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Delayed Rent Payments: Legal Options for Landlords and Rights of Tenants

Posted by cafedetech on May 3, 2024

Investment in the real estate business in Dubai is a worthwhile investment. People from all over the world visit Dubai for various purposes such as employment, business, and tourism. This trend has increased the demand for rental units. To accommodate this growing demand, many people start rental businesses in Dubai. 

No doubt, the rental business in Dubai is a lucrative investment opportunity or business option. Like other businesses, investors can also face some challenges in this business. Normally, tenants pay rent on time. However, there are times when landlords do not receive rental payments on time. It seems frustrating. Though this is not a prevalent issue but it is necessary to know how to tackle such circumstances.

Delayed Rental Payments: Legal Options For Landlords

It refers to the situations when tenants fail to make rental payments on time as per the agreement. There are circumstances when a tenant cannot pay rent on the stipulated date, leading to rental delay. Several factors such as financial instability lead to this issue. When a tenant fails to meet his rental obligations, it may also affect the landlord and his financial standing.

Delayed Rental Payments: Legal Options For Landlords

If your landlord fails to pay his rent on time or does not meet his dues-related obligations then what options can a landlord use to tackle this problem and make his tenant pay his rental dues? If you are facing such a problem then you might be wondering what to do to make your tenant pay rental payment. 

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has defined laws and procedures that govern the relationship between tenants and landlords.  Article 4 of Law (33) of 2008 states that all tenancy contracts whether initiated by landlords or tenants, must be duly registered with RERA using the “Ejari System”.  RERA is a forum in Dubai that makes laws to reduce the possibility of disputes and misunderstandings between landlords and tenants. RERA laws are designed to protect both parties. Whether you are a landlord or tenant, you can consider RERA laws to understand your rights and obligations.

Issuance Of A Notice 

If a tenant fails to pay rent on time then a landlord has the right to issue a notice related to outstanding payment. A landlord normally gives a specific timeline to pay dues. The duration of the timeline is the prerogative of the landlord. Some give a 2 to 3 days’ timeline or some further expand this duration. A landlord has the right to add a late fee in that case. The late fee cannot exceed 10% of the decided rent.  Notably, a landlord cannot evict a tenant at this stage. 

If the tenant still does not clear outstanding dues and the timeline ends then a landlord should serve a legal notice notarized through a UAE notary through a registered post. If the landlord still does not receive his rent then he can take this matter to the Rental Dispute Center.

Rental Dispute Center

Rental Dispute Center (RDC) resolves the conflict between landlords and tenants in Dubai. RDC makes judgments based on the evidence presented to it. Notably, both parties get the opportunity to present their stance. If a tenant does not pay dues incurred on him then RDC can make him pay outstanding dues and in case of further delay, RDC can even issue an eviction order at the request of a landlord.

Landlords must follow the legal procedures outlined by authorities in order to meet their ends. It is better to seek professional advice to ensure that your rights are upheld while dealing with this matter of delayed rental dues.

Rights Of Tenants:

If a tenant is unable to pay his rental payment then he cannot be evicted on this ground at this stage. He has the right to receive a notice from the landlord concerning rental overdue. A tenant must be given some time to pay arrears. The duration of this timeframe depends on the discretion of a landlord. During this time, a tenant can manage the required payment, pay his arrears and settle the issue. He can also negotiate payment terms if finds it necessary.

If a tenant finds this notice unjustified then he has the right to dispute to address discrepancies or any matter that is objectionable to him. Tenants and landlords both can seek the assistance of the Rental Dispute  Center (RDC) to resolve this matter related to the delayed payment. 

A tenant is also given the opportunity to present his case or stance and evidence that supports his claim. The RDC decided based on the evidence presented to it. It means if a tenant finds any notice unjustified then the law is also there to support his cause.

If a dispute occurs between landlord and tenant and the landlord decides to escalate this matter to institutes such as RDC then a tenant has the right to stay in that specific property until a resolution is reached. A cannot be evicted from his property before the resolution of this dispute.

Summing Up:

Rental business in Dubai offers high ROI. Millions of people visit Dubai for various reasons such as tourism, employment which increases the demand for rental units. There is no doubt that this is a decent business that offers high dividends. However, landlords can face some challenges such as delayed rental payment. This is the scenario when a tenant fails to meet his rental obligations. If a tenant does not pay his rent on time, it may cause problems for landlords. In this case, both landlords and tenants have some rights and obligations. Both parties should seek legal procedure to resolve this matter.

A landlord should issue notice on tenants’ rental delays, specifying a timeframe to pay their arrears. If a tenant still fails to clear his dues then a landlord can issue a notarized legal issue and following that, he may take this matter to RDC. On the contrary, a landlord has the right to defend himself and stay in that property until the resolution of this dispute.


How to evict a tenant in Dubai?

The law is clear in this case. A landlord has the right to evict a tenant before the end of the tenancy agreement in some given circumstances. If any situation occurs and the landlord decides to kick out the tenant then he must serve a written notice to the tenant to leave the premises within 30 days.

Can you go to jail for not paying the rent?

Failure to pay outstanding dues does not result in jail. However, a landlord can escalate the issue and start legal proceedings at the Rental Dispute Center (RDC). This step may lead to the eviction of the tenant.

What if I do not pay rent in Dubai?

Paying rent is an obligation if one decides to live in a rental unit. Sometimes, a tenant fails to pay a monthly rental payment. In this case, the landlord sends him a notice containing a specific timeline. If the situation remains the same, the landlord sends a notarized legal notice. Following that, he may proceed to legal procedure at RDC.

Can I cancel my rental contract in Dubai?

The RERA tenancy law in Dubai makes it clear that valid rental agreements cannot be unilaterally terminated by either tenant or landlord. Both parties must be in agreement to do whatever they want. However, neither of the parties can individually terminate it.


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