Dubai: Are you planning to move out of your current home but just can’t seem to find the right place? If your rental contract is about to expire, could you reach out to your landlord and ask them for a short extension?
A Gulf News reader wrote in asking this question.
She said: “I am a Dubai-based resident and have a concern regarding the extension of my tenancy contract. My lease is expiring on September 25 and while I wanted to shift before it expires, I did not find a suitable apartment to move into. As I have travelled out of the UAE now, I don't have time to check any more apartments at the moment. This is why I thought I should extend my current tenancy contract for one month, which would give me some time to find a new home. I emailed the real estate agency that manages my current apartment, informing that that I want to extend my current tenancy contract. However, they said that if I wish to extend the lease, I need to agree to the new rent, which has been significantly increased. Should I agree to what they are saying or do I have the right to continue the lease on the current rent?”
Gulf News raised the query with Hari Wadhwana, an Associate at Dubai-based law firm OGH Legal, who said that while Dubai’s Tenancy Law allows a landlord and tenant to renegotiate the terms of the lease before its expiry, both parties are required to provide sufficient notice to the other, if they would like any changes made to the rental agreement.
“Article 13 of the Dubai Tenancy Law – Law No. (33) of 2008 Amending Law No. (26) of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai – sets out that prior to expiry of the lease, the landlord and tenant may agree on the amendment of the lease terms (including the duration) and consider increasing or decreasing the rent,” Wadhwana said.
“Article 14 of the law provides that either party’s intention to amend the tenancy terms must be notified no less than 90 days prior to expiry of the lease,” he added.
Considering the legal requirements to provide sufficient notice, the request from a tenant to extend the contract by a month should be served 90 days before the lease expires.
“If the tenant has not notified her intention to extend the tenancy by one month within the timeline provided under Article 14 of the Dubai Tenancy Law, the tenant cannot compel the landlord to now extend the term by a month, unless mutually and amicably agreed upon between landlord and tenant,” Wadhwana said.
If the tenant has not notified her intention to extend the tenancy by one month within the timeline provided under Article 14 of the Dubai Tenancy Law, the tenant cannot compel the landlord to now extend the term by a month, unless mutually and amicably agreed upon between landlord and tenant.
However, Wadhwana added that if the request to renew for a month was not sent to the landlord within the required period and the tenant continues to occupy the premises after expiry of the tenancy without any objection from the landlord, the tenancy is deemed to be renewed for a similar period of the earlier tenancy.
“For example, if the earlier tenancy was for a year then the current tenancy is extended by a year, with the same terms of the earlier tenancy. This is pursuant to Article 6 of the Dubai Tenancy Law,” he said.
Rent increase notification also requires 90+ day notice
Just like the tenant is required to let the landlord know at least 90 days in advance of their intention to move out, or ask for a short extention, the landlord, too, is required to communicate the decision to increase rent at least 90 days prior to the lease’s expiry.
“If this notification for increase of rent by the landlord was not made 90 days prior to expiry of the lease, the landlord cannot increase the rent and could be compelled to extend the lease at the same rent as mentioned in the earlier tenancy contract,” he said.