Question: I am a resident of Sharjah. I have just been informed of a 25 per cent hike in rents after three years in one flat. My question is this: Is there any criteria for rent hikes in Sharjah? I don’t agree with this hike because it’s much higher than other similar flats in my locality. How can I challenge this hike?
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, as you are residing in a rented apartment in Sharjah, the provisions of Sharjah Law No. 2 of 2007 on Regulating the Relationship Between Landlord and Tenant in the Emirate of Sharjah (the ‘Sharjah Rent Law’) are applicable.
The landlord may only increase the rent of the apartment upon completion of first three years of tenancy contract. Thereafter, the landlord may increase the rent once again upon completion of another two years of tenancy contract.
This means the second increment of rent may be only upon completion of five years of tenancy contract between the landlord and tenant.
This is in accordance with Article 13 of the Sharjah Rent Law, which states:
“a- The landlord may not - for any reason whatsoever - increase the rent agreed upon before the expiration of three years as the date of signature of the lease contract.
b- The increase in the rent after the expiry of the period referred to above shall be of equivalent value.
c- The rent increase agreed upon may not be increased one more time until after the expiration of two years as of the date of the first increase. “
Based on the aforementioned provision of law, your landlord may increase the rent as you have completed first three years of tenancy contract. However, such rent increment should be reasonable and comparable with rent of similar apartments in your area.
Since you find the rent increment proposed by your landlord is higher, you may approach the landlord and request him to reconsider it. In the event the landlord does not agree, then you may approach the Sharjah Rent Committee and file a complaint.
This is in accordance with Article 14 of the Sharjah Rent Law, which states, “The committee shall determine the rental value in the case parties to the contract fail to determine the same.”
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: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: email@example.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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