Rent increases and eviction notices: what are your rights? | BSA Middle East Law Firm (2023)

Hazem Balbaa Associate

One of the recent popular discussion topics across all social platforms in the UAE has been about the rights of landlords and tenants in regard to rent increases and eviction notices.

There is a lack of clarity around:

(Video) 5 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Rights As A Tenant | #KCPublicWorks

  • When can a landlord increase rent?
  • Can a landlord increase rent arbitrarily?
  • When does a landlord have the right to evict a tenant?
  • What is the legal percentage rental increase? Where can I find this out?
  • Are rents frozen for three years?

There is a lot of confusion around the answers to these questions and unfortunately many tenants, unaware of how the law regulates their rights, fall victim to arbitrary or unfair actions by their landlord.

This update aims to provide a general overview of both the landlords’ and the tenants’ rights and to clarify the legal process around rent increases and eviction notices.

For the purposes of this update, it is important to highlight two key laws:

  1. Law No. 26 of 2007 on the Organization of the Relationship between the Lessors and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai – the original Landlord and Tenant Law and;
  2. Law No. 33 of 2008 (“Landlord and Tenant Law.”) which brought in amendments to the 2007 law and is the law in use today.

The rent freeze announcement

In January 2021, the Dubai Land Department (“DLD”) announced that a new law could be passed which would freeze rental agreements for a period of three years, however specific details of the implications of this were not included. Tenants, pleased by this announcement, expected their current rental agreements to ‘freeze’ without due research or consideration, and in their confusion, did not take proper and usual action to negotiate their rental agreements with their landlords. This led to much uncertainty and dispute, leading to many cases for the Rental Dispute Committee to resolve.

As of the date of this publication, the law announced by the DLD is not yet enacted, meaning rents have not been frozen. The law governing the landlord’s right to increase rent is still the amended Landlord and Tenant Law (2008) i.e. the same regulations apply as prior to the DLD announcement.

Has there ever been a rental freeze?

The original 2007 law did provide an explicit rent freeze for tenants. Article 9 of the 2007 law provided:

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Landlord and tenant must specify a rent value in the tenancy contract, and in all cases, it is impermissible to increase the rent or modify any terms of the lease except after the expiration of two full years from the date of the commencement of the rental relationship.”[1]

However, the 2008 amendments eradicated the rent freeze and provided landlords with the right to increase rent after the first year of the tenancy (unlike other Emirates), provided ninety (90) days’ notice was given.

While landlords have the right to increase their rental yield after a year, this increase is regulated by the DLD, considering market conditions, similar rent yields and several other factors.

[1] This is not an official translation.

Under what circumstances can a landlord increase the rent?

The Dubai Government issued Decree No. 43 of 2013 on the Determination of the Increase in the Real Estate in the Emirate of Dubai. In essence, this short decree provides landlords with a maximum rate of increase in rent according to the average market price of similar properties within a certain area. Tenants should know the following:

  1. No rent increase is permitted if the current rent is less than 10% below the average market rental rate;
  2. A maximum of 5% increase is permissible if the current rent is less than 11% - 20% below the average market rental rate;
  3. A maximum of 10% increase is permissible if the current rent is than 21% - 30% below the average market rental rate;
  4. A maximum of 15% increase is permissible if the current rent is less than 31% - 40% below the average market rental rate; and
  5. A maximum of 20% increase is permissible if the current rent is less than anything greater than 40% of the average market rental rate.

Tenants who are unable to manually determine their exact rental increase can either download the Dubai REST application on their smart phones, or alternatively can use the rent calculator found on the DLD website. In the event of a disagreement between the landlord and tenant over rent increase, either party has the right to refer their dispute to the Rental Dispute Committee (RDC). The RDC shall determine the allowable rent increase in accordance with the provisions of the Decree.

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When can a landlord evict a tenant?

It has become common for some landlords to seek to evict their current tenant in order to chase higher rental yields. In one rare case, a landlord even went as far as serving an eviction notice only a day after signing a new tenancy contract.

