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How to Resolve a Tenancy Dispute Case in Dubai

When landlords and tenants disagree, it can be hard and stressful for both sides. A rental dispute lawyer in Dubai can give clients who are in a dispute the necessary expert guidance, especially on the legal rights of each party and the options available to them. The goal is to help negotiate with the tenant or landlord to come up with a fair, immediate and effective solution.  

If you need to take more formal action, a real estate attorney in Dubai can represent your interests through the arbitration or legal process and work hard to get your desired outcome.  

Stages of Resolving Tenancy Dispute Cases in Dubai  

Following the issuance of Decree no. 26 of 2013, a judicial arm of the Dubai Land Department or DLD was established, and it’s referred to as the Rental Disputes Center or RDC. The RDC hears disagreements that arise between a landlord and a tenant, giving each party a fair voice should a conflict arise. A hearing typically takes place in the Arabic language but an interpreter will be provided for all those who can’t speak the official language of the United Arab Emirates.    

A tenancy dispute case in Dubai goes through the following stages:  

Stage 1: Resolution with the Arbitration Department.  

During this stage, the landlord and the tenant convene in order to find a resolution to a tenancy dispute case. However, a party has to file a complaint first with the Rental Disputes Center. In order to lodge a tenancy dispute case in Dubai, the application must be submitted together with the necessary documents at RDC’s customer service desk.   

Documents required are as follows:  

  • Original RDC application  
  • Original copy of the petition 
  • Two certified copies of the petition  
  • Existing tenancy contract  
  • Trade license (if applicable) 
  • Passport copy of the complainant  
  • Power of attorney (If applicable)

Upon the submission of the necessary requirements, the fees are to be paid at the RDC’s finance center. A receipt will be issued together with the date for the first session of the tenancy dispute case.   

The fees include 3.5 percent of the annual rental fee with a maximum of AED 10,000, the cost of local newspaper advertisement (in case the defendant doesn’t show up), and other fees e.g. expert consultation.   

Stage 2: Hearing at the Court of First Instance.   

This stage will only prove to be necessary if the dispute wasn’t solved during the first session with the Arbitration Department. The court will be hearing the claims of both parties which are forwarded to the judge in a memorandum.   

Stage 3: Filing of appeal.   

This will take place at the Court of Appeal. Real estate lawyers in Dubai can file an appeal within fifteen (15) days after a judgment has been passed. Take note: this will only apply for claims that exceed AED 50,000.  

Stage 4: Filing with the Court of Cassation.   

A tenancy dispute case in Dubai that is valued at least AED 330,000 can be filed with the Court of Cassation within thirty (30) days following the passing of judgment from the Court of Appeal.  

Stage 5: Collection of awards by the Enforcement Department. 

The party with a favorable judgment is able to pressure another party to the tenancy dispute case to settle using legal means.  

The Rent Disputes Center possesses jurisdiction over rental disputes that take place in Dubai with the exception of financial lease contracts and rent dispute cases which arise within the free economic zones of Dubai.   

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The most common disputes that arise between a landlord and a tenant in Dubai include tenant resistance to vacate the property within the allotted time frame, failure in settling rental payments, an unfair increase in the rent, and landlords severing the essential services that are required by the tenant (usually to induce the tenant to leave). Note: both a landlord and a tenant can file a tenancy dispute case in Dubai. The party lodging the complaint will also be required in providing proof of correspondence between the parties to support a claim.  

Rental disputes Cases

Rental disputes can be agonizing and they can take up a lot of resources from both parties. If you’re currently in such a situation, the best step you can take is to enlist the help of a rental dispute lawyer in Dubai. At HHS Lawyers, our real estate lawyers in Dubai have years of knowledge and experience in managing tenancy disputes. We can advise both a landlord and a tenant on the most pragmatic way to settle a dispute. An alternative dispute resolution will always be the best recourse; however, negotiation and mediation may not be available for your case.    

If litigation can’t be avoided, our real estate lawyers in Dubai are able to issue proceedings even with the most complex of cases and at a short notice. Contact us today! 

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.