Renting in Dubai: 8 rules to know

Location à Dubaï

As a tenant, make sure you are aware of all the rules associated with your rental in the UAE.

Renting a property, whether it is a villa or a flat, is the most popular option for expatriate residents moving to the UAE.

The first concern of a new expatriate in Dubai is accommodation. For many, renting a property in Dubai is the preferred option for expatriates. But how many of you really know the rules about renting in Dubai?

If you decide to move to the sunshine and rent a flat or house in Dubai, here are the nine things you need to know:

  1. Will my rent increase at the end of my lease? Your landlord is required to give you 90 days’ notice

If your lease is due to expire and your landlord has not sent you any notice, your landlord is legally obliged to give you 90 days’ notice of any changes to your contract.

In the case of a rent increase, if you have not received any written or electronic communication within 90 days of your lease expiring then your contract will be renewed on the same terms.

Ce point est clairement stipulé dans les articles 6 et 14 de la “Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating Relations between the landlord and tenant in the Emirate of Dubai” ou “Dubai Rent Law”.

  1. The increase in your rent cannot exceed a certain limit

Note that your landlord is within his rights if he decides to increase the annual rent of your accommodation. However, they cannot increase it beyond a limit set by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). This rate of increase is determined by comparing it to the average rent of a similar flat in the area in which you live. According to the DLD, this is how much a landlord can increase the rent of his property:

  • If the current rent of a unit is 21 to 30 per cent below the average rental value of similar units, the rent may be increased by a maximum of 10 per cent at the time of renewal.
  • If the rent of the real estate unit is 31 to 40 per cent below the average rental value of similar units, the landlord may increase the rent by a maximum of 15 per cent of the rent of the real estate unit ;
  • If the rent of the real estate unit is lower than the average rental value of similar units by more than 40 per cent, the landlord may increase the rent by a maximum of 20 per cent of the rent of the real estate unit.

You can check for yourself whether your rent increase is justified. To do this, you can use the DLD (online rental index). This tool is designed to give tenants an idea of whether your landlord is increasing the rent.

  1. Your landlord cannot deprive you of water and electricity for unpaid rent

Not paying your rent could have serious consequences, including eviction from your home.

Please note, however, that it is strictly forbidden by law for your landlord to take steps to cut off your water or electricity supply.

This is clearly stated in the Dubai Rent Act. If your landlord breaks the law, the tenant can file a petition order with the Rental Dispute Center to ask the landlord to turn on the water and electricity. Once the petition is filed, a judge will make a decision within 24 hours.

  1. Eviction notice must be sent 12 months in advance

There are only two cases in which the landlord is legally obliged to give at least 12 months’ notice of eviction.

The landlord can evict you for two main reasons:

  • eviction for renovation or full maintenance of the property
  • eviction for demolition of the property
  1. Do not sublet your accommodation without permission

There are several cases where a landlord is legally entitled to evict a tenant from his or her home:

  • These include the case where the tenant does not pay the rent within 30 days of the date on which a notice was sent,
  • It may also include the case where the tenant uses the property for purposes that are illegal or contrary to public order or morality,
  • and if the tenant sublets the property without the owner’s prior consent.
  1. Looking to move to another area? Find the average rent in your future neighbourhood

If you are looking for a change of scenery and neighbourhood, if you want to move from a flat to a villa, etc., it is only fair to find out what the rent prices are in the area. With the new platform, it is now possible to refer to real estate transaction data from the Dubai Land Department.

  1. Your lease agreement is different from your Ejari

Most people in Dubai confuse the rental agreement with the EJARI. Although the two can be used synonymously, the tenancy agreement is simply the agreement signed with your landlord, while the Ejari is the process of registering that agreement with the Dubai Land Department. The Ejari registration is done by the tenant at one of the Tasheel centres provided for this purpose. The tenant must bring his or her own identity documents and copies of the owner’s identity documents, such as passport, rental agreement, etc. The registration of an Ejari costs AED220 and is at the expense of the tenant.

  1. Having a dispute with your landlord? Make a formal complaint to the Tenant Dispute Resolution Centre

If you have a dispute with your landlord, you can file a complaint with the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC), which oversees all legal actions related to rent disputes in Dubai.

In each case, the RDSC first attempts to resolve the matter amicably between the two parties and the process usually takes 15 days.

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