Ask the Law
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Question: Two years ago, I rented my villa to someone for two years. The contract is due to expire in December 2021. It is mentioned in the contract that the tenant must vacate the property immediately upon expiry of the tenancy contract. Accordingly, a month ago, I asked the tenant, through an e-mail, to vacate the villa and hand over the property upon expiration of the contract. However, the tenant has refused to do so and has sought a renewal of the contract. Am I legally entitled to file a lawsuit against the tenant and seek his eviction upon expiration of the contract?

Answer: Causes for seeking eviction of a tenant are stated in Article 25 of Law Regulating Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai. Law No 26 of 2007, as amended by Law No 33 of 2008, states: ‘Upon expiry of the Tenancy Contract, the landlord may request for eviction of the tenant from the property — only in any of the following cases:

A) If the owner of the property wishes to demolish the property for its reconstruction, or if the owner wishes to add any new construction that will prevent the tenant from using the property, provided that the required permits are obtained from the competent entities.

B) Where the property is in a condition that requires restoration or comprehensive maintenance work that cannot be carried out in the presence of the tenant at the property, provided that the condition of the property is verified by a technical report issued by or attested by Dubai Municipality.

C) If the owner of the property wishes to take possession of it for his or her personal use or for use by any of his or her relative of first degree, provided the owner proves that he or she does not own another property appropriate for such purpose; or

D) Where the owner of the property wishes to sell the leased property.’

For the purposes of paragraph (2) of this Article, the landlord must notify the tenant about the reasons behind seeking eviction 12 months prior to the date set for eviction, provided that this notice is issued through a Notary Public or registered post.

Article (26) of the same law states: ‘If the Tribunal awards the landlord possession of the property for his or her personal use or for use by any of his or her relative of first degree, in accordance with sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (2) of Article (25) of this Law, the landlord may not rent the property to a third party before the lapse of at least two (2) years from the date of possession of the property by the Landlord in case of residential property and three (3) years in case of nonresidential property — unless the Tribunal, in its discretion, sets a shorter period. Otherwise, the tenant may request the Tribunal to award him or her a fair compensation.’

Resignation vs dismissal

Question: I have been working in a private company for five years. Three months ago, I submitted my resignation, but the employer refused to accept it and asked me to return to work which I did. However, just a month after returning to work, he told me to stop work, saying that I had previously submitted my resignation. He has refused to pay my salary for the month I worked and has also refused to settle my dues, claiming that since I had previously submitted my resignation, I had broken the fixed-term work contract that is scheduled to end in December 2021. What is the legal provision regarding this?

Answer: If the employer did not accept your resignation in the first place and you continued to work on the employer’s request and if you can prove this by way of salaries, oath, expertise, documents, etc then you will be considered as dismissed from your job — not resigned. This was decided by Dubai Higher Court, according to Article (113) of the Law Regulating Labour Relations, which states: ‘The worker may, after informing the employer, resign from work and this resignation shall be treated as a termination of the contract by unilateral will and its effect will be produced as soon as the resignation is submitted — unless the worker continues to proceed with his or her work, follow the orders of the employer and the burden is on the worker to prove that he or she continued to work in keeping with the employer’s instructions after submitting his or her resignation.’ Cassation No 2020/21 Labour.

The trial court has the full authority to understand the reality of the case, examine and assess the documents and evidence presented and to conclude whether the work relationship had ended between the two parties by resignation or by way of dismissal.

As for the salary, the employer cannot deprive you from salary at all because the wage is a right of the worker to be collected from the employer in return of performing the agreed-upon work, and the employer is not relieved from the responsibility of paying this wage except on the basis of written evidence, acknowledgment or oath, pursuant to Article 58 of the Law Regulating Labour Relations.