Residents in the UAE claim their landlords continue to seek unfair rises, conditions or changes to their contracts.
“Most will try to get the best rental income they possibly can, but where a lot of landlords fall down is that they are either ignorant of the law or they know the law and still try to buck the system. That’s when tenants should take the matter further,” says Mario Volpi, the managing director at Ocean View Real Estate and The National’s Homefront columnist.
In the past tenants would do as they were told because they were ignorant of the law, but now they are more informed, adds Mr Volpi.
“There are still tenants who will walk away and then there are those who say ‘no I have rights, I am going to fight’,” he adds.
In Dubai, by law each party must give at least 90 days’ notice before the expiry of the contract to communicate any changes. In Abu Dhabi, the landlord can make any changes if mutually agreed, at any time he or she likes, as long as they give two months’ notice. Any rise in rent will not, however, apply until after the expiry date on the current contract.
In Dubai, rental increases are calculated using a sum which involves the average rent in the index.
“The big thing that people always complain about is their landlord giving them less notice for a rent hike,” says Ben Crompton, who runs the Abu Dhabi branch of Crompton Partners. “Often landlords don’t give the requisite notice and then try to raise the rent after that.”