A KT Reader Inquires About The Feasibility Of Securing A Lower Rent By Referencing Rates In The Same Building.
Having recently signed a lease for a 2-bedroom apartment in Dubai, I’ve noticed a decline in rents within my building, with others renewing their contracts at significantly reduced annual rates. Can I renegotiate for lower rents in this context?
In response to your queries, assuming your two-bedroom apartment’s rent contract is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) through Ejari, and you currently occupy the property, the relevant provisions of Law No. 33 of 2008, amending Law No. 26 of 2007, which regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai, come into play.
In Dubai, both landlords and tenants are obligated to adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the registered tenancy contract with Rera. This obligation is by Article 4 of the Amended Dubai Rent Law, which states that the contractual relationship must be regulated by a comprehensive rent contract, encompassing details such as property description, rent purpose, contract term, payment method, and the property owner’s name if different from the landlord.
Despite having agreed to the rent in the tenancy contract, as per the aforementioned law, challenging the agreed-upon amount may not be feasible, even if local rents have considerably decreased. While negotiating with the landlord is an option, any reduction in rent during the validity of the tenancy contract remains at the discretion of the landlord.
However, before renewing the tenancy contract, if local rents are lower than the current rate, tenants have the right to request a reduction based on the Rera-regulated rent calculator, as stipulated in Article 13 of the Amended Dubai Rent Law. This article allows both the landlord and tenant, prior to the lease contract’s expiry, to amend terms, including reconsidering rent adjustments. In the event of disagreement, the Tribunal may determine a fair rent, considering the criteria outlined in Article 9 of the Law.
If there is no mutual agreement between the tenant and landlord regarding the renewed period’s rent, tenants have the option to seek resolution through the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre for a decision on the rental amount for their apartment.