Question: A year ago, I rented my apartment to a person. According to the lease contract, maintenance is at the expense of the tenant. Currently the tenant refuses to do maintenance and also refuses to pay the rent until I do maintenance. My question is, do I have the right, according to the rental law in Dubai, to request eviction because the tenant did not perform maintenance according to the lease contract? Does he require a warning before filing a rental case? Please advise.
Answer: Maintenance on its own is not a reason of eviction specified by Article 25 of the law but non-payment of the rental is one of them. Such a case requires the landlord to send a warning letter to the tenant seeking his eviction because he fails to pay the rent as per clause (a) of the mentioned Article 25 and includes that he also fails to observe any obligation imposed on him by the terms of the Tenancy Contract as per clause (h).
Article 25 exclusively specifies the cases the landlord might seek eviction of the tenant from the real property prior to the expiry of the term of the tenancy to be only in the following cases:
a) Where the tenant fails to pay the rent or any part thereof within thirty (30) days after the date a notice to pay is given to the tenant by the landlord unless otherwise agreed by the parties;
b) Where the tenant sub-lets the real property or any part thereof without obtaining the landlord’s approval in writing. In this case, the eviction will apply to both the tenant and sub-tenant. However, the sub-tenant’s right to claim compensation from the tenant will be preserved;
c) Where the tenant uses the real property or allows others to use it for any illegal purpose or for a purpose which breaches public order or morals;
d) Where the tenant of commercial real property leaves the real property unoccupied for no valid reason for thirty (30) consecutive days or ninety (90) non-consecutive days within the same year, unless agreed otherwise by both parties;
e) Where the tenant makes a change to the real property that renders it unsafe in a manner that makes it impossible to restore the Real Property to its original state, or damages the real property willfully or through gross negligence, by failing to exercise due diligence, or by allowing others to cause such damage;
f) Where the tenant uses the real property for a purpose other than that for which the real property was leased, or uses the real property in a manner that violates planning, construction, and use-of-land regulations in force in the emirate;
g) Where the real property is condemned, provided that the landlord must prove this by a technical report issued by or attested to by Dubai Municipality;
h) where the tenant fails to observe any obligation imposed on him by this law or any of the terms of the tenancy contract within thirty (30) days from the date a notice to perform such obligation or term is served upon him by the landlord; or
i) Where competent government entities requires demolition or reconstruction of the real property as per urban development requirements in the emirate.
For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this article, the landlord will give notice to the tenant through a notary public or registered post.