Dubai tenant ‘blackmailed’ into 25% rent increase by landlord

I gave my landlord a single cheque for my rent in February. He cashed my cheque but did not give me my contract. I have repeatedly asked him for the contract and he responded saying he was upset that I did not pay a higher rent even though he did not give me 90 days’ notice. He then sent me a notice (delivered by his PRO by hand to my house) saying that I need to sign this notice to get my contract. The notice states that should I want to renew next year, I have to agree to pay a 25 per cent rental increase (which is against RERA guidelines). If I do not sign the notice, he said he will not give me my contract for this year. I need the contract to get the Ejari done for visas, etc. MZ, Dubai

You have done nothing wrong in this case and what your landlord is doing is blackmail and against the law. Any rental increases are only permitted at the renewal of a tenancy contract if they are communicated 90 days before the expiry of the agreement and the Rera Rental Calculator says is possible. The maximum allowed rental increase in any one year is 20 per cent, so your landlord is asking you for something which is not allowed. I suggest you politely explain this to him and request he sends the contract to you immediately, otherwise I would advise filing a case at the Rental Committee as what he is doing is wrong.

I have recently received three job offers to become a property real estate sales negotiator in Dubai. I currently have three years experience at a very reputable company. The problem is, all the companies in Dubai seem very desperate to hire me. So, which one should I choose? Is there still a market for someone like myself to earn the extended earnings agents currently claim? SA, unknown

I assume from your email that you are already an agent/consultant but not one practicing here in Dubai yet. Most agencies are looking to hire new real estate agents because there is always a need to bolster consultant numbers as many consultants don’t actually make it. The market is really tough at the moment and although I don’t know exactly what you have been promised by other agencies in terms of earnings, I can say that most agents right now are just about surviving. Some do good deals and can earn a very good monthly wage. Others sadly, through no fault of their own, can go several months without a sale and due to this will not earn anything. Some companies will pay a small basic salary and lower commission while others pay a good commission but no basic at all.

There are many things that you have to consider when choosing which agency will be the best for you but the three main points of discussion I believe are: what marketing the company does; what admin support they give and what their direct and higher management is like? If the answer to all of the above is given in a positive way, by any given company, then I would definitely consider one of them. Reputation among the industry peers could separate a good company from a very good one and the length of establishment is also a good point to consider.

I emailed a notice of my rent increase to my tenant almost four months before the lease was due to end. The increase was as per RERA guidelines. He has chosen to remain quiet. I am assuming he will pay the increase, because he has not given any notice to vacate. However, in the event he does not comply, what option is available to me to enforce the increase, bearing in mind that my wife and I are non-resident in Dubai. SS, Canada

Given that your request for an increase is in line with the Rera Rental calculator and you have communicated this at least 90 days before the expiration of the agreement, you are fully entitled to the changes in the rent. If your tenant does not agree or pay the rent, you have to send a notification of the raised amount giving the tenant a further 30 days to pay it. If this period has elapsed and he still has not paid, you can file a case at the Rental Committee to start the process of evicting the tenant for the reason of non payment. I realise you do not live here but some of these procedures need to be done in person. I suggest you consider appointing a power of attorney for any future issues who will be able to take care of your business here in Dubai in your absence.

Mario Volpi is the managing director of Ocean View Real Estate and has worked in the industry in the emirate and in London for the past 30 years. Send any questions to

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice


Mario Volpi

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