Landlords and tenants may review the rent and agree on changes based on certain criteria — here's what you need to know.
Question: I received a rent hike notice for my Dubai apartment after just one year of living there. The hike was substantial but falls within the limits of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) calculator. Is this legal? Can landlords hike rents substantially in just one year? Can I go to the dispute centres even if the rent is within the Rera calculator?
Answer: It is assumed that the term of your tenancy contract with the landlord is for one year and it is due for renewal soon. 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 and 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, a landlord is entitled to increase the rent in accordance with the rent calculator designed by Rera. This is in accordance with Article 10 of the Dubai Rent Law, which states:
“Rera will have the authority to establish criteria relating to percentages of rent increase in the emirate in line with the requirements of the prevailing economic situation.”
Moreover, the rent increase in Dubai is subject to various criteria — such as the rent of similar apartments in the locality, the economic conditions in the emirate, the condition of the rented apartment, etc. This is in accordance with Article 9(2) of the Amended Dubai Rent Law.
Based on the above provisions of the law, your landlord may increase the rent of your rented apartment while renewing the tenancy contract based on the Rera calculator. Moreover, the rent increase of an apartment may not be on an annual basis but may be increased on renewal of tenancy contract only if the Rera rent calculator and other criteria of the rented apartment allow such rent increase. If you feel the rent increase is substantial based on other criteria of the rental apartment, then you may approach the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre to decide the rent you need to pay to your landlord on renewal of the tenancy contract.
This is in accordance with Article 13 of the Amended Dubai Rent law, which states:
“For the purposes of renewing the tenancy contract, the landlord and tenant may, prior to the expiry of the tenancy contract, amend any of the terms or review the rent, whether increasing or decreasing it. Should the landlord and tenant fail to reach an agreement, then the tribunal may determine the fair rent, taking into account the criteria stipulated in Article 9 of this law.”
However, your landlord may not have the right to increase the rent prior to the renewal of the tenancy contract even if the rent increase is reflected in the Rera rent calculator.
News Khaleej Times