Dubai tenants catch landlords reletting homes after being evicted

I was given a three-month eviction notice in April. Although we disputed it as it was not 12 months, we decided to leave due to the landlord making it very difficult for my family to enjoy our home. His reason for the eviction was to sell the property. I agreed and I was very helpful regarding viewings, until a viewing came and it was for rental. I could only speak to the landlord’s personal assistant and was told he was only selling. We left on May 9 and the landlord took Dh10,000 from my deposit for things such as the AC units, painting the whole villa and even changing a light bulb. I argued my case but gave up in the end as it was too much stress for me and my pregnant wife. So currently we are in temporary housing and the majority of our stuff is in storage for six weeks including all our children’s toys. I have just found out the landlord has relet the property and I am very angry for what he has put my family through, and of course all the costs. Do I have a strong case? DS, Dubai

It’s sad to hear cases such as yours because these stories are real and families are being put through a stressful time. The law states that an owner cannot relet the property for a period of two years if he evicted his tenant for the reason of wanting the property for his own use or use of next of kin. Your landlord used the excuse of selling for your eviction so I would say that it is now up to the judge at the rental committee to interpret and to decide. It is clear to me that some landlords do use any excuse to evict their perfectly good tenants in favour of other tenants who will obviously pay market (more) rent. The law, however, was designed to stop this from happening so you have to hold faith that a judge will rule in your favour because you were clearly evicted incorrectly in the first place (not given 12 months) and the landlord’s reason for your eviction was also incorrect. My advice would be to file a case at the rental committee as I believe you have enough evidence against the landlord to win your case.

I live in the Marina area and when I didn’t agree to a Dh15,000 increase in my rent last year, my landlord demanded I vacate the apartment the following year and issued an eviction notice through notary public. The reason he put on the notice is because he wanted to use the apartment for his own use. I know he has at least one other property which he and his family live in so I’m sure he has no intention of moving into the apartment I am currently renting. Then I got a call from him stating he had someone coming to view the apartment as a prospective new tenant and asked if I would show them around. I obliged but I’m not sure if they have agreed to rent the property or not. Can he rent the apartment to another party that is not his next of kin once he has issued the eviction notice. I have read that he is not allowed to rent the property out to another party for at least four years after issuing the eviction notice. If this is the case, who can I lodge a complaint with after the tenure of my current contract with him is over? WB, Dubai


The first thing I would confirm is that your landlord’s reason for your eviction to use the property himself or give it to his immediate next of kin is legitimate. The notification has to be sent either via notary public or registered mail, and this notification, giving you 12-month notice to vacate, has to be served upon expiry of your tenancy agreement.

From your given information, I can confirm that as your notice was not served at the correct time, this document is not valid and according to law 33 of 2008, you will not be required to vacate. Secondly you are nearly correct that if you choose to vacate, then the landlord cannot relet the property to another tenant, but the time frame for that restriction is two years and not four like mention.

So in any case, you will not have to vacate until the landlord serves you the notice at the correct time.

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 mario@oceanviewdubai.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information

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