Dubai landlord must give at least 12 months' notice to repossess property
I have been living in my home for a year and my landlord just asked me to move out in December when the contract is up. He says he wants to move back in with his family. I have agreed but then a friend told me the landlord should give me 12 months' notice by law. Is that correct? SS, Dubai
Your friend is correct. Article 25, clause 2 of Law no 33 of 2008 in the Emirate of Dubai states that your landlord has to give you at least 12 months' notice to vacate the property and then, this communication has to be in writing and sent via a notary public or registered mail as per the law.
There are four reasons why a landlord may need to repossess a property upon expiry of a tenancy contract:
• For his personal use or the use of his immediate next of kin, providing he can prove that no other suitable alternative property is owned for this purpose. If a landlord says they need to take back possession of a property for this reason and you find out after you have moved out that it has been re-let, you will be entitled to compensation. Landlords are not allowed to re-let for a period of two years from eviction for residential properties and three years for non-residential.
• If the owner needs to demolish the property for reconstruction or to add a new extension that prevents the tenant from living at the property.
• If the property requires renovation or comprehensive maintenance that cannot be executed while the tenant is in the property.
• If the owner wishes to sell. This is the most common cause, though that should not be the case. Yes, a property can go on sale immediately (within reason), but the seller still has to give the tenant at least 12 months' notice to vacate. This makes it unlikely that the new owner will be an owner-occupier. Most people would not wait a year to move in. The new buyer is likely to be an investor-landlord. You should be able to renegotiate your lease agreement with them and perhaps end up staying after all.
If the new owner has not visited the property, invite him to meet your family, so you can explain your needs as tenants and he can see how well you have looked after the property. Landlords are not just interested in the rent but also in having a reliable tenant.
Mario Volpi is the managing director of Prestige Real Estate in Dubai and has worked in the property industry in London and Dubai for the past 29 years. Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: August 29, 2013 04:00 AM