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Tenants may end rent contract with force majeure: Dubai Rent Dispute Centre judge

 

DUBAI – Tenants in Dubai can break their rent contract early without paying fines if their job or source of income has been affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a report quoted a top judge in Dubai’s Rent Dispute Centre as saying.

Judge Abdulqader Musa, director of the Rental Disputes Centre, told The National that tenants can claim “force majeure” to end their contract without penalty.

Force majeure frees the tenant or landlord from liability or obligation during an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, epidemic or a natural catastrophe.

Judge Musa said tenants can break their rent contract early if they can prove they have been affected by “exceptional circumstances”. Job loss or pay cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic may be considered force majeure.

He said that the centre has recently settled several related cases in favour of tenants. Some 278 cases out of 563 rent disputes filed from January to May have been settled.

He called on both landlords and tenants to “cooperate and support one another” until the global crisis subsides.

Last week, a tenant leasing a commercial property near Dubai Marina won his case to end his rent contract early after his business closed because of the coronavirus crisis. ICA/Expat Media

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