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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

New regulations in Abu Dhabi making evictions easier benefit landlords and tenants, says judge

Abu Dhabi judicial Department says tenants have an equal chance to object

New regulations in Abu Dhabi speeding up the eviction process can benefit tenants as well as landlords, says a judge.  Victor Besa / The National Reporter: Section: National
New regulations in Abu Dhabi speeding up the eviction process can benefit tenants as well as landlords, says a judge.  Victor Besa / The National Reporter: Section: National

New regulations in Abu Dhabi fast-tracking eviction notices over rental disputes "serve the rights" of both landlords and tenants, says a leading judge.

The rental dispute settlement committee, overseen by Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, can issue judgments which could see tenants removed from their homes in just a matter of days.

The new legislation, which has now been brought into force, allows landlords to directly bring in enforcement agents to reclaim unpaid rent or evict the renter if they fail to pay the outstanding amount.

The rental dispute committee said it will issue a decision in a minimum of two days and a maximum of three weeks.

At present, landlords have to go through a lengthy legal process of up to six months to be in a position to trigger an enforcement notice.

The intention is to quickly resolve disputes where there is a clear party at fault and shorten proceedings in first instance and appeal courts.

Dr Adil Elachabi, an appeals judge and enforcement manager at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, says the streamlined system will reduce the time it takes for decisions to be made.

“The process has been sped up to save time, yet it serves the rights of both the tenant and the landlord,” said Dr Elachabi.

The tenant is given a chance to pay the disputed rent within 30 days after the landlord has filed the complaint.

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If the tenant claims that they have already paid, they have the opportunity to present proof of payment to a judge, such as bank receipts.

In either instance, the case against the tenant would be dismissed.

However, if the tenant fails to prove that he paid the rent, and refuses to pay the rent within the given period, or simply doesn’t show up to court when summoned, the court issues an eviction order once the 30 days are over.

Once the order is issued, the tenant is granted a three-day period to leave the property.

If the leased property was used for commercial purposes - such as offices, factories or shops, the tenant is given a period of 21 days to pay, plus the three-day notice period.

“If the tenant pays the due amount in court, the case will be resolved immediately, but if he pays it through a different channel he will have to present proof.”

“And after the judge listens to both parties, a decision is issued,” said Dr Elachabi.

“Why waste the time of judges, clerics and many other parties over a dispute between two people that could be resolved easily?”

The eviction order is subject to appeals and cassation.

Since the new regulations were introduced, the judicial department has received dozens of requests for eviction orders.