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Your Rights as a Tenant

Laws and regulations surrounding tenancy have seen changes over the past decade, and it’s important for Dubai residents to stay in the loop when it comes to their rights. And if you’ve just stopped to think about what those rights are, then this quick read is for you.



PROPERTY SERVICES AND COSTS

Move-in day often comes with a checklist of tasks, and sometimes it’s easy to start loading up your new space with furniture and boxes to unpack without taking a close look at the cleanliness and state of your home. Well, we’re here to let you know that you definitely should. Article 16 of Law No. (26) states that your landlord must hand over the property in good condition;

any damage found on the day you’re moving in isn’t your financial responsibility to fix.


Another cost that isn’t typically at your expense is the property’s maintenance bill. Any major maintenance work or repairs to your home should be paid in full by your landlord unless you’ve agreed otherwise (which would reflect in your contract).



TENANCY CONTRACT CHANGES & TERMINATION

If your landlord wants to amend the rental contract, they have to inform you at least 90 days before the contract’s expiry date as per article 14 of the Dubai tenancy law. But it’s important to note that this only applies to amendments, not termination. In order to end the tenancy contract before the year is up, both parties have to be in agreement (article 7). Unless there’s an early termination clause in your contract, you could be liable to pay your landlord a fee.


A new property owner can leave a lot of tenants questioning where they stand. Well, according to article 28 of the property rent law, this change in ownership won’t affect you or your contract at all. Even the unfortunate passing of a landlord is not grounds to terminate your contract; in this case, the landlord’s next of kin will oftentimes assume ownership.



INCREASES IN RENT

There are laws to protect tenants from unfair eviction and rental increases. Decree No. (43) stipulates that there are specific caps on the percentage by which your landlord can increase your rent. In fact, RERA has established a rent increase calculator so that you can verify everything from the comfort of your home.


As of August 2021, there is a new law in the draft stages that would introduce a three-year fixed rental cap for apartment tenants. If this law comes to pass and you haven’t completed your current contract, don’t worry. The start of the cap would legally take place the next time you renew your annual contract.

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