Living, Working and Doing Business in Dubai: Rental laws- Rent Renewal.
There is one thing that is for sure, time flies in Dubai! Before you know it, 9 months have gone by and it is time to think about renewing your tenancy contract.
Rent renewal discussions can be daunting and stressful. More often than not, one feels forced to accept conditions set by the landlord due to the fear of eviction.
Fear not! Thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a number of laws were enacted in the Emirate of Dubai in the last couple of years, to protect and safeguard tenants’ rights.
This is what you should know.
As a tenant, unless you wish to change the terms of your current rental agreement, you can renew your rent at the end of the tenancy period. The standard “non-renewable” wording found in most tenancy agreements are non-enforceable unless you have been served with the appropriate notice.
You can either inform your landlord or his estate agent that you wish to renew your tenancy by sending a written confirmation of the same.
Alternatively, on the condition that you have registered your tenancy through EJARI, you can attend the RERA Rental Dispute Settlement Centre and deposit your rental cheques there for the next 12 months.
The above is on the basis that you have not received any valid termination or rent increase notices from your landlord or his representatives.
By law, your landlord is not permitted to increase your rent unless he has sent you a written notice by registered mail or Notary Public. The notice should be received at least 90 days prior to the expiry of the rental agreement.
Since December 2013, a rent cap system has been introduced in Dubai whereby a landlord’s proposed rent increase must be done within set guidelines. Tenants who are unsure whether their landlord’s proposed rent increase is legal, must refer to the RERA Rental Index Calculator at https://www.dubailand.gov.ae/English/Pages/RERA/AboutRERA.aspx.
If your landlord refuses to limit his proposed rent increase to the level set by the RERA Rental Index Calculator, you may contest this by opening a case at the RERA Rental Dispute Settlement Centre either online at http://www.rdc.gov.ae/index.aspx or at their offices. Unless you have a valid EJARI, you will not be able to start the case against your landlord.
In my next post, regarding Rental Termination, I will explain to you the process of opening a case at the RERA Rental Dispute Settlement Centre in the event of a dispute with your landlord.
Madeleine Mendy, Family Law Lawyer
James Berry & Associates
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