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Protecting Your Interests: How to Manage Rent Increases in the UAE

More and more global residents and businesses are attracted to immigrate to the UAE due to its culture and thriving economy. As a consequence, the real estate and housing market in the UAE is a dynamic and increasingly competitive environment, making situations for tenants and those looking for a place to live challenging. One of the major current concerns for tenants is a potential increase in rent for both residential and business spaces.

In the following, we will elaborate on the rules regarding the increase of rental payments you, as a tenant, should be aware of. 

Decree No. (43) regarding the Determination of the Increase in Rent for Properties in the Emirate of Dubai 2013 

The law that is applicable to tenants and landlords in regards to the increase of rental payments is Decree No. 43. Here, it is stated that for both residential and commercial properties, rent increases are regulated based on the current rental value in comparison to the average market rental rate. The law sets specific caps on the permissible increase in rent. 

The following caps are applicable:

  • No increase allowed if the current rent is up to 10% below the average market rental rate.
  • Up to 5% increase if the rent is 11-20% below the average market rental rate.
  • Up to 10% increase if the rent is 21-30% below the average market rental rate.
  • Up to 15% increase if the rent is 31-40% below the average market rental rate.
  • Up to 20% increase if the rent is more than 40% less than the average market rental rate.

Practical Example

To give you a practical example, the following case applies the first scenario listed above. Sarah is renting an apartment in Dubai. Her current annual rent is AED 50,000. The average market rental rate for similar apartments in her area is AED 55,000.

To determine if her landlord can increase the rent and by how much, Sarah needs to compare her current rent to the average market rental rate (= AED 50,000)

  • The difference between Sarah’s rent and the average market rate is AED 55,000 – AED 50,000 = AED 5,000.
  • Percentage difference: (AED 5,000 / AED 55,000) * 100 ≈ 9.09%.

As Sarah’s current rent is about 9.09% below the average market rental rate, according to Decree No. 43, her landlord cannot increase the rent because the difference is within the 10% threshold.

Additional Considerations 

The following rules are of utmost importance for you as a tenant: 

  • Rental Increase Notice Period: Landlords are required to provide a 90-day notice period before implementing any rent increase. This gives tenants time to negotiate or make alternative arrangements.
  • Rent Dispute Committee: If there is a disagreement about the rent increase, tenants can take their case to the Rent Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC) for resolution. This committee offers a legal avenue for tenants to contest unfair rent increases.
  • Annual Rental Index: The Dubai Land Department (DLD) provides an annual rental index which helps tenants understand the average rental rates in different areas. This index can be used to assess whether a proposed rent increase is justified.

Our Strategy to Protect Your Interests

At Lawbridge, we offer comprehensive legal services to help our clients manage and mitigate the effects of rent increases. We advise you in setting up and signing your lease agreement and support you in identifying any clauses related to rent increases. Our team will negotiate favorable terms to protect your interests, ensuring clarity and fairness in your lease before the actual signature.

Moreover, by performing thorough market analyses, we offer insights into current rental trends and average rates. This information is vital for challenging unjustified rent increases and ensuring you do not pay more than legally necessary. In the case of a dispute between you and your landlord, our legal team is ready to represent you in negotiations, mediations, and, if needed, litigation. Maintaining proactive oversight of your rental agreements will help guarantee long-term stability and avoid unforeseen increases.

Since every client’s situation is unique, we create tailored legal solutions based on your particular requirements and conditions. Whether you are an investor, a commercial company, or a tenant in your own residence, we offer solutions that safeguard your capital and support your objectives.

Why Choose Lawbridge

At Lawbridge, we are committed to providing expert legal support to help you navigate your challenges with confidence. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in managing rent increases or issues regarding your real estate. For more information on the regulations you can visit the website of the Dubai Land Department and the Rent Dispute Settlement Centre.

Our Lawbridge team thrives on providing clients with specialised legal solutions to enable them to efficiently handle these challenges. If this sounds interesting to you, book a free consultation with our team here. We look forward to hearing from you!


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