Dubai: Can landlords evict tenants before contract expires if they intend to live there?

KT reader wants to know the procedure of moving into his own villa, which he has rented out


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 7 Jul 2024, 9:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 7 Jul 2024, 8:46 PM

Question: I own a villa in Dubai that I have rented out. I wish to move into the property now. What is the procedure?

Answer: In Dubai, a landlord may evict a tenant before the expiry or upon the expiry of a tenancy contract. In your case, as you intend to reside in your villa, the conditions prescribed for eviction fall under the provision of the tenant's eviction upon the contract's expiry. A landlord may evict a tenant from a rented premises by serving 12 months’ notice through a notary public if,

(i) a landlord wishes to demolish and reconstruct the rented property upon obtaining permission from competent local authorities,

(ii) the restoration or repair of rented property cannot be carried out while the tenant is occupying the same,

(iii) if the landlord or his or her first-degree family members wish to reside in the rented property if the landlord does not have any other alternative property to reside in Dubai, provided they reside in the same for at least two years upon obtaining repossession of the rented property from a tenant and

(iv) if the landlord wishes to sell the rented property.

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This is under Article 25 (2)(c) of Law No. 33 of 2008 Amending Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, which states,

“Upon expiry of the lease contract, the landlord may seek eviction of the tenant from the real property only if:

(c) the real property owner wishes to retake possession of the real property for his own use or use by any of his first-degree relatives, provided that the owner proves that he does not own any alternative real property that is suitable for his purpose.”

“For the purposes of paragraph (2) of this Article the landlord must notify the tenant of the eviction reasons at least twelve (12) months before the date of eviction, and the notice must be served through a Notary Public or by registered mail."

Moreover, Article 26 of the Amended Rent Law states, “Where the Tribunal rules in favour of the landlord retaking possession of the Real Property for his use or for use by any of his first-degree relatives, in accordance with sub-paragraph (2)(c) of Article 25 of this Law, the landlord may not rent the real property to a third party before the lapse of at least two (2) years in case of residential Real Property, or three (3) years in case of non-residential Real Property, from the date of retaking possession of the same. Otherwise, the tenant may request the Tribunal to award him fair compensation."

In accordance with the above-mentioned provisions, as you intend to live in your own villa you may notify the tenant to vacate the villa by serving at least 12 months notice through a notary public. Upon taking possession of villa, you may not rent it to any third party for at least 2 years from the date you have taken possession of your villa.

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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