A questioner asks: A year ago, I rented a villa in Dubai. Currently I am in my second year. I did maintenance on the villa in addition to decorations, which cost me large sums of money.
Currently, the landlord sent me a message asking me to vacate the villa upon the expiry of the contract for his personal use, according to what was stated in the notice. My question is, according to the rental law in Dubai, do I have the legal right to be asked to vacate for this reason? If the eviction is carried out by court ruling, do I have the right to claim compensation for the amounts I paid for maintenance and decoration work? Please advise.
I would advise the following:
According to Article 25 of the law no. 33 of 2008 amending law no. 26 of 2007 Regulatingthe Relationship Between Landlords & Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, the Landlord may demand eviction of tenant upon expiry of tenancy contract: If the owner of the property wishes to recover the property for use by him personally or by his next of kin of first degree provided that he proves that he does not own a suitable alternative property for that purpose.
But, landlord must notify tenant with reasons for eviction at least twelve months prior to the determined date of eviction subject that such notice be sent through the Notary Public or by registered mail. If he did not notify the tenant, he will not be able to evict him.
Moreover, "If the Committee decided for the landlord to recover the property for his own use, or use by his first degree next of kin pursuant to the provision of this paragraph, then landlord shall not rent the property to others for at least two years for residential properties and three years for non-residential properties from date of recovery of the property, unless the Committee decides less period for reasons considered by it, otherwise the tenant shall have the right to request the Committee to order proper compensation to him."
Regarding maintenance, you have the right to claim it unless otherwise agreed by the two parties provided that the tenant may not, as per Article 19 of the law, affect any change or perform renovations or maintenance on the property unless upon a permission by the lessor. Article 16 of the same law assures that “the lessor shall be responsible during the lease term for maintenance works of the property and for repairing any malfunction or failure that affect obtaining the desired usufruct, unless otherwise agreed by the two parties.”
As for decoration, the landlord is not responsible to re-pay it upon eviction taking into consideration that such works needs also a prior permission from the landlord as mentioned above. Moreover, according to Article 23 of the law, lessee may not, upon evacuating and handing over the property, remove any fixed improvements added thereby, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.