Real Estate and property management is a lucrative business these days, which generates millions for the world economy. Landlords and tenants are the two primary stakeholders in this business model, and both of them must be on good terms with one another.
However, as with any other business, property rental also has its fair share of disputes, which can strain the relationship between them. Such disputes can be detrimental to either of the two parties’ reputations as they can reduce the chances of finding a new tenant or a new place to live.
If you happen to find yourself in a tussle with your tenant, you should read this article. We’ll share some ways how you can solve rental property disputes.
1. Go through your tenancy contract
Before undertaking the legal process, you should start by first studying your tenancy contract carefully. If the contract is well-drafted, then there could be a clause that can settle the dispute without filing a complaint.
If there isn’t, you should always talk to your tenant about solving it with some sort of mutual understanding. Filing an official complaint and taking it to the authorities can be a financially strenuous ordeal.
That is why before escalating matters any further, your priority should be a peaceful settlement.
2. File a complaint
If talking with your tenant doesn’t solve the dispute, then it is time to file a complaint with the Rent Disputes Settlement Center, at the Dubai Land Department.
They will ask for some of your documents and make sure to carry the original with you. These include:-
- Passport and Visa
- Emirates ID
- Recent DEWA bills
- Rental deposit slip
- Ejari certificate
- Original tenancy contract
- Copies of checks issued to the landlord
- Title deed
- Copies of any text messages, emails, or other types of relevant communication between tenant and landlord related to the dispute
- Any other documents that can help your case
Having an Arabic copy of these documents will speed up the process. If you don’t have any, then you’ll have to get a certified translation which will be a minor bottleneck. After compiling these documents, you should visit the RDC. The staff members will ask you some questions and charge you a fee for the process.
3. Processing cost
As stated before, making the matter official will have some costs. These costs are generally 3.5% of the annual rent and should be between 500 AED and 20000 AED.
There can also be some other administrative expenses. It would be best if you also had excellent legal counsel at your disposal throughout this process.
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4. Next step
The first step after paying the fees is arbitration, which is handled by the Arbitration Department. They’ll try to reach a decision between 15 business days and if they fail to do so, you’ll have to file a lawsuit.
After that, a new arrangement will be arrived at in 30 business days which will final unless a party files an appeal. However, an appeal can only be filed if the annual rent is above 100,000 AED.
Once a decision after the appeal is made, it can not be challenged against and is enforced by the Execution Department.
5. Presenting the case
RERA will assign a time and date for each of the above steps when you’ll have to go and present your case.
However, you might have to wait in long queues for hours and even book another appointment due to some error on their or your part. A case may take a few weeks or even months to be resolved.