Tenant Rights When Landlord Sells Property

  • March 5 2024
Tenant Rights When Landlord Sells Property

When it comes to the real estate market in Dubai, new agreements are made, new apartments are leased, and new relationships are formed every day.

But why is that so?

This is because of the flood of professionals, investors, and students into Dubai’s rapidly expanding and sophisticated economy.

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) controls the contractual agreements between landlords and tenants. Every agreement between a renter and landlord needs to be registered through RERA’s Ejari service.  

In Ejari certificate, the landlord is free to add any condition they see fit under "Additional Terms".

What about the tenants?

Tenants have rights too which they should be aware of in case of landlord sells a property.

Let’s discuss it in detail.   

Right 1: Notice Requirements for Tenants

eviction notice

The renter has a right to know when the landlord will be leaving the property.

Usually, this date is specified in the rental agreement. The rental agreement is still in effect even if the landlord decides to sell the property.

The tenant may be asked to leave by the new owner, but they will often need to agree on conditions and give a notice period of 30 to 60 days.

Let’s say the rental agreement originally has a “lease termination due to sale clause” added by the landlord.  

If the property is sold in that scenario, they may terminate the agreement prior to its planned expiration date.  

Read also: Pros and Cons of Living in A Rental Property

Right 2: Right for A Payout Upon Lease Termination

If an owner wants a tenant to leave earlier than the terms of the lease, they can offer a settlement. However, the renter is not required to accept.

Offering money to vacate early could be the simplest approach to persuade a renter to leave the property earlier than planned if the lease does not have an early termination clause.  

Right 3: Inspection of the Property

It’s important to do a comprehensive inspection of the property before entering into a contract with the landlord.  

Verify if it’s livable or in good shape. Tenants have the responsibility to return property to the landlord to the landlord in the same condition that they acquired it since rights and duties are intertwined.  

Well, normal wear and tear typically doesn’t warrant any concern. But before signing the lease, as a tenant, you must discuss anything that could cause issues after moving in.  

Before you sign the agreement, make sure you let the landlord know about any problems or issues so they can fix them.

Read also: When Should Landlords Get Involved in Tenant Disputes Between Neighbors?

Right 4: Handling Security Deposits

security deposit

Upon the tenant’s departure, the landlord must return the security deposit in whole or—based on the state of the property—with deductions.

As agreed upon by both parties, the renter submits a security deposit with the landlord at the time of contract signing or prior to moving in.

When the lease expires and the tenant vacates, the landlord is required to repay the security deposit.  

Depending on the state of the property or if there are any damages, the landlord may deduct a set amount.  

Right 5: Possession of The Property After a Change of Ownership

The property, not the owner, is the subject of the tenancy agreement.

A tenant has the right to occupy the property until the end of the standing lease, even if the property is sold while it is inhabited.  

The duration of the initial lease established between the seller and renter must be respected by the new owner.  

Read also: Can Tenants Change the Locks Without Landlord Permission

Right 6: Paying for Maintenance

We mentioned Ejari document and "Additional Terms" at the beginning of our blog. In this case, the “Additional Terms” are useful.

The standard Ejari contract does not contain any clauses relevant to maintenance.

Discussing who (tenant or landlord) will be in charge of what throughout the tenancy in detail is essential.  

If you have already signed a contract without specific instructions addressing upkeep or maintenance, the landlord is responsible for any maintenance above AED 500.  

Landlords are responsible for paying any fees, taxes and levies imposed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) or the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

Right 7: Rent Increase

rent increase

There are definite legal constraints on rent hikes. The percentage increase is based on the property’s current rent.  

If the rent is approximately 10% cheaper than the rent of similar units in Dubai, the landlord is not permitted to ask for a rent increase.

If the current rent is between 11% and 20% less than comparable units in the city, the landlord may increase the rent up to 5%.  

One thing to note here is that rent increases must be disclosed to tenants at least 3 months in advance.  

So, now you know the basic tenant right when a landlord sells a property, but what if any of the above-mentioned rights are not followed?

