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Retrieving rent amount from the estate agent

  • Published: 23:52 March 4, 2010

Housing and rent

A reader from Dubai asks: I took a studio accommodation (in a villa) on rent from an agent after signing a one-year contract from January 2009 and paying him two half-yearly cheques. In August, the landlord approached me and informed me to vacate the flat the next month (in September). I got to know from the landlord that the agent’s contract with him due to expire in September. Since my contract was with the agent and it was valid, he agreed to pay the landlord on a monthly basis. The agent promised to show me another flat because of my existing contract with him.

He even took some advance from me for this purpose. During the beginning of the month (in December), the landlord again approached me and informed me that he was not receiving the rent properly and said he didn’t want to encourage the agent anymore.
He also told me that I either vacate the flat immediately or else he would approach the police. He also gave me another option — to sign a direct contract with him in two days time. I informed the agent and told him to respond immediately (since my contract with him was valid until the end of December 2009).

 As I am staying with my family and not at all satisfied with the way with the agent was dealings with the matter, I signed a contract with the landlord from December 2009 to November 2010. But even after all this, the agent told me that he would talk to the landlord to sign a fresh contract, making my contract invalid. Is this legal?

My question is: How, where and whom do I approach to get back the rent amount for December from the agent (this is because I signed a new contract with the landlord from December) and also the advance taken by him to show me a new flat? I have posses all the original documents for the payments I made to the agent. What other documents would I need to file a complaint and get my money back?

I would like to clarify to the questioner that he may file a case with the Dubai Municipality Rent Committee to claim his rights in terms of the amount he paid the agent.
Therefore, the questioner shall ratify the contract in the Real Estate Regulatory Agency as a requirement to file the case together with “To Whom It May Concern” letter issued by the questioner’s bank stating that the cheques had been cashed by the agent.
The Rent Committee will then issue an appropriate decision in this regard.