How to handle a rental dispute?

Rent Dispute Dubai

The launch of the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre was announced on 18th September 2013 under Decree No. 26 of 2013. The Centre started its operations within 60 days of the Decree being issued, in November 2013.

The objective of the Centre, is to settle rental disputes of all kinds between landlords and tenants in Dubai (also including rental disputes within free zones). The fast-track approach to settling rental disputes aims to simplify the redressal procedures and deliver judgements within 75 days for most cases.

The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre replaced the existing Dubai Municipality Rent Committee, which was looking into rental disputes earlier. Apart from hearing all the new cases starting from 17th November 2013, the Centre also heard appeals against earlier judgements delivered by the Rent Committee a month before the Centre became functional.

The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre is divided into four departments:

  • Arbitration & Reconciliation Department – This is the first department that you approach, which tries to resolve the rental dispute amicably, within 15 days, failing which a lawsuit can be filed.
  • Department of First Instance – This department will hear the case if the Arbitration & Reconciliation Department fails to resolve it. The rental dispute will be settled within 30 days.
  • Department of Appeal – Here, you can only appeal against the judgment of the Department of First Instance if the claim is worth more than AED 100,000 or in cases of misrepresentation, forged documents or eviction judgements. Judgement will be delivered within 30 days.
  • Law Enforcement Department – The final judgements delivered by the Department of First Instance and Department of Appeal are enforced by the Law Enforcement Department.

Documents required before you approach the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre:

Original Tenancy Contract & copies of passports of tenant & landlord, Emirates ID, Ejari registration certificate, DEWA bill, Title Deed and rent cheques issued.

You also have to get the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre form typed in Arabic by a typing center and make sure to get Arabic translations of all the non-Arabic documents.

The fees that you will incur:

  • 3.5% of your annual rent is paid towards court fees (Minimum – AED 350 & Maximum – AED 20,000).
  • If the defendant does not show up on the date of the hearing, you may have to pay for a newspaper advertisement asking the defendant to appear in court on the second scheduled hearing.

You can claim back the aforementioned fees from the defendant, if the judgement is issued in your favour.

Opening hours:
The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre is open from 7:30 am-2:30 pm and also after 4:30 pm on weekdays.

Contact Details:
The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre is based at Dubai Land Department on Baniyas Road, Deira, Dubai. Toll Free number – 800 4488.