1. Prepare all supporting documents pertaining to the dispute as evidence, such as emails between you and your landlord or tenant. Have copies of your passport and Emirates ID, Ejari certificate, original tenancy contract (blue), passport copy of landlord, Dewa bill, and title deed.

2. Go to a typing centre and request a form for the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre. Have all your non-Arabic documents (listed above) legally translated as well.

3. After getting the form, go to the centre in Deira and file a case. Present your translated documents including a copy of the cheques that were issued.

4. You will have to pay 3.5 per cent of your annual rent as fees for the court, with a minimum of Dh350 and maximum ceiling of Dh20,000.

5. If the defendant fails to show up for a hearing, you may have to pay for a newspaper advertisement based on the judge’s decision.

6. The centre has four departments. The Arbitration and Reconciliation Department will try to resolve the dispute amicably within 15 days.

7. If unsuccessful, you may lodge a complaint with the Department of First Instance that will have to settle the dispute within 30 days. Its ruling is final unless the claim is worth more than Dh100,000 when it can be referred to the Department of Appeal, which will issue a verdict within 30 days.