In our last article from October 23, 2023, we talked about the rules that control how landlords and tenants interact in Dubai’s real estate market. Specifically, we focused on the 12-month eviction notice and whether it can be transferred to new property owners. Since then, we’ve learned more about this by visiting the judicial committee at the Appeal Court and meeting with the secretary of the judge at the Rental Dispute Center (RDC). This person made an important decision on this issue. Now, we’ll share the latest information and make things clearer for you.

Overview of Dubai’s Tenancy Law

Let’s quickly go over the basics: Dubai’s real estate sector follows the rules laid out in Law No. 26 of 2007, with some changes made in Law No. 33 of 2008, known as The Tenancy Law. These laws outline how landlords and tenants should interact and cover different situations where landlords can ask tenants to leave before or when the lease ends. We previously talked about a big issue—whether eviction notices can be transferred when a property changes hands, especially if a landlord is selling it before the 12-month eviction notice period ends. Our recent visit to the judicial committee at the Appeal Court on November 21, 2023, gave us more information on this. The Appeal Court made a decision that has important consequences for property owners, buyers, and tenants.

Understanding Legal Complications and Tenant Compensation in Dubai

The recent decision stated that a new property owner can use the eviction notice against a tenant, but there’s an important condition. The new owner must have the same plan as the previous owner, mainly to sell the property (if the original reason for eviction was selling it). This means the reason for eviction should stay the same during the ownership change. If the new owner changes this plan—like using the property for themselves or renting it out—it can cause legal issues. In such situations, the tenant might ask for compensation, and the eviction notice might not be valid at the Rental Dispute Center (RDC). In fact, on November 14, 2023, the RDC didn’t approve an eviction case brought by a new owner because their intentions were different from the previous owner who sold the property.

Even though the Appeal Court clarified things, it’s important to know that this rule might be different in each case. Decisions at the Rental Dispute Center (RDC) don’t always set a standard for future cases. This means that rulings and principles in similar situations might be different.

Why Starting a New 12-Month Eviction Notice Matters

It’s important to make sure new property buyers understand why it’s crucial to begin a new 12-month eviction notice following all the legal rules, especially when their plans differ significantly from the previous owner’s. However, if their intentions match the previous owner’s goal to sell the property, they can use the earlier eviction notice and refer to the recent court decision as evidence to support their case at the Rental Dispute Center (RDC).

In conclusion, recent legal developments in Dubai’s real estate landscape highlight the importance of understanding the intricacies of eviction notices and their transferability. The Appeal Court’s judgment emphasizes that a new property owner can benefit from an eviction notice, provided they maintain the same intention as the previous owner, particularly if it involves selling the property. However, any deviation from this intent can lead to legal complications, potential compensation claims by the tenant, and the risk of invalidation of the eviction notice at the Rental Dispute Center (RDC). It’s crucial for new buyers to be aware of these nuances and, if their intentions differ from the previous owner’s, to initiate a fresh 12-month eviction notice in strict compliance with legal requirements. This understanding becomes paramount as the application of these principles may vary on a case-by-case basis, with rulings at the RDC not consistently serving as precedents for future decisions. Therefore, staying informed about the evolving legal landscape is essential for property owners, buyers, and tenants alike.