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Unpaid rent

Six months ago I rented out my villa in Dubai on a one year tenancy contract. The tenant paid in two installments of 50 per cent up front and a post dated cheque for the second installment. However, last month the second cheque bounced due to insuffi-cient funds. The tenant promised to pay but so far there has been no payment. Do I have the right to cut off the electricity in order to push the tenant to pay the outstanding amount? The electricity is in my name not theirs. And should I file a rental dispute case to claim the pending rent and get the villa vacated?

As per the Dubai rental law you cannot cut off electricity due to non payment of rent. You should instead follow the way of law to obtain your rights. If you decide to file a rental dispute case against the tenant you should first serve 30 days notice either by notary public or registered mail asking for the outstanding payment. At the expiry of the notice period without payment, only then are you entitled to file a case against the tenant to claim unpaid dues and evict the tanant as per the Rent Committee Law No.26 of 2007, clause No.25 A.

Breach of contract

I had been working in a company as a HR Manager for more than two years, but one month ago they asked me to work per-manently in sales with a 30 per cent deduction in salary working on a target basis. I said that I wasn’t ready for this job and want-ed to stay in my current role as per my contract, however my employer said that if I refused I would be violating company orders and breaching the labour law. My employer also said I could be dismissed with immediate effect. I felt that I was being pushed to resign and eventually did submit my resignation. Was my employer acting in accordance with the labour law when he did this? Can I file a complaint against the company? Does my resignation stand as per the law and what is my position if I take this mat-ter to court?

As per the Dubai Supreme Court, downgrading an employee is considered a form of arbitrary dismissal and the submission of a resignation by the employee is an expression of disagreement to the undue downgrade. In doing so the employer is in breach of his obligations towards the employee, which entitles the employee to quit work with their right to obtain all dues along with compensation for the arbitrary dismissal. Therefore, I would advise you to file labour complaint against the company, and if you fail to reach an amicable solution with the employer you can claim for your rights.

Ask the Law questions are answered by lawyer Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.