When a landlord is dissatisfied with a tenant who owes back rent, wants to sell his property, or wants to move back in themselves, the tenant must be served with a notice. It is necessary to make sure that such a notice letter complies with the laws of the country concerned. This is to ensure that the letter is valid. We look at what is required to give a tenant notice in Dubai.
Does Giving Tenants Notice Work The Same Or Differently In Other Countries?
The process of evicting a tenant in Dubai (in the UAE) may work very differently from giving a renter notice in another country, for example, France, Rome, Paris, or elsewhere, as advised and outlined by UpperKey. The important thing to remember is to always follow the specific laws pertaining to the country in which you have to give a tenant notice.
However, despite the differences identified by Upper Key, all notices will contain certain common elements. These are a notice period, the form of the notice (e.g., a formal letter), and the reasons why giving notice is permitted (e.g., a failure to pay the rent). It will include both parties’ details and relevant dates. It may have to be handed over in a specific manner.
Let us look at how to evict a tenant notice in Dubai, specifically.
The Legal Basis Between A Landlord And A Tenant In Dubai
The relationship between a landlord and a tenant in Dubai is governed by tenancy rules. These spell out the obligations of each party and their rights in terms of the law. The institution that regulates these contracts is the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) in Dubai.
Several laws exist upon which RERA bases its regulations. The most important of these is Law No. 26 of 2007. It governs how tenants and landlords in Dubai relate to each other. Another law that does pretty much the same as Law No. 33 of 2008. It also contains amendments to some articles in the previous law.
Rent increases are covered under Decree No. 43 of 2013. The RDSC (Rent Disputes Settlement Centre) was formed to deal with rental disputes.
Two Key Clauses That Speak To Rental Termination
If the tenancy contract between landlords and tenants in Dubai expires, the tenant remains on the property, and the landlord does not state anything in writing, the tenant has the right to continue renting the home for a period equal to the lease or one year, depending on which of the two periods is the lesser. This is covered under Article 6 of Law 26 of 2007.
This means that the landlord cannot put up the rent or evict the tenant during this time, except for the reasons permitted by the RERA regulations.
Article 28 of the same law states that the tenant’s right to continued tenancy cannot be overruled if the property is sold and transferred to a new owner.
Based on this Article, the new owner cannot evict the tenant during the period of the original lease or increase the rental that must be paid. The new landlord will have to follow the law, as the old landlord had to, in giving the tenant notice. Thus, the same conditions will apply.
Terminating A Lease Agreement By The Lessee In Dubai
Neither a tenant nor a landlord can make changes to a valid rental contract of their own accord. Any changes have to be agreed by both parties. This is regulated by RERA in Article 7 of Law No. 26 of 2007.
Article 27 of Law No. 26 of 2007 provides that not even the death of the landlord or tenant results in the rental agreement being nullified. Initially, the tenancy contract, as it stands, becomes a binding contract on the heirs to the deceased party. These heirs are, however, allowed to deliver notice to the other party to end the contract. This valid notice period is based on the number of days remaining until the contract naturally expires, or 30 days, whichever is the soonest.
Dubai law, as spelled out by RERA, does not allude to how a tenant can get out of the contract earlier than its expiry date. If the contract contains an early termination clause, this must be followed. In other cases, the tenant may be liable for rent for the balance of the contract.
Eviction Notice Prior To The Expiry Of The Contract
There are specific instances in which a landlord can evict a tenant before the end of the lease contract. These reasons are covered by Article 25 of Law No. 26 of 2007.
Specific to the lease of a commercial property, the tenant may be evicted if the tenant’s business has not operated for either 90 non-consecutive days or 30 consecutive days unless a valid reason has been communicated to the landlord.
The government can decide to undertake emirate urban development that requires the leased property to be demolished. In this case, the landlord can demand eviction before the end of the contract.
In Dubai a tenant may be evicted for not obeying the law or abiding by the terms of the agreement in the lease. The landlord must serve a written notice to the tenant to leave the premises within 30 days. For example, the tenant or others he permits to act on the property may engage in illegal or immoral activities.
In all these cases, the notice period is 30 days. Further reasons for eviction are:
The property is used for a different purpose than it was acquired for, for example, a business is run from the home when it was leased for residential housing
The tenant, or others he permits to do so, alter, or damage the property in a way that makes the property unsafe
The property is sublet without first obtaining written approval from the landlord
The rent has not been paid.
Once the contract expires, there are special circumstances under which RERA permits the landlord to send the tenant an eviction notice. These distinct cases require a twelve-month notice period. The notice must be delivered by a public notary or sent by registered mail. They are:
The landlord has decided to move back into the property for his personal use
The landlord wants relatives of the first-degree to live in the property
The landlord has elected to sell the property
There are extensive renovation or maintenance needs on the property that cannot be undertaken while someone is living in it
The property is to be wholly demolished and/or reconstructed
In all cases of giving a tenant notice, this requires RERA authorisation. RERA ensures that the rights of landlords and tenants are protected. Dubai’s clear laws are easy to follow so both parties can contract without concern, while remembering to read the fine print.