Dubai: Do tenants have to pay maintenance charges below Dh500?

KT reader wants to know if it is legal for the landlord to charge maintenance fee from the tenant and add it as a clause in the contract


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 8:41 AM

Last updated: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 10:27 PM

Question: I stay in a rented apartment in Dubai. I have small maintenance issues at my place and reached out to my real estate. However, they pointed out a clause in the tenancy contract about all maintenance charges below Dh500 being the tenant's responsibility. Is this legal?

Answer: Since you are residing in a rented apartment in Dubai, the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship Between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai are applicable.

In Dubai, it is the responsibility of a landlord to carry out the maintenance and repair works of a rented apartment unless agreed by the landlord and a tenant in the tenancy contract that the tenant is responsible for maintaining the rented apartment. This is in accordance with Article 16 of the Dubai Rent Law, which states, "Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, a Landlord shall, during the term of the lease contract, be responsible for the Real Property maintenance works and for repairing any breakdown or defect that affects the Tenant's full intended use of the Real Property."

Based on the aforementioned provision of law, as you have already agreed in the tenancy contract that you will bear up to Dh500 for any maintenance, you are liable to incur the said costs as mentioned in the tenancy contract.

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However, a landlord may be responsible for rectifying any breakdown, damages or defects caused to a rented apartment and if such breakdown, damages, or defects are caused due to reasons which are beyond the control of a tenant. This is in accordance with Article 17 of the Dubai Rent Law, which states, “A landlord may not make to the Real Property or any of its facilities or appurtenances, any changes that preclude the intended use of the same. The landlord shall be responsible for any such changes whether made by him or by any other person authorised by him. In addition, the landlord shall be responsible for any breakdown, impairment, defect, or damage sustained by the Real Property for reasons beyond the control of the tenant."

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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