A questioner asks: My husband and me have been residing in a rented villa in Dubai since 2012. The tenancy contract was issued in the name of my sister and husband, who no longer reside in the UAE, but have been renewing the contract by signing the papers. The tenancy contract for this year was renewed last month. I now want to submit the tenancy contract to my company to avail housing allowance. I approached the landlord to change the name in the contract, but he asked me to get a letter of authorisation from my sister and her husband. The owner also said he will issue a new tenancy contract with an increase in rent. My sister is willing to transfer the tenancy contract to my name, but I would like to know if there is a procedure to transfer the tenancy contract to my name without an increase in rent. Does it have to be a new contract as per the Dubai rental law? If it is a new contract, how much increase in rent should I expect? Can the landlord ask me to vacate the villa given that the tenancy contract is not in my name? The current contract mentions free facilities like a car park, but two weeks ago I got a notice from the landlord to pay for Dh3,000 as parking fee for the year.

As per the Dubai rental law, the person in whose name the tenancy contract is, is entitled to use the property, apart from first-degree relatives such as wife, sons, parents and brothers of the tenant if they are under his/her custody. In the questioner’s case, neither she nor her husband are entitled to occupy the property. The landlord has the right to ask them to vacate the property and is not obliged to transfer the tenancy contract to the questioner’s or her husband’s name. In case the landlord is willing to do so, he may request an increase in rent. He also has the right to issue a new tenancy contract with new terms.

Labour contract

A questioner asks: I am a woman working under my husband’s sponsorship in a private school in Dubai. I have not signed a labour contract with the school management and they have not provided me with a labour card or visa. I have been working for more than a year with them. Recently, I got a job offer from another school and gave my school one month’s notice. However, the school management is refusing to pay my end-of-service dues and salary for the past two months. Can I file a complaint with the labour ministry or labour court?

The questioner’s action of working without a labour contract and labour card is contrary to the labour law. She is not entitled to file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour as she will herself ne held accountable for violating the law, along with her employer. The questioner should try and reach an amicable solution with her employer.

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

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