Advice to buyer on how to recover the rental amounts from developer for property lease contract period exceeding 10 years. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock


A questioner asks: I bought a property from a developer off-plan, and at the same time the developer signed a lease with me for the property for 13 years. The property is a one-bedroom apartment, and therefore I paid the full installment according to the purchase agreement. The property was completed two years ago. Until this moment, I have not received the property, nor have I received the rent agreed upon according to the contract. I tried to contact the developer in this regard, but all my attempts failed. My question is: What is the appropriate action to take against the developer to obtain my right to receive the agreed upon rent? Please advise.


To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:

You have to file a case with the Civil Courts to recover the rental amounts in case the property is in Dubai, because the rental period exceeds 10 years. As per Decree No. (26) Of 2013 Concerning Rent Disputes Settlement Center in The Emirate of Dubai, the Rental Centre shall not hear the following rental disputes:

1 - Rental disputes arising inside the free zones that have special judicial committees or courts competent to settle rental disputes arising within their boundaries.

2 - Rental disputes arising from finance lease contracts.

3 - Disputes arising from long term lease contracts which are subject to the provisions of law no. (7) Of 2006.

The text in Administrative Resolution No. 134 of 2013 issued by the Land and Property Department of the Government of Dubai on April 2, 2014 stipulates that:

(1) A long-term lease is considered in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 7 of 2006 regarding real estate registration in the Emirate of Dubai. Every rent of no less than its duration is not more than (10) years and does not exceed (99) years, (2)…. (3) Every lease whose duration does not exceed (10) years is considered an ordinary lease, and the relationship between the lessor and the lessee is regulated in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2008 and its amendments regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai.

As per the Dubai Civil Cassation Court’s Decision No. 3 of 2019 dated 28-03-2019, “..... these texts indicate the jurisdiction of the primary department of the Rental Disputes Settlement Center in the Emirate of Dubai – exclusively, to decide disputes that arise between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai — whatever its nature — where the lease period is less than (10) years.

Since what is established from the contract — the subject of the lawsuit — is that its duration is ten years, as stated in the 2nd and 8th clauses of the contract, and therefore the suit of the appellant is a long-term rental dispute, which is under the jurisdiction of the courts (it means the Civil Courts have jurisdiction over this case, not the Rent Disputes Settlement Center).