dictate terms on a delayed project?'

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'Does a 100-year lease renew when you sell a Sharjah property?'

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'Can I get a copy of my title deed if I haven't paid my service charge?'

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'Can I sell my delayed off-plan unit from the UK?'

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'Can I get my money back on a delayed off-plan property?'

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'My property handover is three years late. Can I cancel the contract?'​​

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'Can I get my money back on a delayed Dubai project?'

If your AC unit is getting old, replacing it could cut 40 per cent off the running costs. Getty Images
If your AC unit is getting old, replacing it could cut 40 per cent off the running costs. Getty Images

Maintenance issues

'Who is liable for water damage from the apartment above?'​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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'Why am I liable for mouldy walls my landlord never fixed?'

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'Can our landlord charge us for work he didn't do when we lived in the villa?'

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'My newly purchased apartment is full of flaws. How do I resolve this?'

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'Can I challenge a Dh7,000 damage claim by my former landlord?'

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'Can my landlord charge for items that were broken when I moved in?'

Security deposits and fees and renewals

'Can my landlord keep my security deposit when I move out?'

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'Are we entitled to a booking fee refund if the unit was already let out?'

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'How do I negotiate a lower rent with my landlord in the UAE?'

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'Is it safe to pay my rent to the landlord's power of attorney?'

People connect with the coastline on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National 
People connect with the coastline on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National 

To buy or rent, and where?

'Is now a good time to invest in Dubai's real estate market?'

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'Where are the best family-friendly areas for a three-bedroom home in Abu Dhabi?'

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'I want to upsize to a villa in Dubai. What are the best areas?'

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'Can we live the Dubai dream on Dh160,000?'

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'What are the best locations to buy in Abu Dhabi or Dubai?'

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'What are the best places to live in Dubai for a new arrival?'

Mortgages

'Can I delay switching to a more expensive mortgage amid the pandemic?'

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'My off-plan property's valuation is 20% less than the purchase price'

Updated: July 2, 2020 02:43 PM

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