x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Is my Dubai landlord’s eviction notice of two months legal?

Keren Bobker reveals that the rental laws in Dubai are in place to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords.

My tenancy for an apartment in Jumeirah Lake Towers is due to expire on November 15, so I have been trying to liaise with the agent who has been dealing with my cheques and contracts for the last two years to no avail. So I spoke to the landlord directly. He was out of the country for some time and has only just returned. He has now said that the owner, who appears to be someone else, has plans for the apartment, so I have to vacate. When I reminded him that I should have been given notice, he only said: “OK, then you have until December.” And he is going to write something to say that I am being asked to move out and will pay the two months’ rent. If I get a new place before December, he will reimburse the amount. I haven’t signed anything yet and all I want is to not be pressured into moving out at the last minute. Is there anything I can do? Are his actions legal? I want to at least stay for another year to sort out a new place. DC Dubai

In this scenario, your landlord is acting illegally as he is required to give you a full 12 months’ notice to leave, effective from a renewal date. The rental laws in Dubai (Law Number 26 of 2007 and subsequent amendments and updates) are in place to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords. Article 24 (2) of the law states that the landlord may demand the tenant’s eviction upon the expiry of the tenancy contract in the following cases: If the owner wishes to demolish the property for reconstruction or to add new constructions that prevent the tenant from benefiting from the leased property, provided the necessary licences are obtained; If the property requires renovation or comprehensive maintenance which cannot be executed while the tenant is an occupant; If the owner wishes to recover the property for personal use or for the use of his next of kin, provided that he proves that he does not own a suitable alternative for that purpose; If the owner wishes to sell the property. And for the purpose of the last clause, the landlord must notify the tenant with the reasons for the eviction at least 12 months prior to the determined date of eviction, and this must be sent through the Notary Public or by registered mail. The notice must run from the expiry date of the current contract and be received no later than the contract renewal date. DC is not obliged to leave her flat in December and the law is on her side.

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