How To Settle a Tenancy Dispute Case in Dubai
The Tenancy Law or Law No. 33 or 2008 is the Regulating Relationship Between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai that is associated with an authority that receives dispute applications called Rental Disputes Settlement Centre or RDSC, which is Decree No. 26 of 2013 Concerning Rent Disputes Resolution Centre in the Emirate of Dubai that was established in 18th of September 2013.
About Tenancy Law and Rental Dispute Settlement Centre
RDSC is the judicial system that handles exclusively the rental disputes in the Emirate of Dubai for people who are tenants and owner of a property. With regard to Article 5 of the law, Dubai Land Department will have RDSC as its judicial arm and there may be offices that will be opened in Dubai. It will hold all the hearings regarding rental disputes between tenants and landlords in Dubai and even in free zones except for those that are under different jurisdictions (e.g., Dubai International Financial Centre). Also, the Dubai Courts have a different jurisdiction for disputes in finance lease contracts and long-term lease agreements.
When Filing a Case at Rental Dispute Settlement Centre
In events that either the tenant or the landlord would like to file a claim that is associated with tenancy relationship, RDSC should be given a statement of claim by the claimant along with the following documents:
1. The claimantís Emirates ID or companyís commercial license
2. The defendantís passport or Emirates ID or companyís commercial license.
3. Supporting document that serves as an evidence (e.g., Statement of Account)
4. The lease agreement copy
5. The Dubai Municipality Affection plan copy or Dubai Land Department Title Deed copy that pertains to the premises that are leased
6. The Premise Number of DEWA or Ejari Registration Number
Under the Tenancy Law, the lease agreement should be registered in Ejari by the landlord and the tenant. RDSC doesnít require it though so a DEWA Premise Number can be used instead to file a case. It is also important to remember that every document is required to be in Arabic. If itís not so, a certified legal translator should translate the documents as it is a prerequisite in this procedure.
With regard to the case, a lawyer is not needed for a person to be represented at RDSC, but in cases that a physical appearance is not possible on the day of the hearing, a notarized power of attorney is necessary for the chosen representative.
The Cost of Filing a Case
In filing a case at RDSC, the amount that will be paid will be 3.5% of the annual rent of the leased premises. The fees, in any cases, for financial claims should only be from AED 500 but should not be over AED 15,000. The costs could go as high as AED 20,000 if it is about eviction claim or tenancy contract renewal. Moreover, there could be an event wherein both aforementioned cases are requested, so when this happens, the fee would be AED 35,000 at most.
Within 15 days, there will be an attempt on the side of Arbitration Department in cordially settling the disputes between the landlord and the tenants. A lawsuit will have to be formally presented to the Department of First Instance if the Arbitration Department is not successful in trying to settle the issues, and within 30 days, the Department of First Instance will be the one who will try to handle the disputes this time. Unless it is appealed to the Department of Appeal (which is only for claims with a value of more than AED 100,000), the decisions and rulings of the Department of First Instance will be absolute. Then within 30 days, the latter department will then release their verdict.
The Rental Disputes Settlement Centre is believed to be providing a quick service, ensuring that both the landlord and tenant are heard and that both sides are not considered to responsible of what the action of the other one is.
The real estate market in Dubai has been evolving and continues to do so. With the service that the RDSC offers, the quality that it projects is in line with the real estate market standards in Dubai, bringing about steadiness with regard to the matters that concern landlords and tenants. It is also believed that this kind of fast service will eventually attract more investors to Dubai.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: M.A. Farahat
M.A Farahat is regulated judicial expert before Dubai, UAE Courts. He has specialized in Financial Crime Investigation and Dispute Support. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, presented and accomplished more than 600 expert assignment & reporting on different matters related to Commercial Disputes, Civil Disputes, Real Estate Disputes, Custodianship / Receivership, Fraud & Financial crimes, Corporate liquidations, Asset disposals, and company wind-downs.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.