Dubai: If you are no longer living in the UAE, how can you pursue a case with your former landlord if the rent deposit has still not been refunded? A Gulf News reader wrote in, sharing his experience and query.
He asked: “I lived in the UAE for 13 years and stayed in a rented house in Al Ain from June 2015 to April 2021. I recently resigned and returned to India after obtaining a clearance certificate from the Al Ain Distribution Company (AADC) and surrendering my Etisalat eLife account. I gave my landlord a three-month notice as well as the clearance certificates but he has not refunded my deposit of Dh2,000 to date. They are ignoring my emails and not refunding my deposit. I haven't closed my bank account in the UAE as I have to get back my deposit and end-of-service benefits from my company. I request you to please help me.”
Gulf News raised the query with Ibahim Al Banna, CEO of Dubai-based Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants, who said that pursuing a case from outside the UAE would be possible for individuals if they give the Power of Attorney (PoA) to a lawyer, who will represent the tenant in front of the rent dispute centre. In Abu Dhabi, these cases are managed by the Abu Dhabi Rent Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC).
“It is currently possible to obtain a PoA online, for anyone who resides outside the UAE,” Al Banna added.
How to file for a deposit refund?
Once the applicant secures an order, the said order can be enforced by the competent court in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Civil Procedure.
According to Al Banna, Article 17 of Decision No. (25) of 2018 allows a tenant to file a written application with the Abu Dhabi RDSC, seeking a performance order for the purpose of recovering the security deposit from the landlord.
Along with the original application to the RDSC, the applicant would also need to file the following documents:
1. Original petition with two copies;
2. Copy of the Tenancy Contract;
3. Copy of the Passport of the Applicant; and
4. Original Power of Attorney.
“Once the applicant secures an order, the said order can be enforced by the competent court in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Civil Procedure,” Al Banna added.
How much does it cost?
The fee for filing an application is approximately four per cent of the annual rent, according to Al Banna.
“Apart from that, he or she also has to incur the expenses for advertising about the application against the landlord if he or she fails to appear before the RDSC,” Al Banna added.