Landlords and property agencies in Abu Dhabi have put tenants on notice to either accept rent increases or to vacate the properties at the end of the leases.
According to a report in Emarat Al Youm, several tenants have reported receiving notices informing them of the same.
The move comes in the wake of Abu Dhabi abolishing the five per cent rent increase ceiling limit in November 2013 and landlords are now moving to raise rents to bring them on par with current market valuations.
Some tenants, quoted in the report, claimed that the rent hikes were as much as 50 per cent of the original lease.
Abdullah, a resident in a building on Istiklal Street in Abu Dhabi said residents of the building were surprised to receive a notice to evacuate their flats within two months.
He added that they then received a phone call from the real estate company managing the property stating that the possibility of extending the contracts was only in the event of a rent increase, ranging between 30 and 50 per cent.
He says he has been renting his flat for the past 13 years; the original rent being Dh40,000, with increases of five per cent per year.
He claims the landlord now wants him to pay Dh90,000 per year and feels the increase is unjustified.
One tenant who approached the Rent Dispute Committee was asked to deposit the annual rent with the committee and file a complaint against the landlord.
The report quoted a cross-section of Abu Dhabi residents who claimed to have received notices of rent increases.
Mohammed Abu Hachim, resident of a building in Al Jawzat Street said his landlord told him that the rent will be increased by about Dh35,000.
Bahija Ismail, who lives in a building in Khalifa Street and pays a rent of Dh60,000 a year, said her landlord wants Dh100,000 a year to renew her contract..
The report quoted Ahmed Salim, a legal advisor, as saying that the increases are based on the rules of supply and demand and after a short period of instability, the whole market would stabilise.