It has recently become common practice for tenants to receive their notice of eviction through emails or WhatsApp messages. The 2008 Landlord and Tenant Law makes it very clear that if a landlord wishes to evict their tenant, the landlord is obliged to serve their eviction notice through the notary public or by way of registered mail. More importantly, the landlord is obliged to provide reasons for the eviction.

The 2008 Landlord and Tenant Law makes it clear why and when landlords can evict their tenants. The 2008 Landlord and Tenant Law draws a distinction between a landlord wishing to evict their tenant before the expiry of their lease and evicting their tenant upon the expiry of their lease.

Eviction prior to expiry of the lease

The Landlord and Tenant Law provides an exhaustive list of 9 reasons for which the landlord is entitled to evict their tenant prior to the expiry of their lease. These are the following:

  1. In the event the tenant fails to pay rent even after thirty days of notifying the tenant of the rent due;
  2. The tenant sublets the property without the landlord’s consent;
  3. If the leased property is used for illegal purposes that violate public order and moral;
  4. In the event the leased premises is a commercial premises, and the premises is left vacant for thirty consecutive days or for a period of ninety non-consecutive days in one year;
  5. The tenant’s actions cause changes to the premises that endangers the safety of the premises, or causes damage to the premises as a result of an intentional or gross negligence act;
  6. The premises is used for purposes other than those for which it has been leased, or their use violates the planning and building regulations of Dubai;
  7. If the premises in question is in desperate repair as shown and proven by a technical report approved by Dubai Municipality;
  8. In the event the tenant fails to abide by a legal obligation or by a term found in the lease contract even after providing the tenant with a thirty-day notice to abide by agreement or law; and
  9. The government requires the demolition of the premises.

These provisions provide landlords with recourse in the event that the tenant is in breach of their lease obligations and if the tenant has failed to rectify the situation even upon notice.

Eviction upon expiry of the lease

Even upon the expiration of the tenant’s lease, landlords are confined to certain parameters in order to be permitted to evict their tenant.

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Firstly, the notice of eviction needs to be done through the notary public or registered mail outlining the reason(s) for eviction. More importantly, the landlord needs to provide the tenant with twelve (12) months’ notice prior to the date of eviction to successfully evict their tenant.

Reasons for evicting one’s tenant are confined to the following:

  1. The landlord desires to demolish the premises in order to reconstruct it, or add new buildings and this addition will deprive the tenant from benefiting from the leased premises, provided that the landlord obtained the relevant approvals;
  2. The condition of the leased premises requires renovation or extensive maintenance, and such work cannot be carried out while the tenant is in use; provided that a technical report approved by Dubai Municipality is obtained to show the need of renovation;
  3. The landlord desires to occupy the leased premises for their own use or by any member of their family up to the first degree, provided that the landlord does not own any other similar suitable property; and
  4. The landlord desires to sell the leased premises.


The laws in the Emirate of Dubai clearly outline the landlords’ and tenants’ rights with a view to fairly balance the powers among the parties. It is clear that landlords have the right to increase rent yet through a regulated mechanism, and tenants have the right not to be evicted from their premises unless there is a compelling reason prescribed by law.

It is advisable for both landlords and tenants to familiarize themselves with Law No. 33 of 2008 ( the Landlord and Tenant Law) in order to evade incurring additional costs by referring their dispute to the RDC. If either party is uncertain about a certain provision of the law, it is always best to seek the opinion and assistance of a legal professional.


Hazem BalbaaAssociate,

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Can I refuse rent increase? ›

Applying to challenge your rent increase

If you and your landlord can't agree on your rent increase you can ask a tribunal to decide for you - it's free to apply. You'll need to apply before the date your rent increase is due to start - you can find this on your section 13 notice.

Can tenant refuse rent increase in Dubai? ›

Tenants can legally refuse a rental amount increase if a 90 days notice was not provided by the landlord. Moreover, upon reaching an agreement with the landlord on the rental amount increase, carefully review the entire contract for any addition changes made by the landlord.

