How to Handle Rental Disputes in UAE

Rental disputes take place between a landlord and their tenant. They are the most common form of property disputes especially in a country like UAE where the majority of the population lives in rental properties. According to property lawyers in Dubai there are a number of reasons why rental disputes occur. Fortunately for landlords and tenants both, UAE has an efficient system for registering and handling such complaints. All rental dispute complaints are referred to the Rental Dispute Centre in Dubai (RDC). Property settlement lawyers can assist in filing and registering rental disputes. RDC is a governmental department tasked with providing rental dispute litigation services. According to the centre its list of duties include planning and organizing meetings, drafting documents, obtaining signatures of the relevant parties, getting approvals, tracking disputes from the meditation phase through rental, appeal, and objection and up to enforcement.

When to apply to RDC


The Article 17 of Law 26 lays down the instances where one can apply to the RDC with a tenancy claim and real estate lawyers are required. These instances include an eviction notice without proper warning and time notice. Violation of the rules of the contract, when either parties requests have been disregarded. Complaints may be filed when a notice is not properly served, the documents or tenancy contract has been forged, and the full information has been hidden by either party. There are some instances where the centre is not eligible to resolve the case, these include rent disputes within free zones or any other area that has special jurisdiction, rental disputes due to financial lease agreements and long term leases.


Process of filing the complaint


Once all other options have been exhausted, a tenant may file an office complaint against their landlord. Complaints can be filed online or by visiting the company’s office in Deira. Property lawyers in Dubai can assist in the collection of the documents that must be submitted along with registration of complaint.  It is advisable to have Arabic copies of the documents, as the department may request them during the dispute. The centre provides Arabic translation services for tenants. Once the complaint has been registered, the tenant is provided with an online portal at the government website that can be used to stay up to date on the case. For tenants looking to file an appeal, they can refer to the appeals department of the RDC. A certain fee has to be paid when filing a complaint, which is generally 3.5% of the tenant’s annual rent. However, there is a minimum and maximum limit for the fees. The minimum amount is AED 500 and it should not exceed more than AED 20,000. Other costs include the translation fee for documents in Arabic and administrative fees for the department. Property settlement lawyers can assist in calculating the exact costs you may face in case of registering tenancy disputes.

Steps for rental dispute


Reconciliation phase


Once the complaint has been registered the first step is an arbitration process the aim of which is to resolve the dispute amicably within 15 days. The department provides the date on which the arbitration will take place. But it must be noted that many cases require multiple sittings due to the complexity of the case.

First instance phase


If the reconciliation department fails to resolve the dispute through the arbitration process then the matter is referred to the courts and a lawsuit is filed. In this process a number of hearings will take place in front of a judge. Both parties will be given a chance to prove their claim. Real estate lawyers can present the claims on behalf of their clients. The Centre aims to resolve all disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible. The time period for presenting a verdict on the lawsuit is 30 days.


Appeal the case


After the decision has been made it can be appealed. The appeal department consists of a judge who decides on the case and two other members one of whom is also a judge and the other a real estate expert. For an appeal to be registered the tenancy contract must be worth more than AED 100,000. The verdict after the appeal is considered to be the final decision on the dispute.



Execution phase


The execution department is then responsible for ensuring that the decision is abided by. The enforcement is applicable 15 days after the final verdict has been presented.


The UAE government ensures that all rental disputes are resolved in a timely manner. The Rental Disputes Centre has years of resolving property disputes. Property lawyers in Dubai can provide assistance in this regard and ensure your legal interests are protected.


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