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Unpaid rents, shared apartments: what UAE law says


DUBAI – Can you be evicted from your UAE apartment for non-payment of rent? What are your rights as a tenant in shared apartment?

“This is purely based on the discretion of the landlord,” Mohammed Fazil, managing partner of FranGulf Legal & Business Consultants, told

The legal expert, however, said there are certain exemptions during the current pandemic.

“If you lose your job due to the pandemic, or a financial situation, you can claim early termination of your rent contract,” he said.

“Usually with every rental agreement there is a notice period. If you lost your job due to the pandemic you don’t have to serve that notice period,” he added.

However, the landlord may demand for payment of any pending rent, said the expert from FranGulf.

“If you have a bounced rent check, the landlord can use it to file a complaint with the Rent Dispute Committee for payment and eviction of the tenant, and usually in this case the RDC rules in the landlord’s favour,” Fazil said.

For tenants in shared apartments, there is no legal protection where their tenancy is concerned, the lawyer explained.

“Even though it is a common practice, if we look at the strict sense, [sharing an apartment] is illegal. The landlord or tenant can’t make any claim. The whole point of occupying an apartment illegally makes you an illegal occupant,” he said.

“When your action is illegal, you can not approach authorities for your legal rights,” he said, calling it a “risk”. ICA/Expat Media

FranGulf Legal and Business Consultants has offices across the UAE with experts to assist investors in protecting their businesss in the UAE. Email [email protected], call +971 585597700 or get in touch via Facebook or Instagram.

Expat Media readers get a free 30-minute legal consultation with FranGulf Legal and Business Consultants. Just send a message to starting with the words “Need FranGulf help” plus your name and mobile number. Slots are limited.

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