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Rent increase

A reader from Sharjah asks: Two years and 10 months ago, I rented a villa from a real estate office; I made the necessary arrangements and spent a lot on decoration. My contract is going to expire in June 2015. The real estate office sent me a letter informing me of increase in rent by more than 40 per cent. My question here is; is the landlord entitled to demand such increase in rent and what is the legal percentage as per Sharjah Rental Law? I do not want to vacate the villa due to expenses I incurred and in case I get the contract renewed, do I get another three years protection? Please advise.

I would like to clarify that Sharjah Rental Law does not specify certain percentage for increase, as the Rent Law provides the tenant with legal protection from rent increase for three years from the date of the contract. After such period, the landlord is entitled to increase rent on the basis of rent cap. Therefore, in the absence of agreement between the tenant and landlord on a certain increase, the questioner may file rental case before the Sharjah Judicial Committee which will offer the parties appropriate rent, as per rent cap for the area in which the villa is located. After renewal, being the second time as a tenant, he will get a legal protection for another two years as per article No 13 paragraph C Sharjah Rental Law.

Arbitrary dismissal

A reader from Dubai asks: I joined a company as a sales director in August 2011. My labour contract is for unlimited period. In the second week of June 2014 my services were arbitrarily terminated. I was told by the general manager not to come to office because my services were not needed any more and that the company had incurred heavy losses because of me. I asked him to give me a letter stating the same. I was told to come back after two or three weeks and on giving handover I would be given my termination letter and my dues. When I handed over everything to the company after three weeks, they refused to give me my termination letter and my end of service dues as well. They threatened me to sign the papers quietly or they would put a ban for me. They have terminated services of other employees similarly without given them any dues. The PRO informed me the company has strong connections adding that he will say I was absent from office for 3 weeks. He said the company terminated my services because I do not go to office on time (which is a lie) he will say this to the labour ministry if I will file a case against the company. Please advise me on what course of action can I take?

How do I get my rights addressed when the company refuses to let me come to office and not paying me and also not giving a letter of termination in writing? (Other colleagues of mine whose services were also terminated in a similar way have lost their case in court, because they did not have a written termination letter) The company is refusing to give the termination notice in writing and at the same time is not permitting us to enter the office and attend to our job responsibilities, what options do we have? How do we get our rights? The company is threatening to cancel my visa and put a one-year ban or maybe a life ban. Is this legal?

I would like to advise the questioner to file a labour case against the company with the Ministry of Labour. In case he fails to obtain his right in full before the Labour Ministry, he shall ask the ministry to refer the complaint to the competent court. The questioner will obtain his right in full before the labour court if he has been able to prove these rights in court. I advise the questioner not to link his case to the complaints of his colleagues who lost their cases, as each case is different from the other and no one can influence the labour court. Finally no ban will be imposed on the questioner as he completed more than two years in service with the current employer.

Questions answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.

— Compiled by Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent