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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 February 2019

Homefront: Can I ask for a rent reduction if my villa is already below market rate?

The Dubai resident says the rate on their Jumeirah pad is below the figures listed on the Rera rental calculator

A view of Jumeirah from Kite Beach in Dubai. The UAE resident says many of the villas near his home are empty. Chris Whiteoak / The National   
A view of Jumeirah from Kite Beach in Dubai. The UAE resident says many of the villas near his home are empty. Chris Whiteoak / The National   

I’ve checked the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) calculator and we are paying below the market rate but I still fancy asking for a discount on our rent as everyone else is. We are in a Jumeirah villa and there are many empty places available nearby. What are my chances? Any tips? MS, Dubai

Despite paying less than the Rera-calculated market rate, there is nothing stopping you from speaking to your landlord and trying to negotiate a new rate.

It is definitely a tenants' market at the moment but you must be prepared to move out should your landlord not agree with you. The outcome I guess, depends on how forceful you are at the negotiating stage. In terms of how to approach it, I suggest you organise a face-to-face meeting. At this encounter, have as much information available to justify what you are requesting, only this way will the landlord understand that the request could be justified.

Ultimately, weigh up the cost of moving should it come to that, not just in terms of money but hassle, time off work etc. If you will get a better deal elsewhere, obviously you will have to look at this. The alternative could also be to build on a good landlord/tenant relationship, which sometimes is worth more than paying below market rate.

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Read more:

Homefront: How do I avoid 'ridiculously low' offers when selling my Springs villa?

Homefront: 'What are the best Dubai villa options for a budget of Dh185,000?'

Homefront: 'How do I secure a rent reduction from my landlord?'

Homefront: 'Can my landlord move in if he has another home to live in?'

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I own a townhouse in Dubai. I have rented it out and the tenancy contract will end soon. I intend to move in the property when the contract ends. The regulations say I need to give a 12-month notice to the tenant, which should be a notarised letter. How and where do I get a notarised notice or letter? Is there any format for this? NG, Dubai

Law 33 of 2008 amended law 26 of 2007, which is the law that governs the relationship between landlords and tenants. It states that if the owner wishes to recover the property for use by themselves personally, or by their next of kin of first degree, they must prove they do not own another suitable alternative property for that purpose. If they don't have a suitable alternative, the landlord must notify the tenants with reasons for the eviction at least 12 months prior to the date of eviction, subject to the notice being sent via the notary public or registered mail.

There are two points to consider here: the first is when you actually serve the notice? According to the wording, the owner can demand eviction upon expiry of the contract after giving at least 12 months' notice. Most judges suggest giving notice at the time of the next renewal, thus the tenant has one more year in the property before moving out. In some cases, landlords have given the notice of 12 months at any time during the agreement but not all judges will actually allow this, however it remains subject to the given judge's decision at the time.

The second point is to prove the landlord does not own another suitable property. For this, perhaps a note from the Dubai Land Department confirming this would suffice.

The notarised letter can be obtained at any government Happiness Centre, or I would recommend the Al Barsha court next to the Gold and Diamond park. There you can visit the notary public section where the task can be completed for you and sent via registered mail.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for 34 years in London and Dubai.

The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Updated: January 23, 2019 02:31 PM

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