Ask the Law: Can rent contract remain valid after expiry date

Renegotiation of rent contract
Landlord must inform tenant about any new terms and conditions at least 90 days before the expiry of the rent contract otherwise it is considered renewed on same terms.
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Question: A year ago I rented an apartment from a real estate office and paid him the agreed commission. The lease contract expired a month ago, and I asked the real estate office to renew the lease contract, but he asked me to increase the value of the contract by 10 per cent. He also ordered me to pay a commission to the office, and told me to pay an amount for the use of the property’s facilities such as the swimming pool plus gym. My question is, does the real estate office have the right, according to the rent law in Dubai, to oblige me to make such requests, and what are the necessary measures to be taken against the real estate office to renew the lease contract? Please advise.

Answer: Article 6 of Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai states that: “If the tenant continues to occupy property after expiry of the contract period without any objection by the landlord, then the contract shall be renewed for similar period or for one year, whichever is less, with the same terms and conditions.”

Article 11 states: “Rent value includes the enjoyment of property utilities, like swimming pools, playgrounds, sports halls, health club, and car parking….etc. unless agreed otherwise”.

Meanwhile, Article 13 says: “For the purpose of renewing tenancy contract, landlord and tenant upon expiry of the tenancy contract may amend any of the contract’s terms or review the rent whether by increase or decrease. If the parties do not reach an agreement regarding this, the Committee may decide fair rent considering the standards referred to in Article No. (9) of this Law and Article (14).

“If either party of tenancy contract wishes to amend any of its conditions pursuant to Article (13) of this Law, then he must notify the same to the other party not less than 90 days prior to expiry date, unless both parties agreed otherwise.”

Contract considered renewed

Pursuant to all the above mentioned, your contract is considered as automatically renewed with the same previous conditions and the landlord cannot request for any rental increase since he did not notify you within 90 days prior to the expiry of the contract. Moreover he doesn’t have the right to request the payment for the use of the property’s facilities such as the swimming pool + gym because it is included in the rental value as per law.

As for the commission, it is agreeable between the two parties. You have the right to refuse this payment unless it is included in your contract that you have to pay it at the time of renewal.

Legal remedy

The procedure to be taken is to file a petition to the Rental Dispute Centre under the Offer and Deposit service which enables you to request the judge to file a motion for depositing a new lease and cheques. You have to provide the Rental Centre with some documents like your notice to the lessor of deposit (through notary public, registered post with receipt of acknowledgment or email), proof of the lessor refusing to receive rent and you have to deposit the new original cheques for the new rental period.