Dubai Consumer Mirror

Friday, May 26, 2006

On Rent Committee again ...

Here is an interesting story.

A friend of a friend has been a tenant in a villa for the past many years or so. Naturally, the landlord has been hiking his rent every year. However, the landlord's ambitious plans for quick riches were a bit slowed down by the 15% annual cap on rents that was introduced about a year ago.

You see, if you are an existing tenant; according to the relatively new law- landlords can only add 15% rent increase per year.

Upon contract renewal this year, the landlord sent a letter to our tenant asking him to vacate the premises in 1 month because he is renting it to his brother.

According to Dubai Municipality’s rent committee, if a landlord presents proof that he is renting his property to a first kin relative (brother, sister ..etc), the existing tenant should vacate in 1 month.

However, our tenant knows that that’s not that case. He knows that because it’s becoming the latest property scam in Dubai landlord’s dirty book of tricks.

The greedy landlord wants to get our tenant out of his house so that he can increases the rent beyond the legal 15%. The landlord doesn’t care who is staying as long as they are paying. Regardless to how many lives his greed will ruin along the way, he wants more money.

So, my friend goes to Dubai Municipality and talks to the rent committee. He tells them the story about his landlord’s ulterior motives. The rent committee representative called the landlord on the phone, who the latter told them that he is giving away his villa to his brother and he has documents to prove it. (whatever)

When the committee representative asked for proof of my friend’s allegations, my friend asked him if he can borrow his mobile to make a quick call.

My friend dials the landlord’s number, hands over the phone to another person which the landlord does NOT know and this conversation took place:

Caller: Hello, i am looking for a villa - do you have anything available?
Landlord: Yes I have one
Caller: how much?
Landlord: 120 K
Caller: What’s the location?

The landlord gives the address of my friends villa; right under the ears and nose of the landlord committee representative.

My friend's sensation of victory lasted for 30 seconds only when the landlord rep told him that, in spite of the decisive evidence, the rent committee can't do anything about it.

My friend is still looking for another house.

19 Comments:

  • Similar deal with a friend, long-term tenant - huge rent increase demanded, went to the committee.

    They said they not only look at the 15% cap but also at the average rent for similar villas in the area. Did that, and the 60% increase looked OK they said.

    He tried to explain that each one they do that with pushes up the average, so it makes the 15% cap a bit meaningless.

    Shrug.

    By Blogger Seabee, at May 26, 2006 at 12:39 PM  

  • This is ridiculous. And giving one month's notice, no matter who you are renting the place to, is simply horrible, given Dubai's real estate market.

    By Blogger Dubai Sunshine, at May 26, 2006 at 2:05 PM  

  • your friend is clever, but not smart enough to get round a stupid system.

    By Blogger Jassim, at May 27, 2006 at 9:15 AM  

  • I don't even know what to say...

    A horrible situation... And way too many people are finding themselves there, now...

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at May 27, 2006 at 4:32 PM  

  • Recently while in Saudia we visited someone who works in Michelin.

    the parent company for Michelin in Saudia has built over 70 prefabricated villas for their STAFF.
    Ok yes they are prefab and this was my first time in a prefab home. But once inside it was very nice, spacious(3 bedroom duplex),and had a backyard and garden in front.
    What more could a person ask for.
    Wake up UAE and stop turning into such greedy capitalists.

    By Blogger kaya, at May 28, 2006 at 9:19 AM  

  • It's funny you mention that Kaya..

    It's my solution here & now. We're looking into these types of villa's; and intend to have it done within the next two months...

    At least until we can afford to buy or build a house of our own here, that is...

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at May 28, 2006 at 6:27 PM  

  • @ TF
    Really? Wow! that sounds like supremely good news I know for a lot of people. Once inside you cant even tell the difference.
    Then people wont even mind going a bit further out as long as at last they can afford it.
    Now TF thats far out thinking!

    By Blogger kaya, at May 28, 2006 at 7:18 PM  

  • Actually Kaya,

    With a lot of them you can't tell the difference on the outside either...

