A new decree has been issued by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Decree 26 of 2013 which will pave the way for the formation of the Dubai Rental Dispute Settlement Center or commonly known as just “the Center.”
This new decree is aimed to put together a specialized judicial system that will quickly and simply deal with rental disputes. In my opinion, this is a good way of settling landlord-tenant disputes. In fact, the Center will be responsible in providing the final resolution to any rental dispute. The chairman for the Center will be His Excellency Judge Abdul Qader Mousa including lawyers and administrative staff.
The Center will have a “Reconciliation Department” who will attempt to lawfully settle rental disputes within the 15 day-period from the date when the parties’ first appeared before the Reconciliation Department.
What if a certain dispute is not resolve by the Reconciliation Department?
In case, the reconciliation is not successful, the case will then be transferred to the First Instance Department, which will consist of committees with a chairman and two members which should competent in law and real estate and must have sufficient experience in these types of cases. Therefore, the First Instance Department shall decide a rental dispute within 30 days from the date the case was referred to the department.
However, the decision of the First Instance Department may be appealed to the Appeal Department as long as the total amount of the rental dispute is equal to or more than AED100,000. Any other disputes which are less than AED100,000 cannot be appealed except for some specific circumstances. Although an appeal must be files within 15 days from the day the First Department’s decision has been executed. If there’s no appeal then the final decision shall be executed by the Execution Department which is affiliated with the Center.
How much would they charge the parties (landlord and tenant)?
The charges and costs of the Center shall be determined by the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai. Without any resolution from the chairman, the charges and costs of the Rent Committee of the Dubai Municipality shall apply.
In addition, the Center will now be replacing the Rent Committee and it will be the government body that will hear and decide all rental disputes. So, all employees at the Rent Committee shall now be transferred the Land Department of Dubai.
My Final Thoughts:
The number of rental dispute cases in Dubai is rising every day, and to better serve both the parties (landlords and tenants), the creation of a new government body like the Center is always a good thing. This will speed up the legal process and it will also prove to the world that the government of Dubai will always protect the rights of the tenants, especially expats and foreign investors.