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Dubai: Planning to move to a new home in Dubai? While the process of shifting homes requires a lot of paperwork management – from discontinuing your telephone and utility connection, to finding the right movers – the process can get a lot more tedious if your landlord delays or refuses to return your security deposit.

However, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) raised awareness through its social media channels on the rights a tenant has in case his or her landlord does not refund the deposit. Here is all you need to know.

When can I get my security deposit back?

A security deposit is required by landlords in the UAE when a new tenant moves into a new unit, and is calculated at a certain percentage of your annual rent. In Dubai, Article 8 of Dubai’s Rental Law – Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai – stipulates certain conditions for the deposit to be returned to the tenant. According to the Article, the rental security deposit becomes due upon the expiry of the tenancy contract, either by termination of the contract or at the end of the tenancy period without renewal, and after delivering the unit to the landlord or his representative in appropriate condition in good faith and obtaining clearance from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Writ of Payment

In case you are unable to get the security deposit back from your landlord, you can file a ‘Writ of Payment’ with DLD, which is a petition asking for DLD to implement the law.

In the awareness post published by DLD on July 28, customers were advised to claim the value of the security deposit through the DLD website - dubailand.gov.ae, or through any of the real estate services trustee offices.

Applying for writ of payment online

To apply for the service through the website, follow these steps:

1. Visit dubailand.gov.ae and tap on ‘services’.
2. Select the option for ‘tenant’ and under ‘Real Estate dispute services’ select ‘Writ of payment’.
3. You will then be asked to sign in using either your UAE Pass or your Emirates ID number.
4. You will then need to upload the following documents:
a. Written proof of specified amount of deposit immediately due for payment.
b. Proof of notice to landlord obliging him or her to pay the deposit as well as proof of receipt of the notice.
c. Cheque return memo issued by the relevant bank, if applicable.
d. Declaration stating the validity of information provided, undertaking an indemnity guarantee for damage and prejudice.
e. Copy of your Emirates ID.
f. Your IBAN number (International Bank Account Number).

It is important to note that you can file the writ of payment only five days after the notice you sent to the landlord has been received. Also, all documents must be submitted in or translated legally into Arabic.

5. Make the payment for the service, which is as follows:

a. Service fee - minimum of Dh500 or 3.5 per cent of the claimed amount, up to Dh15,000.
b. Registration of Power of Attorney (if applicable) – Dh25
c. Processing fee – Dh100
d. Fast tract notification – Dh105
e. Knowledge and innovation fee – Dh20

Once you have made the payment, the case will be registered and reviewed by a judge. You will receive the judgement through the website and an email notification. If the website is in your favour, you will be required to visit the Dubai Land Department office to receive your deposit.