Evicted Dubai resident seeks compensation after finding family living in property

My landlord gave me less that one year to vacate on the grounds that he wanted to use the apartment for “his own personal use”. The notice was stuck to my door one day. I assume by “his own personal use” he meant to take back the property for his own use or that of his immediate next of kin. I moved out and moved into a more expensive apartment. I subsequently met my old neighbours who told me that a Chinese family had moved into my old apartment for much more that I was paying. I petitioned the Rental Committee to clarify who was staying in the apartment and they have confirmed that the Chinese family is staying there i.e. not my old landlord or his immediate next of kin. Since I have moved into a new apartment based on the illegal notice from the landlord (I did not know it was illegal at the time) can I claim the difference in rent between the old apartment and the new apartment from my old landlord? MH, Dubai

You are quite within your rights to file a case against your landlord for evicting you in favour of reletting the subject property to another tenant at a higher rent. He was deceitful in giving the reason of your eviction as requiring the property for own use. The fact that he gave less than one year’s notice and the manner of the delivery of such notice also breaks the law. I advise you to go to the rent dispute settlement centre.

You must have supporting documents including any correspondence emails between yourself and the landlord plus copies of passports, both yours and his, your Emirates ID, Ejari certificate, original tenancy contract, title deed, Dewa bill and copies of cheques that were issued.

The rent committee form must be typed and non-Arabic documents must be legally translated into Arabic. The fee is 3.5 per cent of the rent capped at Dh20,000. Most cases are concluded within 75 days.

I hope this has helped.

My landlord has sent me a legal eviction notice which says he wants to sell his property. But I have not seen any change of landlord happening or anyone coming and visiting it for buying purposes. What action can we take if the property remains unsold up to the end of the 12-month notice? TS, Dubai

Firstly your landlord can only serve you the 12 months’ notice to vacate upon expiry of your tenancy agreement not before, so please double check the date when the notice was given otherwise the notice is not legal. Assuming he has sent you the 12 months vacating notice at the correct time and at the end of the notice period the property still remains unsold, the law is silent as to exactly what happens.

You would think that if after 12 months the landlord has still has not sold the property that you should be able to renegotiate terms to stay at least until it is actually sold. But, as stated, the law is silent on this point. My advice would be to try to negotiate with the landlord upon this point, to try and get an understanding as to his real intentions. If you feel you are not getting a fair deal then by all means speak to the rental committee but ultimately you will only find out what will happen if you or your landlord actually opens a case.

I rented my property to a tenant and give him notice on the day of issuing the contract to leave the flat in one year’s time. I handed the document over by hand and received his signature. Is this OK or does it have to be sent by registered mail? HO, Dubai

You cannot give a 12 months’ notice to vacate at the same time of signing a first tenancy contract. The 12 months eviction notice can only be served upon expiry of the tenancy agreement as per Law 33 of 2008. This notification can only be delivered in one of two ways, either via registered mail or notary public. The way you have done it is not recognised as being legal so therefore cannot be upheld.

Mario Volpi has worked in the real estate industry in Dubai and in London for the past 30 years. Send any questions to mariovolpi@aol.com

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


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