Tenants who seek to challenge the arbitrary increase in rents by their landlords need to approach the dispute settlement committee in Dubai Municipality, according to the Dubai Land Department (DLD).
In response to a query on Twitter by an aggrieved Dubai tenant, as regards arbitrary rent hikes, the DLD said: “The landlord may increase the rent each year and this increase depends on decrees in rental percentage from the average rent in the same property.
“However, if there is no increase in the calculator, then you should refer to the dispute settlement committee in municipality.”
On Monday, Emirates 24|7 reported that landlords were arbitrarily increasing rents, ignoring the rental calculator set up by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) for the purpose.
Tenants living in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Discovery Gardens and Springs, told this website that landlords have either increased rents even though they are not entitled to, or have simply asked them to vacate.
The tenant has to be personally present to file the case and has to pay 3.5 per cent of annual rent with a minimum of Dh350 and a maximum ceiling of Dh20,000 besides bearing any other expenses related to the process.
However, one thing has to be borne in mind that the committee decision is final and binding, and cannot be appealed at Dubai Courts.
In May, Andrew Thomson, Senior Associate at Clyde & Co, told this website that the hikes will depend on when the tenant moved into the property and there are two slabs for this.
For properties leased prior to January 2011, no increases will be permitted if the rent is less than 25 per cent of the average rent for similar property in the same area.
If it is more than 25 per cent, then there is a staggered permitted increase ranging from five per cent to 15 per cent.
For those leased after January 2011, if a landlord wants to increase the rent, he has to inform the tenant at least 90 days before expiry of the current tenancy period (unless the parties agree otherwise).