Does your landlord follow Dubai rent index?

If your landlord isn’t following Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s (Rera) rent index, you have the right to file a complaint with the rental dispute settlement centre.

But you have another option as well: you can submit your complaint to Rera — online.

In response to a tweet that complained of a landlord not following the rental index, Marwan bin Ghalita, the CEO of Rera, said: “The law is clear in the increase issue, they can submit complaint to us... we will assist them in the matter.”

The complainant, in the tweet, had said the landlord had asked her to either pay the increase or leave, and he wasn’t bothered about Rera.”

Ghalita, in another tweet, stated: “If a landlord wants the property for his own use, he should give the tenant 12 month notice and the property cannot be rented for two years.”

Asked how the agency tracks such cases, Rera CEO said that once the dispute settlement centre issues an order, Rera will lock the unit on Ejari system so it can’t be rented for two years. Besides, the former tenant will have right for a claim and the first right to move back.

Last year, the Dubai Land Department said a landlord must give a 90-day notice to his tenant if he plans to increase the rent, which has to be based on Rera rent index.

(Read: Dubai landlords must give 90-day notice to tenants for any rent hike)

Rent increase slabs

In order to control the arbitrary rent increases, the Dubai government released a new rent decree in December 2013. The Decree, No. 43 of 2013 now sets a specific band on how the maximum rental increases that a landlord can demand at the time of renewing leases.

The decree is applicable to private and public sector owned properties in Dubai, as well as within the free zones.

No rent increase if the rent of the property unit is less than 10 per cent of the average rent of a similar property in the same residential area.

If the rent value is between 11 and 20 per cent less than the average rent of a similar property, the maximum rent increase shall be equal to 5 per cent of the rent value.

If the rental value of a unit is between 21 and 30 per cent less than the average rent of a similar unit, the maximum rent increase shall be equal to 10 per cent of the rental value

If the rental value of a property is between 31 and 40 per cent less than the average rental of a similar property, the maximum rent increase shall be equal to 15 per cent of the rental value

If the rental value of a property unit is less than 40 per cent or more of the average rent of a similar unit, the maximum rent increase applicable is of 20 per cent

The average similar rental value of the property will be determined by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency's rent index, the decree states.

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