Residents plan to file appeal with Rera

Tenants plan to file an appeal with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) for compensation for being asked to move before their contracts end.

DUBAI // Tenants in Emirates Oasis Villas plan to file an appeal with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) for compensation after being asked to move before their contracts end.

“The problem is we are left to deal with moving and removal costs,” said Gian, who has lived there with his family for more than three years.

“I’m planning to appeal to Rera because we should get compensation for losses if we move earlier than our tenancy agreement expires. The developer has all the rights to do anything with their property but it has to be done within the boundaries of the law.”

He said others had approached the department for advice.

“Rera has told us the eviction letter [from Asteco] sent to us is not valid and we can file a case,” said the father of two young children.

“But to file a case costs money. Still, I may have no alternative because we believe in the laws of the country although I don’t want to spend my time running to courts. But we’re fighting a psychological war with the soil testing and the lawns turning yellow.”

A Land Department official said: “As per Dubai law, a landlord should give a tenant at least 12 months’ notice to leave from the date of serving the eviction notice, and the notice must be given by public notary or registered mail.”

Lawyers said there was no negotiation on the 12-month notice period.

“Under the law, the notice is to be sent by registered mail or via notary public. As the landlord-tenant law is tenant-favourable, landlords may have an uphill battle arguing that a personally delivered notice was valid,” said Shahram Safai, a partner at Afridi & Angell legal consultants.

“And there is no exception for the 12-month notice in the law. The only event in which a 12-month notice will not be applied is in the case of a force majeure event, or an act of God that prevents the tenant from living there. It could be a structural defect, a safety issue, due to which the municipality says they have to move out, and then they will be owed damages by the landlord.”

Asteco said details about the new development would be announced later.

The letter sent in February stated “The reason for the untimely termination of your rental is for a new development. We hope this shouldn’t be a problem and you vacate the property within the given notice period ... You are asked to use this period to find a new place for yourself.”

rtalwar@thenational.ae

Published: May 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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