    There's an Etisalat in Jebal Ali that's Prefab, as well as one in Abu Dhabi & a number of mosques too.

    It's certainly a solution that many don't see or know about. Only problem is the land to put it on... I guess...

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at May 29, 2006 at 8:37 AM  

  • @TF
    Funnily enough thats exactlt what my husband said ,when I asked him why Dubai doesn't offer prefabs as cheaper alternative.He said there is no land available ,unlike Saudia which is HUGE.
    Apparently in the old days prefab was the mode of residence.

    By Blogger kaya, at May 29, 2006 at 9:33 AM  

  • I'm SURE... if you have a 4X4, and go far enough out into the sand... it's take YEARS for someone to uproot you... at which time... just relocate your house (it's prefab afterall)... lol

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at May 29, 2006 at 9:36 AM  

  • I have a story to tell !

    white supremacists come and find me!

    By Blogger inmotion, at May 29, 2006 at 3:20 PM  

  • I apologise for being off the topic.

    I would like to know why Moryarti is so modest.He has so far not written about his(and keefieboy's) interview with Campaign ME.

    Pl see the isue 30 Apr 06 page 8 Double Standards.Normally Campaign publishes the photos of those interviewed but in this case none.

    It is a great honour to the bloggers in general.

    By Anonymous dd1, at May 29, 2006 at 8:41 PM  

  • You might be interested to know that we (a UAE based prefabricated building company)are actively exploring an opportunity to provide prefabricated housing on Abu Dhabi land to service the Dubai market. The buildings have a 50 year life, so don't think caravan or flimsy. I would be interested to know your thoughts on how far south of Dubai people would be willing to live. mark.freeman@mailme.ae

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 5, 2006 at 12:44 PM  

  • A new law has been issued by the government of Dubai to prevent malpractices and fraudulent activities in the real estate sector. Under Law No 8 on Guarantee Accounts (commonly known as trust or escrow accounts), people buying properties in Dubai off plan will make their payments into special accounts managed by banks, instead of directly into property developers.
    From now on all developers launching new projects have to produce certificates showing that building work has reached certain pre-selected stages before trust account managers give them access to buyers' money.Government officials say money in these accounts will be released to developers only when certain stages of construction are completed, encouraging companies to keep building work on time and easing fears that they will gather payments and flee the country before a brick has been laid.
    Dubai Government do new laws for protecting their citizens and investors. I think that at soon will do new law about this situacion

    By Anonymous Dubai Property, at October 1, 2007 at 5:08 PM  

  • I have a friend who rented a villa for 10 years for the purpose of subleasing. He paid the landlord a full 10 year lease upfront and spent a further AED200,000 for renovation of the villa.

    He managed to lease out the villa for a substantial amount (over 100% more than the rent he paid to the landlord, per annum of course). Fair, you think? I think it is. But Landlord didn't think so.

    Few months down the road, my friend and his family had to relocate. The landlord took the opportunity to request for the villa to be returned to him with the excuse that my friend is not around to take care of the villa. My friend refused to return the villa unless the landlord compensated him for the amount spent on renovation (the contract executed by both parties has a clause stating that my friend is indeed entitled to a full rental paid with a sum of AED100,000 being compensation should there be premature termination of the contract).

    What did the landlord do? He complained to the rent committee. A hearing was fixed, heard and adjourned. This went on for about 4 sessions. Eventually, the committee ordered that the villa be returned to the landlord by the expiry of the tenancy of the sub-tenants and the balance rental (less 1yr) to be given to my friend. Landlord deposited a post-dated cheque in favour of my friend to the rent committee.

    The tenancy has expired but the payment to my friend is still pending. The landlord has come up with yet another request - he wanted my friend to pay him AED50,000! Reason? He claimed that during the renovation, my friend has knocked down a wall or two and he would utilise the AED50,000 to bring his villa back to his original state.

