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Dubai: Can tenant negotiate lower rent after signing contract?

Dubai: Can tenant negotiate lower rent after signing contract?
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Question: I recently signed a rent contract for a 2-BR apartment in Dubai. However, rents in my building have dipped for some reason and others have renewed their contracts for significantly lesser annual rents. Can I renegotiate lower rents in light of this?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you have registered the rent contract of your two-bedroom apartment with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) through Ejari registration and you are currently in possession of the said rented apartment. Therefore, the provisions of Law No. 33 of 2008 Amending Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship Between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai are applicable.

In Dubai, both a landlord and a tenant need to abide by the terms and conditions mentioned in the signed tenancy contract which is duly registered with Rera. Therefore, the rent agreed in the tenancy contract should be paid by the tenant.

This is in accordance with Article 4 of the Amended Dubai Rent Law, which states:

“1. The contractual relationship between a landlord and a tenant shall be regulated by a rent contract which includes a description of the rented real property that leaves no room for uncertainty; the purpose of the rent; the term of the rent contract; the rent and its payment method; and the name of the real property owner if the landlord is not the owner.

“2. All rent contracts related to real property which is governed by the provisions of this law, and any amendments thereto, shall be registered with Rera.”

Based on the aforementioned law, as you have already agreed to the rent with the landlord in the tenancy contract, it may not be possible for you to challenge the same, even though the rents in your locality have significantly reduced.

You may consider negotiating the rent with your landlord, however, any reduction in rent for the validity of the tenancy contract is at the discretion of the landlord.

However, prior to renewing your tenancy contract, if the rents in your locality are lower than the current rent, you may request the landlord to reduce the rent based on the Rera regulated rent calculator as mentioned in Article 13 of the Amended Dubai Rent Law, which states,

“For the purposes of renewing a rent contract, the landlord and tenant may prior to the expiry of the lease contract, amend any of its terms or reconsider increasing or reducing the rent. If the landlord and tenant fail to reach an agreement in this regard, the Tribunal may determine the fair rent, taking into account the criteria stipulated in Article 9 of this Law.”

In the event there is no amicable decision between you and the landlord on the rent for the renewed period, you may approach the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre to decide on the rent of your rented apartment.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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