It’s not uncommon for a dispute to arise between the landlord and tenant. Several cases have surfaced in the past when either of the parties has filed a complaint against the other. To eliminate this issue, the RERA act was passed in Dubai in 2007.

For the uninitiated, RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) is a government body that is responsible for regulating the entire real estate sector in Dubai. Part of the Dubai Land Department, it is tasked with setting policies and plans to not only minimise disputes but increase foreign investments in the region as well. It provides every party involved with a transparent and legal framework.

An individual who has just moved to Dubai and is looking for a property for rent, it’s important that they know about RERA rental property laws. For their convenience, we have discussed important details of this law in this article. Read on to know more:

RERA Rental Property Laws

Important Terms of Tenancy Contract as Per RERA Rental Property Laws

Mandatory Registration

According to Article 4, every tenancy contract in Dubai must be registered with RERA. If there’s an amendment made in a contract, it must also be registered.

Renew of Contract

As per Article 6, if the tenant doesn’t vacate a property after the contract has expired and there’s no objection from the landlord, the agreement will be renewed. There will be no change in the contract terms. The duration for the renewed contract will be one year or the same term as earlier, whichever is shorter.

The Legitimacy of Contract on the Death of the Landlord

Article 27 of RERA Rental Property Laws has defined certain situations pertaining to the legitimacy of the rental contract on the death of the landlord. The contract, as per the law, remains valid. It only gets terminated if the landlord’s heirs do not want to continue the contractual relationship with the tenant.

Notice Period

As per Article 14, both parties (tenant and landlord) are given a 90-day notice period before the contract’s expiry date to make any changes to its terms.

Increase in Rent

Landlords reserve the right to increase the property rent annually as per RERA rental property laws. However, the increased value must be according to the RERA calculator. Furthermore, they should notify the tenant about the same 90 days prior to increasing the rent.

When the landlord has increased the rent, the renter can either accept or refuse it. In the latter case, they will have to vacate the property. They must notify the landlord about rejecting their offer 60 days before the contract’s expiry date.

Landlord’s Responsibility

RERA rental property laws define the following responsibilities of the landlord:

Condition of the Property

The landlord must hand over the property to the tenant in good condition. It should allow the renter to fully use the said property as per the contract.

Maintenance Responsibility

In most cases, unless stated otherwise in the contract, the landlord is responsible for the property’s maintenance.

Limitations for Modifying the Property

As per article 17, the landlord is not allowed to make changes to the property that impact the renter’s full use of the home.

Responsible for Damages/Defect

Apart from maintenance, the landlord is responsible for getting defects and damages fixed in the property caused due to wear and tear. However, if there’s damage caused due to the tenant’s fault, the landlord is not responsible for repairing it.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

The tenant, as per the RERA Rental Property Laws, also has certain responsibilities and obligations towards the property. These include:

No Changes

The tenant doesn’t reserve any right to make any changes or other sort of restoration work to the property. If it’s absolutely necessary, they need to get the landlord’s permission first.

Same Condition

Once the contract has expired, and the tenant is vacating the property, they must hand it over in the same condition they occupied. There can be minor damage caused by wear and tear. However, in case the tenant’s negligence or fault has caused damages to the property, they must get it repaired before vacating.

Payment of Taxes and Fees

According to Article 22 of RERA rental property laws, it’s the tenant who is responsible for paying all the taxes and fees pertaining to the use of the property, unless stated otherwise in the contract.

Eviction Cases Under Article 25

Under Article 25, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant in the following cases before the tenancy contract expires:

  • Even after receiving a notice from the landlord, the tenant doesn’t fulfil their responsibility of paying the rent within 30 days.
  • The tenant sublets a part of the rented property without getting approval from the landlord. Both the tenant and the sub-tenant will be evicted under such circumstances.
  • The rented property is used by the tenant for illegal activities.
  • A commercial property is left unoccupied for three consecutive or ninety non-consecutive days without any valid reason within the same year by the tenant. However, if they have notified the landlord about the same, the landlord cannot take this action.
  • The tenant has made certain changes to the property so that it cannot be restored to its actual position.
  • The property is used by the tenant for a different purpose than the one stated in the contract.
  • The tenant has failed to meet their obligations as mentioned in the tenancy contract. First, a notice is sent to them. If they still do not fulfil their responsibilities, the landlord can evict them prior to the contract expiry.

In Case of a Dispute:

If a dispute arises between the landlord and tenant and both parties cannot reach an agreement, they can file a complaint with the Dubai Land Department. Authorities, after thoroughly investigating the matter, will come to a conclusion that will be notified to both parties involved. However, the tenant also reserves the right to file a police report if the landlord disturbs their use of the said property in any way possible.

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