Dubai tenant wants to know whether to take a lease buyout package

I have a question about the rent of our villa, which we have been living in for more than five years now. The agent has told me that the landlord intends to sell the property and asked if we would be happy to accept a compensation package to vacate the villa. I have two questions:

1. Am I correct in my understanding that the landlord cannot formally issue me with this 12-month notice until November 2017 (when the rental is due for renewal) and then we have then until 12 months (until Nov­ember 2018) to formally vacate the property?

2. On the basis that we could (if my assumptions are correct) still be legally living at the villa until November 2018, what level of compensation would be fair to ask from the landlord if we were to vacate, say in April 2017? Our current rent is Dh170,000. I’m not sure of the current market value for this type of villa; we live in a Springs 2M villa, backing on to a park. AR, Dubai

I will quote what Law 33 of 2008 states, which governs the relationship between tenants and landlords. It states that the 12-month notification to evict should be served upon expiry of the tenancy agreement. I would like at this point to add that although this statement reads that the 12-month notice effectively gives the tenant one last renewal of one year before eviction will take place, it has also been shown by some rental dispute judges that when a 12- month notification is served at any time during the tenancy, some judges have upheld the right of this notification for the landlord. To recap, the law therefore is open to interpretation by the concerned judges once a case has been opened because the law is not set on precedent. If you were to ask my opinion however, I would agree with you that you ought to be allowed to stay until November 2018.

With reference to the level of compensation you should request, this is something that only you can decide what is fair to you. What is the hassle factor of finding a new place to live in and actually moving again worth to you? Obviously there are fixed costs like removal charges and agency commissions to consider. The important thing to keep in mind is to maintain communications flowing with the landlord and in doing so, I’m sure an amicable solution will be found.

On the topic of current rental values; for a type 2M in the Springs backing on to a park, the price you are currently paying is much less than the market price for a new tenancy. Dh180,000 would be achievable on the lower side, going up to Dh190,000. For Springs 1 or 2, this could even be much higher (Dh195,000), especially if the villa is upgraded.

My contract ends on April 9 but I left on December 31. My contract doesn’t mention any penalty related to leaving early. However, my landlord is refusing to receive the flat and return my deposit. EE, Dubai

As you confirm in your email that there is no mention in your agreement about early termination and the possible consequences should this happen, then the only way to force the landlord to pay back your deposit (assuming there are no legitimate deductions) and for him to take back his property would be for you to file a case at the rental dispute settlement committee at the Land Department in Deira. The judge will then decide on the outcome.

Mario Volpi is the chief sales officer for Kensington Exclusive Properties and has worked in the property industry for the past 32 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not reflect in any way those of the institutions to which he is affiliated. It does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Please send any questions to

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