Dubai rental law: Can I file a complaint if my landlord deducts from my security deposit?

Landlords are allowed to collect some money from tenants when they enter into a rent contract for maintenance of the property upon expiry of the contract


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 23 Apr 2023, 9:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Apr 2023, 10:46 PM

Question: It's been two months since I moved out of my apartment in Dubai but I am yet to receive the amount. If a real estate agency sends me the amount and I find that it has unjustly deducted some amount, what must I do?

Answer: As you were 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 is applicable.

In Dubai, a landlord or management company is authorised to collect a security deposit from a tenant when the landlord and tenant enter a rent contract. This is in accordance with Article 20 of the Dubai Rent Law, which states, “When entering into a rental contract, a landlord may collect from the tenant a security deposit for the purpose of maintenance of the real property upon the expiry of the rent contract. The landlord must refund this deposit or the balance thereof to the tenant upon expiry of the rent contract."

Moreover, it is the responsibility of a tenant to maintain a rented apartment in a good condition, except for reasonable wear and tear. This is in accordance with Article 21 of the Dubai Rent Law, which states, “Upon expiry of the term of the rental contract, the tenant must surrender possession of the real property to the landlord in the same condition in which the tenant received it at the time of entering into the lease contract, except for ordinary wear and tear or any damage sustained due to reasons beyond the tenant's contract. Where a dispute between the parties arises in this regard, it shall be referred to the Tribunal to issue its decision on the same."

Based on the aforesaid provisions of law, it is your right to receive the refund of the security deposit which you had paid at the time you entered into a rent contract with the landlord. The security deposit should have been refunded to you when you moved out of the said rented apartment upon settlement of all the dues with your landlord (if any) and handing over the keys of the said rented apartment.

If the management company deducted the amount from the security deposit without a valid reason, then you may file a complaint/case against your landlord and its management company before the Rental Dispute Centre of Dubai.

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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