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Dubai: Steps to Take When Landlord Ignores Important Tenant Requests

Dubai: Steps to Take When Landlord Ignores Important Tenant Requests
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Question: I have rented a one-room apartment in Dubai. Due to a leakage in my water heater recently, the apartment was in a mess. I have requested maintenance, but the landlord has not responded. I am afraid that the heater will explode. In such situations, what do I do?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, as 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, Law No. 33 of 2008 Amending Law No 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai and Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021 on the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law are applicable.

In Dubai, it is the responsibility of a landlord to provide rented premises to a tenant in good condition. This is in accordance with Article 15 of the Amended Dubai Rent Law, which states,

"A landlord shall be bound to hand over the real property in a good condition which allows the tenant to fully use it as stated in the rent contract."

Moreover, it is the responsibility of a landlord to carry out the repair works and maintenance of the rented premises unless otherwise it is stated in the tenancy contract that the tenant is liable to repair and maintain the same. 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 rent contract, be responsible for the real property maintenance works and for repairing any breakdown or defect the tenant's full intended use of the real property."

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, your landlord is liable to repair and maintain the water heater. However, it may be your responsibility if the tenancy contract states that you are liable for the repair and maintenance of the rented apartment.

In addition, as you are concerned that the water heater may explode, you may consider filing a criminal complaint with the Dubai Police against your landlord if the tenancy contract states that maintenance/replacement of the water heater is the responsibility of the landlord and if the landlord has failed to comply with the terms of the tenancy contract. Any act by an individual which endangers the safety of other individual(s), such act may be considered a criminal act. This is in accordance with Article 399 of the UAE Penal Law, which states,

"Any person who willfully commits any act which may endanger the life, safety, security, or freedom of people shall be liable to a jail sentence and a fine or either one of these two penalties.

Without prejudice to any other more severe penalty specified by the law, the penalty shall be a jail sentence if the act results in any damage of whatsoever."

For further clarifications on these matters, you may contact the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre and the Dubai Municipality.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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