It’s important to be aware of the rental laws in Dubai, especially since more and more expats are making it their home each year. Unfortunately, this can sometimes make tenants susceptible to landlords who try to change things unfairly in their rental contracts. This can lead to disagreements between tenants and landlords. But don’t worry – we’re here to help!
In this article, we’ll go over the things you should know before signing a rental contract, including factors that can cause rent increases and your rights when it comes to resolving disputes.
Can Your Landlord Raise Your Rent?
As a tenant, it’s important to be aware of your rights when it comes to changes in your rental agreement. According to the Real Estate Regulatory, landlords must give a 90-day notice before making any changes to the contract, breaking the agreement, or increasing rent. It’s essential to document the date the landlord requests a rental increase. If a landlord doesn’t provide a 90-day notice, tenants can refuse the increase legally.
If you do come to an agreement with your landlord about a rent increase, make sure to carefully review the entire contract for any additional changes. If you don’t agree with the new terms, you can file a case with the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre at the Dubai Land Department (DLD). The Dubai government released a rent decree in 2013 to regulate rental price hikes by landlords due to high rental dispute cases in the Emirate. The decree, known as Decree 43, outlines rules for rental property increases that tenants should review before filing a rental dispute case with the DLD.
Decree 43 states that a landlord cannot increase rent if the property’s rental value is confirmed to be less than 10% of the average rent of similar units in the area. If the current rent value is 11-20% less than average, landlords can increase rent by 5%. A 10% increase is legal under Dubai law if the rental value is 21-30% less than average, and a 15% increase is allowed if the value is 31-40% less than similar units in the same community. The maximum rental increase is 20% if the current rental value is 40% less than other units in the area.
Furthermore ,as a tenant it’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date with real estate market trends to anticipate any potential rent hikes. Landlords are legally allowed to increase rent based on the rental rates of comparable properties in the vicinity. The Dubai Land Department has a great rental increase calculator that you can use to determine if a rent increase is justified. Once you provide some basic information like the property type, area, number of bedrooms, and current annual rent, you’ll get instant results!