Eviction notice
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Dubai: Being asked to leave your apartment or villa, suddenly, can lead to a lot of financial and mental stress. However, in Dubai, landlords are legally entitled to seek eviction of tenants if they wish to use the property personally, provided they give sufficient notice to the tenant. But what happens if a landlord asks you to leave your home, claiming that he wants it for personal use, but later rents it out to another tenant? According to the Dubai Land Department (DLD), in such situations a tenant is entitled to receive compensation from the landlord.

In an awareness post on its social media channels on August 24, DLD informed tenants about this right. They stated: “Did you know that the tenant has the right to claim compensation from the landlord if they were evicted from the property because the landlord desires to sell the property or use it for personal purposes, including renting it to another tenant?”

To find out more about what the rental law in Dubai states on such situations and what tenants’ rights are in cases of eviction, Gulf News spoke with UAE-based legal experts.

Moustafa Ahmed, senior legal advisor at Sara Advocates and Legal Consultants, explained that a landlord is allowed to evict a tenant if they want to sell the property or use it for personal purposes. However, in order to do so, they must meet two conditions.

“Firstly, the landlord should notify the tenant through a 12-month notice sent from a Notary Public or registered post, and secondly a landlord should prove that they do not own another property suitable for the purpose of their personal use. If it turns out that the landlord did not use the property [for personal purposes], the tenant has the right to claim compensation,” he said.

Firstly, the landlord should notify the tenant through a 12-month notice sent from a Notary Public or registered post, and secondly a landlord should prove that they do not own another property suitable for the purpose of their personal use.

- Moustafa Ahmed, senior legal advisor at Sara Advocates and Legal Consultants
Article 25, clause 2 (c) and (d) of Law No. (33) Of 2008 Amending Law No. (26) Of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai
2. Upon expiry of the tenancy contract, the landlord may request eviction of the tenant from the real property, only in any of the following cases:
c. Where the owner of the real property wishes to take possession of it for his personal use or for use by any of his first-degree relatives, provided that the owner proves that he does not own another real property appropriate for such purpose; or
d. where the owner of the real property wishes to sell the leased real property.
For the purposes of paragraph (2) of this Article, the landlord must notify the tenant of the eviction reasons 12 months prior to the date set for eviction, provided that this notice is given through a Notary Public or registered post.

According to Manali Sangoi, legal associate at Hadef and Partners, if the landlord wishes to exercise the right to evict a tenant so he can use the property for personal purposes, he must get permission from the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC)

“Article 26 states that if the landlord has sought to evict a tenant on the ground that he wishes to use the property for his personal use or for the use of any of his first degree relatives, it must be in accordance with Article 25, clause 2 (c) and the RDSC should award the possession of the property to the landlord on such grounds,” Sangoi explained.

“The landlord cannot rent the property to a third party before the lapse of at least two years from the date of possession in case of a residential property and three years in case of a non-residential property, unless the RDSC, sets a shorter period for such possession.”

The landlord cannot rent the property to a third party before the lapse of at least two years from the date of possession in case of a residential property and three years in case of a non-residential property, unless the RDSC, sets a shorter period for such possession.

- Manali Sangoi, legal associate at Hadef and Partners
Article 26 of the Law No. (33) Of 2008 Amending Law No. (26) Of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai
If the Tribunal awards the Landlord possession of the Real Property for his personal use or for use by any of his frst-degree relatives in accordance with sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (2) of Article (25) of this Law, the landlord may not rent the real property to a third party before the lapse of at least two years from the date of possession of the real property by the landlord in case of residential real property and three years in case of non-residential real property, unless the tribunal, in its discretion, sets a shorter period. Otherwise, the tenant may request the tribunal to award him a fair compensation.

When does the tenant claim compensation?

If the landlord violates the period outlined in Article 26, then the tenant can claim compensation.

“If the landlord rents the property to any third party before the expiry of the period of two years, three years or as determined by the RDSC, the tenant can request the RDSC to award him a fair compensation,” Sangoi said.

How can the tenant claim compensation?

To claim the compensation, the tenant must approach the RDSC with evidence that the landlord has violated Article 26.

“The RDSC will, upon evaluation of the facts and circumstances of the case and the damages suffered by the tenant, award a fair compensation to the tenant,” Sangoi stated.

How much is the compensation?

There is no specific amount for the compensation, and it depends on a number of factors.

“The quantum of compensation is discretionary to the RDSC judge who may consider a number of factors including the moving costs of the tenant, the increase in any rent incurred by the tenant and any other monetary loss suffered,” she said.

Know your rights as a tenant

Ashraf Sayed, partner and head of real estate at Hadef and Partners, recommended that tenants must be aware of Article 26 and understand their rights in this situation

“The tenant should notify the landlord that they will seek to enforce Article 26. This may make the landlord rethink their decision, especially if they have not served the notice on genuine grounds under Article 25,” Sayed said.

One way to find out if the landlord has rented their property to a third party before the lapse of two years, is to see if the property is being advertised online for rent.

The tenant should notify the landlord that they will seek to enforce Article 26. This may make the landlord rethink their decision, especially if they have not served the notice on genuine grounds under Article 25.

- Ashraf Sayed, partner and head of real estate at Hadef and Partners

“The tenant can keep an eye out to see if the property is being used by the landlord or relatives or whether it has been rented to a third party tenant. One way to do so, is to see if the property is being marketed for rent on various property websites,” he said.