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Rent Increases and Eviction Notices: What are your Rights

Posted by Kelt&corealty on November 18, 2023

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of your tenant rights? Knowing where you stand is essential, with Rent increases and eviction notices becoming more common. Understanding when a landlord can legally raise your rent or evict you from your home is crucial. Don’t get caught in the maze of rental regulations alone.

Let us guide you through the world of renting and empower you with the knowledge you need to defend your rights confidently. Join us on this journey as we demystify the rental landscape and equip you with the tools to tackle any challenge that comes your way.

Demystifying the Rent Freeze: Is It Real?

The possibility of a rent freeze in Dubai has been making headlines lately. In January 2021, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) hinted at the possibility of a new law that would freeze rental agreements for three years. While this news excited tenants, it also caused confusion and uncertainty. 

The Rent Freeze That Was: A Blast from the Past

Many people are wondering if the rent freeze is a reality or not. To understand this, it is important to look back at the history of rental laws in Dubai. Interestingly, a rent freeze was indeed in place at one point. In 2007, the Landlord and Tenant Law was amended to state that landlords and tenants must agree on a rent value in the tenancy contract, and it was prohibited to increase the rent or modify any lease terms until two full years had passed since the date the rental relationship began.

However, in 2008, the rent freeze was removed, and landlords were given the authority to increase the rent after the first year, provided the tenant was given a 90-day notice. The government implemented a system to control rent increases and eviction notices to prevent exploitation, considering various factors such as market conditions and comparable rent yields.

So, while the rent freeze is no longer in effect, tenants can take some comfort in the fact that there are still measures in place to protect them from unfair rent increases.

How much rent can be increased per year in Dubai?

If you are a tenant in Dubai, you may wonder what factors influence your landlord’s ability to raise your rent. Landlords in Dubai are subject to Decree No. 43 of 2013, which governs the maximum rent increase they can impose based on the average market price of comparable properties in the area. Understanding the specifics of this decree is essential if you want to be prepared for any potential rent increases.

  • To simplify, your landlord can only raise your rent if your current rent is at least 10% below the market average. 
  • If your rent is between 11% and 20% below the market rate, your landlord can increase the rent by a maximum of 5%. 
  • If your rent is between 21% and 30% below the market rate, your landlord can increase the rent by a maximum of 10%. 
  • If your rent is 31% to 40% below the market rate, your landlord can impose a maximum increase of 15%. 

And if your rent is more than 40% below the market average, your landlord can only increase the rent by a maximum of 20%.

While calculating these percentages may seem challenging, tools such as the Dubai REST app and the DLD website’s rent calculator are available to assist you. In case of any disagreements, the Rental Dispute Committee (RDC) can intervene to determine the allowable rent increase in compliance with the decree’s provisions. Knowing your rights and the rules can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when your lease is up for renewal.

How to evict a tenant in Dubai?

Some landlords have been more interested in evicting their tenants for the purpose of maximizing their rental income. It is common to witness emails or messaging apps being used to deliver rent increases and eviction notices. However, it is important to note that the Landlord and Tenant Act of 2008 established strict eviction procedures that must be followed.

In the event that a landlord needs to evict a tenant before the lease expires, nine valid reasons can be considered. These reasons include:

  • Non-payment of rent for 30 days, 
  • Subletting the property without permission from the landlord, 
  • Engaging in illegal or immoral activities, 
  • Leaving commercial property vacant for 30 days straight or 90 days in a calendar year, 
  • Damaging or altering the property in a manner that endangers the safety, Using the property for a purpose other than its intended one, or violating building codes, 
  • Confirmation of severe disrepair by Dubai Municipality, 
  • Failure to comply with lease obligations even after receiving a 30-day notice,
  • Government-ordered demolition.

Even after the lease expires, landlords must follow certain guidelines before evicting tenants. 

  • They must send an eviction notice with reasons via registered or notarized mail before the eviction.
  • They must give a 12-month notice in advance. 

The following are valid reasons to evict tenants after lease expiration:

  • The property is being demolished and rebuilt.
  • Extensive renovations cannot be carried out with tenants present.
  • The landlord or a family member intends to occupy the property (if they do not own similar suitable property).
  • The landlord intends to sell the property.

Protecting Your Rights: What You Need to Know

Dubai’s rental laws are designed to create a level playing field for both landlords and tenants. Landlords can raise rent, but only through a strictly regulated process to prevent unfair increases. Tenants cannot be evicted without cause, bringing a sense of security to those who rent properties. To avoid disputes, it’s important for both parties to know Law No. 33 of 2008, also known as the Landlord and Tenant Law.

Seek legal advice if in doubt about any lawful provision. At Kelt&CO, we believe that knowledge is power, and understanding your rights allows you to make informed decisions and protect your interests in the volatile rental market. So visit Kelt&CO Realty today to protect your rights!


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