    My friend refused to pay (naturally). What then? They are back at the rent committee. Is it helping? Not for my friend. They will be given another hearing date. The waiting game is about to begin again..

    Is this justifiable? I wonder.

    By Blogger merlion, at October 16, 2007 at 12:48 AM  

  • This is my first blog insertion so I apologise if this is not relevant but we found everyone's comments before really useful so I thought I would inform you of our victory with the rent committee:

    We have been in our property for a year and the landlord wanted to
    increase the rent by around 15% and also include service charges. We went back and forth with her saying that she can not do this as it is illegal. She said then she had no choice but to ask us to leave as she would then get her relatives in instead.

    We went to the rent committee who informed us that she can not do this and that we can stay in the property for another year at the same rate as last year and service charge not to be included. She was also not allowed to evict us for a year.

    So it is definitely worth going to them. You have to pay a fee before
    your case is looked at but as we won, the landlord has to pay this as
    well.

    Good luck to anyone who is battling with their landlords!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 27, 2008 at 2:32 PM  

  • I am a married female residing in Dubai. Due to certain reasons I am staying with my parents at present. Becos of this the bldg manager is asking my husband to vacate the flat, since bachelor's are not allowed to stay in the bldg. On what basis can they tell him to vacate the flat. Is there any solution for this? Whom can i consult?

    By Blogger rani, at May 14, 2008 at 7:50 PM  

  • Zayed University does not pay outstanding Rent or respect its Tenancy Contract Conditions

    I am an Eurpean expact that as many others I bought a villa at the Lakes.
    The property was rented out by Emaar in August and sold by Emaar the same year in November. Does a developer like Emaar need that just to put more money in their pockets?
    I was sold the property under false allegations by the Real Estate Agent, who said there was a legal notice for the tenants to vacate. Such notice never showed up.
    The property came with Tenants and Sub-tenant. The Tenant being Zayed University with a Sub-tenant, a teacher they claim. They refuse to show identifiation of the person inside.
    The Tenancy Contract was comming to and end on the 30 June 2008. I asked the Tenants to fix a couple of cluases they were violating from their Tenancy Contract, but both refused to fix anything. The University states it is teh teacher's responsibility to fix and teh teacher states it is teh Universitie's reposnsibility.
    No one assumes no responsibility for damage to the property, and says the person living inside must pay. Under these conditions I denied to issue them a new Tenancy Contract when their Contract expired.
    On top of this they have not been paying rent for 1 month.
    How am I supposed to pay my mortgage and pay rent somewhere else and live off my salary without receiving any inocome from my property?
    I opened a case at Dubai Rent Committe and I already have a Dubai Courts Public Notary issued by me notifiying them to make payment fix the damage and vacate my property but they dont do any. I also have a Police report confriming the violations.
    Dubai Rent Committee has left the case open until September not taking action in my first hearing where rent was already overdue. I was also told the Tenancy Contract Conditions do not have to be respected for the tenants to be allowed to continue in my property. So what is the value of having a Tenancy Contract? I understand the tenants need protection, but how about the Landlords? How can you tell someone to wait that they will pay you in the future and not issue a eviction, which is what the Law states?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 11, 2008 at 8:49 PM  

  • Conitnuing the Zayed University story...

