Tenancy Contracts in the UAE

The tenancy agreement, also known as a rental agreement, is a binding legal document that grants the renter use of a property for a particular use and for a predetermined amount of time. The agreement outlines all of the lease terms as well as the mutually agreed-upon demands and expectations of both parties. A proper rental agreement aids in avoiding misunderstandings and potential future issues.

The Dubai Rental Law No. 26 of 2007 and the amending Law No. 33 govern rental agreements in Dubai and the subsequent interaction between renters and landlords (2008). These laws cover Dubai’s landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities.

Decree No. 43 of 2013 applies to every aspect of rising property rent in Dubai. The Rent Problems Settlement Center, established by Decree No. 26 of 2013, is responsible for resolving rental disputes through arbitration or the courts.

RERA uses the Ejari system to ensure accurate registration and oversight of rental agreements throughout the emirate. All landlords and tenants in Dubai must formalize their rental agreements in a format recognized by the government by registering their tenancy agreements on Ejari.

The Rights of Tenants and Landlords under Tenancy Contract

The Rights of Tenants

  • The tenant has the right to receive the property that is in good condition and comfortably livable.
  • Any maintenance and restoration of property to make it comfortably livable should be undertaken by the landlord, unless the contract specifies otherwise.
  • The tenant has the right to full use of property. The landlord cannot make any changes that disrupt the tenant’s intended use of the property.
  • One is legally allowed to live in the rented property even if the property is transferred to a new owner during the term of their tenancy contract.
  • The tenant has the right to challenge unfair increase in rent that is not in line with RERA’s Rent Increase Calculator.
  • The tenant must be informed through a formal notification of any intended amendments to the tenancy contract, 90 days prior to its expiry.

The Rights of the Landlord

  • The agreed-upon rent amount must be paid to the landlord by the designated due date.
  • If the security deposit is returned in whole or part at the end of the rental agreement, the landlord may request one to cover any damages to the property.
  • The tenant is not permitted to redecorate or renovate without the landlord’s approval.
  • When the tenancy agreement ends, the landlord is entitled to possession of the property in the same condition as when the landlord gave it to the tenant.
  • Landlords have the right to retain any leasehold improvements made by the tenant.
  • All property charges, taxes and government-imposed fees should be paid by the tenant, unless agreed otherwise.

Ejari online registration for your tenancy contract is crucial, regardless of whether you’re the landlord or the renter. If a dispute arises, Ejari helps resolve it and gives the agreement legal force. The “consolidated leasing contract,” also known as the tenancy contract in Dubai, must first be completed to register Ejari.

Important Tenancy Laws

  1. The parties can attach an addendum to the standard contract. The addendum must enumerate and elaborate all terms and conditions governing the rental agreement. This can include, but isn’t limited to:
    • Who pays for what services
    • What instances require an NOC from the landlord
    • To what extent tenants can carry out maintenance 
  2. Unless both parties agree differently, breaking the tenancy agreement can only be done with their consent. This means that if the tenant continues to reside in the property without the landlord’s objection, the lease term will automatically renew for another similar period or one year, whichever is lower.
  3. The landlord MUST provide the tenant with a 90-day notice sent via registered mail prior to contract expiry, in case they want to make any changes to the existing contract.
  4. In Dubai, the lease does not automatically expire if either the landlord or the tenants pass away. Instead, it gives to the heir of the deceased unless the heir chooses to terminate the tenancy agreement, which takes effect after 30 days of notifying the landlord.
  5. If the property is transferred to a new owner before the end of the tenancy term, the tenant has the right to continue living in the property until the end of the contractual term. While it is not legally required to change the tenancy contract at this point, it is advisable to update the details with Ejari to avoid any disputes at a later date.

Signatories of the Contract

Once you have drafted the tenancy contract, the parties need to sign it in front of a witness to make the agreement valid. The Dubai Land Department considers the following groups of people to be official signatories for rent contracts in Dubai:

  • The landlord
  • The tenant
  • Legal representative of the landlord with a Power of Attorney
  • Licensed property management companies

In case of any issues related to tenancy contract or real estate, feel free to contact us.