I received a notice of a rent increase after living in my apartment in Dubai for a year. The increase was significant, but within the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) calculator. Is this legal?
Can a landlord raise the rent significantly in just one year?
Can I go to the Dispute Center even if the rent is within the range of the RERA calculator?
Let's say you have a one-year lease with your landlord and it is due for renewal soon. Since you live in a rental apartment in Dubai, the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2007, The Law Regulating Landlord-Tenant Relations in the Emirate of Dubai, and Law No. 33 of 2008, Amending Law No. 26 of 2007, The Law Regulating Landlord-Tenant Relations in the Emirate of Dubai, apply.
In Dubai, landlords have the right to increase rents in accordance with the rent calculator designed by Rera.
This is in line with the provisions of Article 10 of the Dubai Rent Law." Rera will have the right to set standards relating to the percentage of rent increases in the emirate as required by the prevailing economic conditions."
In addition, rent increases in Dubai are subject to various criteria - such as local rents for similar apartments, the economic situation in the emirate, the condition of the apartments rented, etc. This is in accordance with Article 9(2) of the Dubai Rent Law, as amended.
According to the above mentioned law, your landlord can increase the rent of your rented apartment at the time of lease renewal according to the Rera calculator.
In addition, rent increases for apartments may not be on an annual basis, but may only be increased at the time of lease renewal if the Rera rent calculator and other criteria of the apartment rented allow for such rent increases.
If you feel that the rent increase is significant based on the other criteria of the apartment rented, then you can approach the Dubai Rent Dispute Centre to determine the rent you need to pay to the landlord upon renewal of your lease.
This is in accordance with Article 13 of the amended Dubai Rent Law.
"In order to renew a lease, the landlord and tenant may amend any clause or review the rent, either by increasing or decreasing it, before the expiry of the lease. If the landlord and tenant fail to reach an agreement, then the court may consider the criteria set out in Article 9 of this law to determine a reasonable rent."
However, your landlord may not have the right to increase the rent prior to renewing the lease, even if the rent increase is reflected on the Rera Rent Calculator.