Here’s what you can do…

How Can I Lodge a Complaint Against My Landlord in Dubai?

You can submit a complaint with DLD if you have any problem with your landlord.  The DLD is in charge of policing and monitoring the real estate market in Dubai.

Simply go to Dubai Land Department website and complete the complaint form in order to file a complaint.  

In addition to providing the name and contact details of your landlord, you will also have to include any supporting documentation for your complaint.

Following receipt of your complaint, DLD will look into the situation and take appropriate action, which requires going to court or a mediator between you and your landlord.

A copy of any letter you sent to your landlord and any supporting evidence for your complaint should be provided.

One more thing, you can also contact Dubai Rental Dispute Center, which handles renting issues between tenants and landlords.  

Read also: Tenants' Legal Rights to Privacy: Understanding the Boundaries & Protections

When Can a Landlord Evict the Tenant?

written lease agreement

At the end of the lease, landlord has the right to evict the tenants for the following reasons only:

Assuming the landlord has the necessary permissions, the tenant will not be able to utilize the leased space if the landlord decides to demolish and rebuild the property or add additional buildings.

The leased premises need major repairs or renovations, which cannot be done while the tenant is using the space. But if a technical report endorsed by Dubai Municipality is acquired to demonstrate the need for renovations, then the work can be completed.

The leased properties are intended for sale by the landlord. Even in that case, the landlord must give the tenant a notice of eviction that is valid for 12 months and is sent by registered mail or a notary public.



Can my landlord evict me if he wants to sell the property?

Even though a change of ownership does not always result in eviction, it is important to review your lease agreement and any applicable legislation. When a property is sold, renters are frequently protected, and the new owner is constrained by the terms of the lease. Also, a notice period of 30 days should be given to the tenant before eviction.  

Can the new owner evict the tenant in Dubai?

A shift in property ownership doesn’t necessarily lead to automatic eviction in Dubai as long as the rental agreement is still in effect when the new owner takes over, the tenant will usually have continuity and stability.  

Can a tenant refuse viewings in Dubai?

Yes. In Dubai, a tenant has the right to decline viewings. To reduce disturbances and uphold the rights and privacy of the tenant, it is preferable to have open lines of communication with the landlord or agent. This way, they can have scheduled viewing at times that work for both parties.  

What if my landlord sells the house in Dubai?

Your rights are preserved even if your landlord decides to sell the house you are living in. tenants benefit from stability and continuity as the new owner is normally required to follow the terms of the old lease (until its expired). For accurate information, always refer to your lease agreement.

What are the rights of a tenant in Dubai?

In Dubai, tenants are entitled to privacy and a well-kept property. Rent hikes, fair treatment throughout the tenancy and dispute resolution are all governed by lease agreement.  

- Lease agreement: Tenants have the right to a clear and comprehensive rental agreement.  

- Maintenance: Landlords are responsible for maintaining the property in good condition.

- Fair Housing: Discrimination-free housing is a right of every tenant.

- Security deposit: The landlord must provide a receipt for the security deposit.  

- Rent increase: Any rent increase must align with the rent index issued by RERA.

- Privacy: Tenants have the right to privacy in their rented premises.

- Eviction Notice: proper notice must be given before eviction.

How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out Dubai?

In Dubai, a landlord must notify the tenant about eviction at least 12 months in advance. Article 25 and Article 25 of RERA contain information regarding the specific circumstances under which a landlord can terminate a rental agreement.

Read also: What Is a Sitting Tenant and What Are Their Rights?

Final Word

rental market in UAE

The rental law in Dubai is a major step towards ensuring justice, stability and openness for both landlords and tenants.  

The primary goal of the law is to lessen disagreements and encourage a more sustainable rental market. This is done by providing clear guidelines for security deposits, lease renewals and rent hikes.  

If you are looking for safe and reliable rental options in Dubai, Al Majid Property has some best residential properties for rent in Dubai. For more information, reach out to us at +971 4 271 5252.