    16Septmeber 2008
    grey areas in dubai rental disputes by son mac - 11 minutes ago
    So i just came back from my hearing today.I do not understand why this the Tenancy Law exists as it is not applied...
    There seems to be a very thick grey area going on behind the rental scenes of Dubai, starting with the Dubai Rental Committee, the only authority to resolve Tenancy disputes in Dubai. The sub-tenant the teacher of the University was never asked by the Rent Committee during the entire case to show her identification and proof of Residency Visa on the University name. Failure to have this would not make her eligible to occupy my property, but as the Tenant is a famous University in the country it seems I, the owner of the property, am not entitled to have proof of such. Interesting enough I had to show proof of ownership of my property along with my own personal identification.
    These Tenants are violating many of the Tenancy Contract Conditions, including not having paid Rent now for over two months. The Rent Committee still ruled in their favour by stating “ this is the University, they will definitely pay you”, insinuating this as a prestigious University is not committing any wrong due to their social stature, and is exempt from the Law.
    I was denied eviction of these Tenants from my property and sentenced to renew for 1 more year a completely ignored and violated Tenancy Contract. This sounds absurd in most parts of the world, including in the UAE according to its Tenancy Law, but apparently not in the Committee.
    The above Law No. 26 of 2007 Concerning regulating the relation between Tenants and Landlord of property in Dubai Emirate, clearly states:
    “Article 12
    Tenant shall pay rent value on agreed dates....to be paid in advance.”
    “Eviction
    Article 25
    Landlord may demand eviction of tenant prior to expiry of tenancy period in the following cases:
    a) If tenant fails to pay rent value, or part thereof, within thirty (30) days of landlord's notification for payment.
    g) If tenant fails to observe legal obligations or tenancy contract conditions within (30) days from date of notification by landlord to abide by such obligations or conditions.”
    Would these two clauses be enough to file an eviction case over two and a half months down the line where the Tenants refuse to fix the violations done to the property and have been sitting inside without making any payments? Apparently not. The Committee based their decision on the flowing article:
    “Eviction
    Article 25
    Landlord may demand eviction of tenant prior to expiry of tenancy period in the following cases provided he gives 90 days notice prior to the expiry date of the Tenancy Contract:
    d) Landlord desires to retrieve property for his private use or for use of a first degree relative”
    Apparently this Law is the only one which rules in Rental disputes, at least that was what I was told in my hearing. This allows Tenants to stay inside the property violating a series of Laws on the excuse of Article 25d. It is clear that this Article should prevail in the case where the Tenants obide to their obligations and do not cause any annoyance to the Landlord, evidently not in my case.
    Apart from that the Tenant constantly give false allegations to the Police, Public Prosecution and Rental Committee claiming it was Emaar themselves who did the violation to my property. Emaar has already provided me an official letter, which I showed as evidence, that the Tenant’s statements are false.
    What is more serious than the damaged done to my property are the consequences of my tenants acts on not wanting to collaborate with me for over 2 months now, that are putting me in their own free will in a position where I am in a situation of having legal action from Emaar being taken towards me, and obviously this will give me major problems. I have already lost sums of money to resolve this situation.
    Buying property with Emaar, (which is also the Regulating Authority for this area (such as Dubai Municipality is for non-free zone), you sign a Contract that the Community Rules that apply to the property and community would be respected by the owner or whoever is occupying my property. Failure to do so is a clear Breach of Contract from the owner and results in legal action from Emaar against the owner being held responsible for my Tenants. From the 23 June I have been requesting the Tenants to fix the damage and violation, including a Dubai Courts Notary Public Notification received and signed by the Tenant and the Police taking evidence that after the expiry date of such notification the violation was still there taking place, and they still refuse to fix the damage they have made up to date.
    When I showed proof of all my statements, the Rental Committee simply stated “we don’t judge here based on these things.” I did not quite understand what that meant but no explanation was intended to be given either leaving the matter at that.
    I have explained this situation over and over again to the Tenants but they insist on constantly giving false allegations and by their own free will are putting me in a very bad position out of my control.
    However I was sentenced to renew their Tenancy Contract without the Tenants having to abide to any of their obligations, for a period of 1 more year. I tried to call the Tenants after the sentence to solve this matter, without answer of such to pick up my calls…
    This leaves some thoughts on if Dubai is really ready to put itself out there as forward thinking, or is it still acting on the “old fashioned way” relying on favouritism orientated tactics to achieve its means?
    This is not an odd situation in Dubai as through going trough days in registering the case, waiting to be seen etc I spoke to various people (including lawyers), and not one of the people I spoke to seemed to be convinved that the Laws are being looked at properly. This has defenately left me with a quite distorted impression of what Dubai is trying to portray…

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 17, 2008 at 1:48 AM  

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