When there is a disagreement between the landlord and tenant that cannot be resolved through friendly discussion, the matter usually ends up in a “legal dispute”. To handle such situations, the Rental Dispute Center Dubai moderates.

The Rental Dispute Center Dubai functions similarly to the Dubai Courts, but with a specific focus on property and rental concerns, particularly conflicts between tenants.

rental disputes

When is the right time to file a case at the Rental Dispute Centre, Dubai?

The Dubai Land Department has established procedures to assist:

  • Tenants 
  • Landlords 
  • Buyers  
  • Sellers

But there are instances when contractual rights are breached. In such cases, the first course of action is to seek a resolution that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. 

However, there may be situations where both the landlord and tenant have exhausted all options for communication and compromise. In such cases, it is necessary to file a case at the rental dispute centre with the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

The DLD established the centre to facilitate the resolution of conflicts between landlords and tenants. 

The centre’s committee reviews all instances of disagreement except those related to financial issues such as leasing contracts financing and rental disputes in free zones like JAFZA and DMC.

The most common complaint filed is against landlords who impose unreasonable rental increases in violation of Dubai’s Rental Increase Laws

However, landlords may also need to file complaints against their tenants in some cases.

What are the requirements to apply for a rental dispute in Dubai?

It is important to have all the necessary documents and their original copies, if possible when initiating a rental dispute. The following documents are typically required:

  • Passport and visa for non-UAE residents.
  • Emirates ID for UAE residents.
  • Ejari Certificate.
  • Recent DEWA bills.
  • Title deed and passport copy of the landlord.
  • Copies of any correspondence related to the disagreement.
  • Receipt for rental deposit.
  • Copies of checks issued to the landlord.

How do I file a rental dispute in Dubai?

Step-by-Step Procedure

To address a rental dispute in Dubai, it is essential to understand the city’s rental laws. It is crucial to thoroughly review the Dubai Tenancy Law before contemplating legal action. This new legislation has led to the implementation of stringent regulations for rental agreements in Dubai. 

Step 1: The initial stage in resolving a disagreement is to have a good understanding of the RERA legislation, whether you are a tenant or landlord. It is not sufficient to file a rental dispute with the Rental Dispute Center Dubai based only on your assumptions.

It is best to seek advice from a lawyer if you are not familiar enough with the law to handle the matter independently.

Step 2: The ideal approach is to inform the other party and find a solution. Once you understand the legislation that supports your RERA complaint, it is advisable to inform the other party of your legal position. 

Step 3: The recommended approach is to communicate with the other party and reach an agreement. Once you have a clear understanding of the legislation supporting your RERA complaint, it is advisable to inform the other party of your legal position.

Step 4: If negotiations fail, you can file a complaint with the Rental Dispute Center Dubai. If you are unable to agree with your landlord, you have the option to lodge a formal complaint with the Rental Dispute Center Dubai. The centre was established to ensure that any conflicts between landlords and tenants are resolved efficiently. 

The committee considers all aspects of the case when a dispute is brought to their attention, except for cases that involve financial issues, such as leasing contract financing or disputes in free zones.

How Much Does It Cost to Lodge a Rental Dispute?

To initiate a rental dispute with your landlord, you will be required to make certain payments. The charges you need to pay to depend on the following factors:

  • To register a complaint, you will need to pay 3.5% of the annual rent, with a minimum fee of AED 500 and a maximum fee of AED 20,000.
  • If applicable, you may also have to pay around AED 210 per page for document translation fees. Additionally, you will need to pay an administration fee of approximately AED 110.

How Can I Resolve a Rental Dispute in Dubai?

Disagreements between landlords and tenants can be difficult and stressful for everyone involved. In these situations, seeking the advice of a rental dispute lawyer in Dubai can be helpful in understanding the legal rights of each party and the available options.

The lawyer’s goal is to assist in negotiating a fair, timely, and effective resolution with the other party.

If further legal action is required, a real estate attorney in Dubai can represent your interests during the arbitration or legal process and work diligently to achieve a favourable outcome.

Resolving Rental Dispute Cases in Dubai:

In the event of a conflict, the Rental Dispute Center Dubai ensures that each party has an equitable opportunity to voice their position. Hearings are usually conducted in Arabic, but an interpreter will be provided for those who are unable to speak the official language of the United Arab Emirates.

Stage 1: Resolution

In this phase, the landlord and tenant meet to attempt to find a resolution to their tenancy dispute case, but prior to this, a complaint must be filed with the Rental Disputes Center Dubai. 

To file a tenancy dispute case in Dubai, an application with the necessary documents must be submitted to the Rental Dispute Center Dubai’s customer service desk. 

Required documents include the original “Rental Dispute Center Dubai” application, original copy of the petition, two certified copies of the petition, existing tenancy contract, trade license (if applicable), passport copy of the complainant, and power of attorney (if applicable). 

Once the necessary requirements are submitted, fees must be paid at the RDC’s finance centre. 

A receipt will be provided, along with the date for the first session of the tenancy dispute case. The fees consist of 3.5% of the annual rental fee, with a maximum of AED 10,000, as well as the cost of local newspaper advertisement (in case the defendant doesn’t show up) and other fees such as expert consultation.

Stage 2: Hearing of First Instance

If the dispute was not resolved in the initial session with the Arbitration Department, this stage becomes necessary. The court will then hear the claims of both parties, which are submitted to the judge in a memorandum.

Stage 3: Appeal Filing   

Real estate lawyers in Dubai can initiate an appeal within 15 days of the judgment being issued at the Court of Appeal for disputes that exceed AED 50,000. It is important to note that this stage is only applicable if the judgment from the previous stage was not satisfactory.

Stage 4: Filing with the Court of Cassation 

If the value of a tenancy dispute case in Dubai is at least AED 330,000, it is possible to file an appeal with the Court of Cassation within 30 days after the judgment of the Court of Appeal has been passed.

Stage 5: Collection of awards

Legal remedies can be used by the party with a favourable judgment to force the other party to settle the tenancy dispute case. The Rental Dispute Center Dubai has the authority to hear rental disputes in Dubai, except for disputes involving financial lease contracts or rent disputes that occur within Dubai’s free economic zones.

The most common disputes that arise between landlords and tenants in Dubai include the failure to pay rent, unfair rent increases, and landlords cutting off essential services to the tenant in an attempt to force them to leave.

Both the landlord and the tenant have the right to file a tenancy dispute case in Dubai, and the complainant is required to provide evidence of correspondence between the parties to support their claim.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS)

Where do I file a complaint against a landlord in Dubai?

To complain to a landlord in Dubai, you would usually need to reach out to either the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) or the Rental Dispute Center Dubai. 

What is Dubai Rental Dispute Center?

The Rental Dispute Center Dubai is a governmental organization created to mediate conflicts between landlords and tenants. Its primary focus is to facilitate resolutions related to rental properties, which can range from disputes regarding rent hikes, security deposits, and maintenance issues to evictions.