What rights does Tenant have in case of demolition or considerable renovation in Dubai?

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


UAE, Rights, Tenant, rental disputes, landlord, renovation, Dubai, refusal, property,

Tenants in Dubai have the right to automatically renew their lease once the contractual period is over. This is a matter of public policy and has been provided for in Article 25(2) of the Tenancy Law, as well as previous decisions by the RSDC (Rental Disputes Settlement Centre). However, this automatic renewal principle has an exception that the landlord can refuse the renewal of the lease, and file for an eviction notice after the completion of the lease period. This exception can be applied in certain circumstances, of which demolition or renovation of the property is one. 

In the case of demolition 

Firstly, demolition requires approval from relevant authorities in Dubai. The landlord must have evidence that they have obtained all the necessary documents and licenses from the relevant authorities. Only then can they go ahead with the demolition.

The tenant may file a case with the RDSC (Rental Disputes Settlement Centre) if they are not satisfied with the claim of demolition which requires them to vacate the property. The landlord will then be required to present satisfactory evidence that substantiates the claim. The evidence may be in the form of prior approval by the Dubai Municipality regarding the demolition. 

Article 25 of Dubai’s Rental Law provides that an eviction notice has to be served by the landlord, which also states the reason for demolition. This must be delivered to the tenant 12 months before the date of eviction. The notice has to be communicated to the tenant through a Notary Public, or by registered post. Failure to comply with the 12-month notice period will result in the landlord not being allowed to evict the tenant after the tenancy contract. 

In the case of renovation

The notice period for eviction in case of renovation is different compared to that in the case of demolition. The landlord must inform the tenant 90 days before the expiration of the tenancy contract that the lease will not be renewed due to renovation/restoration purposes. 

However, it is important to note that the renovation must be of the kind that requires the tenant to move out. Accordingly, the landlord must present a technical report issued by the Dubai Municipality or approved by it which supports the claim that the renovation cannot be carried out while the tenant living in the property. 

Right of first refusal

Article 29 of Dubai’s rental law - Law No. (33) of 2008, provides that the tenant has the right to return to the property after the completion of renovation or reconstruction. The right to the first refusal means that before anybody else is given the lease for the restored property, the last tenant has the right to make an offer to renew the lease or to buy the property they resided in before renovation or demolition. This is a common clause in most tenancy contracts. 

The right to the first refusal must be exercised by the tenant within 30 days from the date that they are notified by the landlord. If the 30 days go by without the tenant making an offer, the landlord is free to make offers to others. Similarly, if the offer is declined, then the landlord may accept offers from other prospective tenants. 

The rental committee of Dubai has the authority to resolve any dispute or disagreement regarding the new rent amount.

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