My flat's co-owner left the UAE without paying mortgage. What should I do?


UAE, Dubai, mortgage, land department, civil case, court, partners, expat

Dubai - Know your legal rights in the UAE

By Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 28 Jun 2020, 12:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jun 2020, 6:33 PM

Question: I own a mortgaged flat registered in Dubai. I have one partner and we own two units in one tower. When units were handed over, the finance company through which these are mortgaged started charging the EMI. In April 2018, my partner lost his job and left the country without informing me. I learnt about it only when I asked his brother where he was, as I was constantly calling his mobile but it was switched off. 
I have been granted a power of attorney by my partner and it was issued before he left the country. Since March 2018 until today, I have been settling all EMI payments. There was absolutely no contribution either from my partner or his brother. What legal action should I take against my partner?
All mortgaged properties in the emirate should be registered with the Land Department of Dubai. As you are paying the share of mortgage loan that has to be paid by your partner - who has left the UAE - you may file a claim and demand your partner to pay his share. 
This is in accordance with Article 335 of the Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE. It states: "If a mortgagor settles the debt of somebody else, to liberate his mortgaged property in security for such debt, he is entitled to revert on the debtor for what the amount settled by him." 
This means you may file a civil case in court against your partner to recover the mortgage loan amount you paid on his behalf. 
Alternatively, you may consider selling the units to yourself or to a third party, subject to the consent of the mortgagee and provided that the power of attorney you are holding permits you to do so. 
If the power of attorney that your partner has given you does not allow you to transfer or sell his share of the mortgaged flats, then you may request him to issue another power of attorney. 
Further, if your partner's power of attorney does not give you the right to sell or transfer his share or if he is not responding to you to pay the mortgage loan amount or to transfer the property to you or to any third party, you may continue to pay the entire EMIs to the mortgagee. Upon the completion of the payment of the entire mortgage loan, you may file a civil case in court against your partner to recover the mortgage loan amount you paid on his behalf.  
You may place your claim against your partner in accordance with Article 335 and Article 320 of the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE.
Under Article 320,  "whoever gives something, being under the belief that he is under duty to do so, but it was later revealed that it is not due by him, he is entitled to recover it from the one who received it, if existing, or a similar thing in replacement thereof or its value, if not existing." 
You may also request the court for a judgement in your favour to transfer your partner's share to your name as you have paid the entire mortgage loan amount to the mortgagee. For further clarifications, you may consult a legal practitioner in Dubai.

If a mortgagor pays the debt of somebody else, he may file a civil case in court to demand the debtor to pay the amount he settled. 
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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