How much notice does a landlord have to give of a rent increase? ›

Before any rent increase, landlords should always provide a tenant with enough notice. If you pay rent weekly or monthly, a minimum of one month's notice must be given. For a yearly tenancy, 6 months' notice must be provided.

What's the most a landlord can increase rent? ›

Landlord may increase rent once every 12 months, limited to 3% of the current rent, or the regional Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher. Rent increases are expressly subject to the provisions of AB 1482 California Tenant Protections Act (Cal. Civ.

Can you be evicted for not agreeing to rent increase? ›

You don't have a fixed term agreement

Suggest a rent that you think is fair - they might agree to it. If you can't reach an agreement your landlord can evict you quite easily if you don't accept the increase.

How do I ask my landlord to not increase my rent? ›

How to Convince Your Landlord to Lower Your Rent
  1. Prove You Deserve to Pay Less.
  2. Show You've Done Your Homework.
  3. Bring Something to the Table.
  4. Agree to Stay Put for Over a Year.
  5. Agree to Pay Before the First of the Month.
  6. Bottom Line.
Jul 9, 2018

Can my landlord increase my rent by 10%? ›

Unfortunately, there is no set cap on the amount your landlord can increase your rent by. But, if you're a good tenant who looks after the property and always pays on time, they probably won't want to price you out.

What are the rights of tenant in UAE? ›

Tenants have the right to renew their contracts, provided they let their landlord know 90 days before the lease is up. Tenants have the right to stay in their leased property provided that they are not evicted for a valid reason and the relevant notice period is provided by the landlord.

What is Dubai law No 33 of 2008? ›

Law No. (33) of 2008 removed the previously mandatory requirement of providing a 90-day vacating notice to landlords in Dubai. However, the priority is given to the terms of your tenancy contract, which may require a specific notice period in the case of non-renewal of the contract.

How much can a landlord increase rent 2023? ›

The government has confirmed that there will be a cap on rent increases for social housing tenants across the country. This means that rents will increase by up to 7% from 1 April 2023.

How much notice does a landlord legally have to give? ›

They have to give you at least 28 days notice, but this could be longer depending on your agreement. If you don't leave by the time your notice ends, your landlord has to go to court to get a court order to make you leave.

Can a landlord just increase your rent? ›

Your landlord can suggest a rent increase but you do not have to agree to it. For example, they might offer a new fixed term tenancy at a higher rent. If you do not agree, your landlord can only raise your rent if they follow the rules.

What rent increase is reasonable? ›

If it does become necessary to increase the rent of a long standing tenant it is important that the increase is reasonable and by no more than 5% ideally.

Can landlord increase more than 10 percent? ›

A maximum of 10% increase is permissible if the current rent is than 21% - 30% below the average market rental rate; A maximum of 15% increase is permissible if the current rent is less than 31% - 40% below the average market rental rate; and.

How do you negotiate a rent increase? ›

Here's what to know if you are negotiating your lease renewal.
  1. Understand how market-rate units work. ...
  2. Point out your track record. ...
  3. Stay calm, and ask politely. ...
  4. Do your research. ...
  5. Get intel from your neighbors. ...
  6. Small landlords might be more willing to negotiate. ...
  7. Make the case for an upgrade.
Dec 30, 2022

How much can landlords increase rent by in 2022? ›

A rent cap will come into force next year for social housing tenants. It will cap increases at 7%, so just under half the rate of current RPI inflation.

How long can a judge let us stay in our rental if we're being evicted Florida? ›

Step 5: Being Evicted

If the landlord wins and gets a judgment for possession, the court will issue a final 24-hour notice. This notice, called a “writ of possession,” is given to the sheriff. The sheriff then posts this notice on the tenant's rental home. The tenant then has 24 hours to move out.

