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The real estate office has to notify the tenant at least 12 months before the eviction date. Image used for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Question: I had to vacate the villa I lived in for the necessary maintenance of the residence, as asked by the real estate office. However, now, after the maintenance, the real estate office has rented the villa to a new tenant.

Is the real estate office entitled, according to the rental law in Dubai, to such behaviour? Do I have the legal right to file a rental lawsuit to demand the villa be handed over to me to reside in, especially as I made decorations for the villa that cost me large sums of money?

Answer: The rental office has the right according to the law on ‘Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai’, to request the eviction of the tenant upon the expiry of the contract if the property requires restoration or comprehensive maintenance that cannot be done in the presence of the tenant.

But for the purposes to apply this Article, the office has to notify the tenant at least 12 months before the eviction date.

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The Article states that upon expiry of the lease contract, the landlord may seek eviction of the tenant from the property only if the said need for restoration is verified by a technical report issued or certified by the Dubai Municipality

Also, the notice for eviction must be served through a Notary Public or by registered mail.

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You have the right to file a suitcase to demand the villa handover for the following reasons:

• The office did not abide with the 12 months’ notice period

• The office did not provide a technical report by the Dubai Municipality

Also, Article 29 states of the same law says that the tenant will have the right of first refusal to return to the property if it is demolished and reconstructed, or renovated and restored, by the landlord. In this case, the rent must be determined in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of this law.

The tenant must exercise the right of first refusal within a period not exceeding thirty 30 days from the date on which the tenant is notified of the same by the landlord.