When does clock start ticking on my eviction notice?

A reader in Dubai seeks clarity on the rules that require landlords to give 12 months' notice of eviction. Keren Bobker, The National's resident consumer advocate, has the answer.

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I understand that in Dubai a landlord must give at least 12 months’ notice to repossess a property. Where one is in the middle of a one-year-contract, do these 12 months start as soon as I have received the written notice (so the next renewed contract would only run for a shorter period, ie the rest of those 12 months) or upon renewal of the contract? I have read law No 26 of 2007/33 of 2008 but could not find anything on this question. I would be grateful if you could advise and point me to the relevant law. TB Dubai

The law states that a landlord has to provide the tenant with 12 months’ notice in writing if they wish to terminate the tenancy agreement. That is a full 12 months from whenever the letter is issued. Decree No. 2 of 2011 Regarding Rentals in the Emirate of Dubai, specifically Article 25, states: “The landlord must give the tenant at least 12 months’ notice not to renew stating the applicable reason, and such notice must be sent through a Notary Public or by registered mail.” Further, a landlord can give notice to evict only in specific circumstances:

• If the landlord wishes to demolish the property for reconstruction (provided the necessary licences for such reconstruction are obtained);

• If the landlord wishes to renovate the property (provided such renovations cannot be completed while the tenant is in occupation and this fact has been certified by Dubai Municipality);

• If the landlord wishes to recover the property for use by him personally or by his next of kin of first degree; or

• If the landlord wishes to sell the property.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com