Do tenants have to agree to rent increase? ›

If you pay the new amount, it legally becomes your rent even if you're not happy about it. Make sure you get it in writing if you agree to the new rent. You do not have to agree to a rent increase during a fixed term tenancy. But your landlord could give you a section 21 notice if there's a break clause.

How do I ask for a rental reduction? ›

Reach out and explain to your landlord how the pandemic and lockdown has affected your financial situation. Be clear and know exactly what you want when you ask for a lease renegotiation. Figuring out concrete and practical reasons of the new lease will give your landlord a clearer picture in making a decision.

How do I ask for a rent reduction template? ›

I'm reaching out to you because I'd like to discuss lowering my monthly rent moving forward. I enjoy living here and would like to continue renting from you, but my financial circumstances have changed and a reduction in rent would be incredibly helpful for me.

Can landlord increase rent after 12 months? ›

Once the required period (12 or 24 months) has elapsed, your landlord can issue a notice of rent review. The landlord must give you proper notice of the amount of the proposed new rent and the date from which it is to take effect.

How do you explain rent increase to a tenant? ›

How Do I Tell My Tenant I Need to Raise the Rent?
  1. Remember you're a business. ...
  2. Do your research. ...
  3. Raise the rent all at once or incrementally. ...
  4. Don't negotiate or ask tenants what they think a fair rent increase would be. ...
  5. Be courteous and firm. ...
  6. Find a template you like. ...
  7. Send a formal letter by certified mail.

Can a landlord increase rent on a rolling contract? ›

A periodic tenancy is a rolling tenancy. With a periodic tenancy, your rent can go up if: you agree to it. your contract has a rent review clause.

What is Article 25 2 of the tenancy law? ›

Article 25(2) of the Tenancy Law lays down strict requirements for the notice. In this respect, the notice must: be served on the tenant at least twelve months prior to the determined date of eviction; be served through the Notary Public or by registered mail; and.

What is the Rera rule for rent increase? ›

According to the current RERA Tenancy law, landlords can only demand a rental price increase three months before the expiry date of a rental contract. Also, the increase is allowed if the rental price is at least 22% lower than the average market price of other similar property types in the area.

What are the eviction laws in Dubai? ›

Dubai government regulations require landlords to serve an eviction notice of 12 months and then either move in themselves or sell the property. Once they have evicted a tenant, they are forbidden from making the property available for rent for at least two years.

What is wadeema law? ›

3 of 2016 concerning child rights, also known as Wadeema's Law (PDF, 250 KB), stresses that all children must be provided with appropriate living standards, access to health services, education, equal opportunities in essential services and facilities without any kind of discrimination.

What is Article 14 of the Dubai Rental law? ›

Article (14)

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if either party to the Tenancy Contract wishes to amend any of its terms in accordance with Article (13) of this Law, that party must notify the other party of same no less than ninety (90) days prior to the date on which the Tenancy Contract expires.

What is Article 43 of UAE labor law? ›

Article 43 provides that either party in the employment contract can terminate the contract for any 'legitimate reason', provided that: a written notification is given to the other party and. the terminating party serves a notice of 1 month (30 days) to 3 months (90 days).

What is the rent cap? ›

At the Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022 the government confirmed they would introduce a one-year 7 per cent rent ceiling in 2023/24.

Can landlord increase rent 3 years? ›

Landlords are able to raise rent provided 90 days' notice is given, prior to the expiry of the lease. However, the landlord is only entitled to raise rent within the limits prescribed by the Dubai Land Department.

What is a Section 21 from your landlord? ›

The Section 21 notice is the written communication from the landlord to the tenant that they are seeking to evict them. The notice itself should be given through tenancy form 6A in England, or a letter that includes all of the same information as the form.

What rights do long term tenants have? ›

If the tenant has an ongoing contract or agreement with their original landlord, then they retain the right to live in the property when it changes hands. The tenant in situ also has the right to remain in the property until their tenancy reaches its natural end or they are evicted for good cause.

