x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Dubai landlord accuses tenant of ‘subletting to bachelors and spinsters’

Keren Bobker advises a Dubai resident who lives with his wife, son, wife's sister and maid but received a letter saying they were breaking the law.

A Dubai resident has been asked to vacate his property but believes the landlord wants to remove him and his family so that a higher rent can be charged. Pawan Singh / The National
A Dubai resident has been asked to vacate his property but believes the landlord wants to remove him and his family so that a higher rent can be charged. Pawan Singh / The National

I have been renting my apartment for several years without a problem, and admittedly at a competitive rent considering the current rising market. But a few days ago I received a very unpleasant letter from the landlord’s agent claiming that we are “subletting to bachelors and spinsters” and demanding that we vacate the property immediately. This is not the case as I share the apartment with my wife, my son, my wife’s sister and our maid. When I told the agent exactly who was living in the apartment he claimed it can only be my wife and son and no one else or we are breaking some law. Is this really the case and if so, how do people sponsor live-in maids? NC, Dubai

Sadly, this looks like yet another case where a landlord is trying to evict a tenant illegally as they are paying a below market rent, so that it can be relet for a higher amount. A sister-in-law is classed as a family member and it is perfectly legal for her to share suitable accommodation with an immediate family member such as her sister and brother-in-law. Likewise it is permissible for a maid to live in when properly sponsored. There is no need for NC to vacate the property and he shouldn’t have any problems of this nature once the situation is clarified to the landlord and his agent.

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

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