Ask the law: Dubai tenant rejects 30% rent hike, questions legality of eviction notice

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A questioner from Dubai asks: I rented a villa two years ago from a real estate office. Two months ago, the real estate office requested a rental increase by 30 per cent of the rent value, but I rejected the increase. However, a month ago, he sent me a notice to vacate the villa.

My question is, does the landlord have the right, according to the rental law in Dubai, to request eviction for this reason? If the eviction is illegal, does the landlord have the right to increase the rent? Please advise.

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To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:

The landlord has the right to request an increase for the rental amount 3 months prior to the date on which the Tenancy Contract expires, not 2 months, which means he has no right to increase your rental for this year.

According to Article 14 of the law no. 33 of 2008 Amending Law No. (26) of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, (“Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if either party to the Tenancy Contract wishes to amend any of its terms in accordance with Article (13) of this Law, that party must notify the other party of same no less than ninety (90) days prior to the date on which the Tenancy Contract expires”).

If the parties fail to agree on the new rental amount, the landlord cannot evict the tenant by his own wish, but instead he has to file a case in the rental centre for the increase or the eviction.

According to Article (13) of the same law (“For the purposes of renewing the Tenancy Contract, the Landlord and Tenant may, prior to the expiry of the Tenancy Contract, amend any of the terms of the Tenancy Contract or review the Rent, whether increasing or decreasing it. Should the Landlord and Tenant fail to reach an agreement, then the tribunal may determine the fair Rent, taking into account the criteria stipulated in Article (9) of this Law”) determining the percentage of rent increase set by RERA, the overall economic situation in the Emirate, the condition of the real property, and the average rent of similar real property in similar real property markets within the same area and in accordance with any applicable legislation in the Emirate concerning real property rent, or any other factors which the tribunal deems appropriate.