Three months ago, I rented a warehouse in Sharjah Industrial Area from a real estate office and paid them all the agreed instalments in post-dated cheques as per the tenancy contract. I have done some modification in the warehouse as directed by the Sharjah Economic Department to get my trade licence. The problem is the real estate office has not ratified the tenancy contract in the municipality till date as agreed at the time I signed the contract. It’s not mentioned in my tenancy contract that the landlord has to ratify the tenancy contract. Now, they have told me that the ratification fee shall be paid by the tenant. When I approached the department concerned that ratifies tenancy contracts, officials told me that ratification shall be done by the landlord. I am totally confused in this regard as the real estate office says that ratification of the contract will be done be at the expense of the landlord only if it is agreed so in the tenancy contract. My question here is: What is my position in this matter as per the applicable rental law in Sharjah? Is the landlord obliged to get the tenancy contract ratified as per the Sharjah rental law? What legal action should I take to force the landlord to do the same? The landlord has threatened to terminate the contract if I do not ratify the contract within two weeks, In that case, I will also lose all post-dated cheques given to him in advance. I also came to know that there is a fine if the tenancy contract is not ratified on time.


I would like to clarify to the questioner that Law No. 2 of 2007, regarding the relationship between a landlord and a tenant in Sharjah, states the following: The landlord shall ratify the lease contract or renew the period of the same and pay an applicable fees to the municipality or the authority concerned unless otherwise agreed by the parties. The contract shall be ratified within 15 days from the date thereof. Based on the above article, in the event of failure to reach an amicable solution with the real estate office in this regard, the questioner shall apply to the executive judge of the Rent Committee to direct the landlord to ratify the said contract and pay the fine as well.


Imprisonment for unpaid cheque

My husband has been serving a one-year jail sentence in a case of an unpaid cheque. The sentence period determined by the criminal court will expire in a month. My question here is: upon expiry of the said period, will my husband be released from jail even if he had not paid the cheque amount to the person concerned? Will his passport, which was impounded by the court, be released? As he is involved only in this case, can he travel to his home country? I already checked with the police and got confirmation that there is no other case pending against him.


I would like to clarify to the questioner that if the cheque holder has not filed a civil case before the civil court claiming the cheque value, the questioner’s husband would be released from jail upon expiry of his jail term. He may take his passport and travel to his home country, as he will not be obliged to pay the cheque value unless a judicial judgement has been issued by the civil court.


Sponsorship transfer

I have worked in a company for six years and a half. In the first five years, it was under an unlimited contract. Last year, I signed a new contract for a limited period which is going to expire in October 2017. One month ago, I submitted my resignation as I got a job offer with better salary and commission. The employer told me that he would not give me the no-objection certificate (NOC) to transfer the sponsorship and that he would request the Ministry of Labour to impose a one-year ban on me. As per my employer, I shall also pay a compensation equivalent to 45 days’ salary as per the UAE labour law. My question here is: What are my labour rights in this case according to UAE labour law? Is the employer entitled by law to request the Ministry of Labour to impose the one-year ban on me? I have served the company for more than six years. Am I entitled to claim compensation for my pending one-month leave although I had not received the amount for such leave? How my end-of-service gratuity will be calculated? As per the UAE Labour Law, will my case be considered as a limited contract employee? My previous labour contract was unlimited and it was for more than five years.


I would like to clarify to the questioner that as per the UAE labour law, the questioner’s contract is a limited labour contract because he has already agreed to change the unlimited labour contract to a limited one. Therefore, he has violated the labour law by terminating the current limited contract. In such a case, the questioner is not entitled to the end-of-service gratuity. As per the law, he is entitled to leave allowance only. As for providing the employer with compensation for a salary equivalent to 45 days, this depends on the proof provided by the employer before the competent court that he had been affected by the termination of the contract pre-term. The court will give a proper decision in this regard. Finally, the employer may request the Ministry of Labour to impose a one-year ban on the questioner due to such breach and the ministry might impose the ban.

— Questions are replied by lawyer Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants