Change in Dubai tenancy contract must be notified 90 days before it expires

Change in Dubai tenancy contract must be notified 90 days before it expires

You should also check whether your tenancy contract has a provision for early termination.



By Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 24 Mar 2019, 1:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 9:25 AM

Q-My tenancy contract in Dubai will expire by the end of March. On February 27, I had given a post-dated cheque to my landlord for renewing the contract. However, the next day, I received an email from my company that I may need to relocate to some other country. On March 3, I informed the landlord about this and requested that he return my cheque as I did not want to renew the contract. He refused to do so. After a long discussion, he asked for proof that I had been asked to relocate.
I showed him the email my company sent. The mail, however, did not specify the location or date of my proposed relocation. The landlord said they had already renewed my contract till March 31, 2020, based on the cheque I submitted. I don't want to renew my contract as my stay in the country is uncertain. What are my legal options? I am willing to extend the contract my two months or so, but my landlord is not agreeing to this either.
Answer:
It may be noted that both owner and tenant may serve notice of 90 days to other party if one of the parties does not intend to renew the tenancy contract. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 14 of Law No. 26 of 2007 as amended by the Law No. 33 of 2008 regulating the relationship between the landlords and tenants in Dubai (the 'Rental Law'), which states:
"Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if either party to the tenancy contract wishes to amend any of its terms in accordance with Article (13) of this Law, that party must notify the other party of the same no less than 90 days prior to the date on which the contract expires."
Further, it may also be noted that the period of a tenancy contract is also an essential condition in the agreement, and any amendment to this must also be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (as defined in the Rental Law). This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Rental Law which reads as follows:
"Article (4)
1- The tenancy relationship between landlord and tenant shall be governed by a tenancy contract describing the property in detail, the purpose of the tenancy, period, rent and name of owner if the owner is not the landlord.
2-All properties subject to this law, or its amendments, are to be registered with the agency."
Pursuant to the above, it may be noted that your notice for amendment of the period of contract was not made on a prior notice of 90 days before the expiry of the tenancy contract. The landlord may, therefore, be within his rights to renew the contract on the same terms, upon receipt of the advance payment cheque against your rents.
As you were not able to reach an amicable agreement with your landlord regarding amending the tenancy contract in terms of the period of contract and insofar as the landlord has renewed the contract for up to March 31, 2020, it may be noted that the tenancy contract shall be effective till such time.
Further, you should check whether your tenancy contract has a provision for early termination which you may invoke to terminate your tenancy contract. 
However, since you may have to relocate to a place outside UAE, paying an entire annual rent for a place not occupied by you, may be considered prejudicial to you. You may, therefore, consider approaching the Rental Disputes Center of the Land Department in Dubai, for an amicable settlement of the matter with your landlord.
Know the law
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if either party to the tenancy contract wishes to amend any of its terms in accordance with the law, that party must notify the other party of the same no less than 90 days prior to the date on which the contract expires.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, P.O. Box 11243, Dubai.


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