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‘What is the maximum amount a landlord can increase the rent?’

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My landlord informed me of a 13 percent annual rent increase 90 days before the expiration of the contract. However, the real estate regulatory agency rent calculator provides for a 5% rent increase upon renewal of the lease.

My landlord has asked me to vacate the property at the end of the lease if I am unwilling to pay the 13% rent increase. He plans to serve me with a eviction notice and move into the property with his family next year. What do you advise? TM, Dubai

There are two points to cover here. First, the increase in rents. Any changes to a rental agreement, including a rent increase, must be in writing (email is OK), giving 90 days notice from the expiration date of the agreement to all parties concerned.

The amount of allowable increase is not determined by the landlord or tenant, or even by the market price. Instead, it is determined by the Rera rent calculator. This can be found on the Dubai Land Department website.

Once all the required details are entered, it calculates what the rent will be on renewal. Therefore, it is against the law for the landlord to want a 13% raise, so you should deny their request at this point.

However, it is important to note that the calculator is only a guide. What you and your landlord agree to in terms of a rent increase is up to you both. When you disagree, the calculator can be used as a referee.

It is important for the tenant and the landlord to maintain a good business relationship for the basis of future transactions.

The second point to discuss is the owner’s willingness to use the property himself. It’s legal and it’s his right. It must serve you with the legal 12 months notice to quit, which states that reason, and it must be sent by registered mail or notary public.

After you leave, if you learn later that he has re-let the property to someone else, you will be entitled to compensation.

A landlord is not allowed to re-let the unit for two years after evicting a tenant. You can file a case with the Rental Dispute Resolution Committee (RDSC) for this reason.

I am renting a villa and renewed the lease in February this year. My landlord sold the property and the new buyer said he wanted to live in the villa.

I received formal 12 months notice to vacate on April 28, which was the date on the eviction letter signed by a notary public.

I want to challenge this on the grounds that the 12 month eviction notice must be served on the contract renewal date, not later.

Can I file a case in person at the RDSC or do I have to hire a lawyer? RJ, Dubai

When filing a case with the RDSC, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer and you can do it yourself.

While you are correct that the 12 month eviction notice must be served upon expiry of the existing tenancy agreement under Law 33 of 2008, some DRDC judges allow the vacation notice to be served at any time during the contract.

Therefore, although you have the right to file a complaint, be aware that a judge may uphold the notice sent to you on April 28.

I sent my tenant a 12 month eviction notice through Dubai Courts in December 2021. Although the eviction date mentioned in the notice is December 2022, the tenancy agreement is valid until in July 2023.

What is the legally enforceable eviction date – December 2022 or July 2023? If it is July 2023 do I have to file another eviction notice in July 2022? MH, Dubai

Law No. 33 of 2008 stipulates that the 12 months notice of eviction must be served upon expiry of the tenancy agreement.

That said, some landlords served the notice at any time during the contract. It has been observed in the past that some DRDC judges upheld this decision.

However, as the law in the UAE is not set on precedent, I cannot confirm if this will be the case for you if the tenant disputes the date later by filing a case with the RDSC.

It is up to the presiding judge at the time of the hearing to accept your 12 month eviction notice or ask you to serve it again in July 2022 for another 12 months.

Mario Volpi is Director of Sales and Rentals at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the real estate sector for over 35 years, in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for informational purposes only. Please send your questions to [email protected]

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Updated: June 23, 2022, 04:00

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