What is a Section 13 notice? ›

A Section 13 notice is a formal notice, filled out by the landlord, informing tenants of a rent increase. Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords to increase rent prices for periodic assured or assured shorthold tenancies.

Can my landlord increase my rent twice in a year? ›

When your landlord can increase rent. For a periodic tenancy (rolling on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis) your landlord cannot normally increase the rent more than once a year without your agreement. For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a set period) your landlord can only increase the rent if you agree.

What do I do if I can't afford my rent increase? ›

Apply for homelessness help

You could be classed as legally homeless if you cannot afford the new higher rent. This means that the council must: develop a personal housing plan for you. help you find somewhere more affordable.

How high can the landlord raise rent per year? ›

between 21% and 30% below the average market rental rate, amaximum increase of 10% is permitted. between 31% and 40% below the average market rental rate, maximum increase of 15% is permitted.

Is Dubai rent fixed for 3 years? ›

A few provisions of the new rental law include the following: a. Rent freeze for three years - The owner may not increase the rental allowance for residential real estate before the lapse of three years from the date of signing the contract between the owner and the tenant.

Why are rents increasing in Dubai? ›

“As Dubai is all set to welcome more visitors in 2023, the average property rent is expected to increase further,” he said. He said popular areas in Dubai continue to attract tenants, as they drive the rental market.

What a landlord Cannot do in Georgia? ›

Georgia law says that a landlord cannot make a tenant make or pay for repairs, unless that tenant, his/her family or guests caused the damage. For serious repair problems, local housing code departments can inspect for possible violations.

Can I refuse a rent increase in California? ›

A: Generally, no. California law is very weak on rent increases and allows exorbitant rent increases. The cities that pass rent control laws have the ability to limit the rent increases that tenants face every year.

How much can a landlord increase the rent every year? ›

“The Landlord can increase the rent every twelve months. The increase is to be calculated according to the Retail Price Index, being a minimum of 3% and a maximum of 8%.

What is a Section 13 rent increase? ›

What is a Section 13 notice? A Section 13 notice is a formal notice, filled out by the landlord, informing tenants of a rent increase. Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords to increase rent prices for periodic assured or assured shorthold tenancies.

What rights do regulated tenants have? ›

As a regulated tenant you have considerable security of tenure and additional protection under the 1977 Rent Act. This means: you cannot be evicted unless your landlord can prove to the courts that there is grounds for possession and that it is reasonable to evict you.

What are tennant rights in Georgia? ›

According to Georgia landlord-tenant laws and the Federal Fair Housing Act, tenants have the legal right to proper housing, meaning that they must be able to live in a rental unit in good conditions. On the other hand, all tenants in Georgia have the legal right to receive fair treatment from their landlord.

What can I sue my landlord for in Georgia? ›

Suing a Landlord for Negligence

When a landlord fails to follow through on their legal obligation to keep their property safe, they may be liable for any damages an occupant or their guest sustains as result. This is done by filing a premises liability lawsuit.

How much can I sue my landlord for in Georgia? ›

Tenants can sue landlords in Magistrate Court for the return of their deposit, up to a dollar amount of $15,000. There is no limit in eviction cases. See Filing a Security Deposit Lawsuit in Georgia Magistrate Court for advice for tenants filing suit.

What is the Civil Code 827? ›

According to California Civil Code 827(b), a landlord must give the tenant at least a 30‐day advance notice if the rent increase is equal to 10 percent (or less) of the rent charged at any time during the 12 months before the rent increase takes effect.

Who is exempt from AB 1482? ›

All California rental properties are covered in AB 1482 except: Homes that are NOT owned by a corporation, real estate investment trust (REIT), or an LLC where one member is a corporation, AND tenants have received notice that the unit is exempt from AB 1482 in the form required by the bill.

How much notice does a landlord have to give to increase rent California? ›

In California, when rental property owners increase a tenant's rent more than 10 percent, the owner must provide the tenant with a 60-day advance written notice. For an increase in rent that is greater than 10 percent, owners must provide tenants with at least 60- days' advance notice.


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