New rental dispute law for landlords, tenants in Abu Dhabi

New rental dispute law for landlords, tenants in Abu Dhabi

Khaleej Times, 23 October, 2018

The new Abu Dhabi rental regulations that provides for settling of disputes within a short period of time aim at achieving quick and fair justice for all parties, according to judicial authorities.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) on Monday said it has started the implementation of the new decision on Rental Dispute Settlement Committees that allows landlords to directly approach the Enforcement Department. Landlords can claim the unpaid rents or evacuate the tenants if they fail to pay within in a maximum of 30 days after the issuance of a ruling by the rental dispute committees.

This Article 11, Clause 4 of the Decisions No.25 of 2018 on rental disputes committees and procedures was issued earlier this month by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD). It stipulates that rental contracts registered with Abu Dhabi Municipality shall have the status of “executory instruments” through which the Rental Dispute Committees will allow landlords to directly involve enforcement agents and take action against tenants that have failed to pay rent.

The eviction notice will be issued after the rental dispute committees have heard from all parties.

According to authorities, the rental dispute committees will issue a decision within a minimum of two days and a maximum of three weeks.

The tenant shall be notified to pay the rent arrears within a period not exceeding 21 days from the date of notification for residential rents, and 30 days for commercial and industrial rents.

The new decision applies only to properties with lease contracts registered with the Department of Municipalities in Abu Dhabi.

“The aim of the rental dispute committees is to quickly resolve disputes between the landlord and a tenant, save their time and money and also shorten proceedings in first instance and appeal courts,” Counsellor Dr. Adel El Achabi, Manager of Enforcement Administration at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and Appeals said during a press conference on Monday.

“This is the simplest process and it is aimed at reducing the time that has been spent in courts. It is intended to protect everyone including landlords and tenants.”

Eviction only possible in case of non-payment of rent

According to El Achabi, all rental disputes between the lessor (landlord) and the lessee (tenant) are settled by the committees to resolve the rental disputes.

“Only in the case of non-payment of wages due in the leases registered with the Abu Dhabi municipality, the decision gives the landlord the possibility of resorting to eviction through quick procedures that preserve the rights of both parties,” he said.

El Achabi explained that the landlord shall first submit to the dispute settlement committees an application to obtain the executive stamp, which he shall receive after verifying the fulfilment of the conditions.

The application shall be submitted in accordance with the contract signed in the executive form, according to the official.

“The tenant shall be notified to pay the rent arrears within a period not exceeding 21 days from the date of notification- for residential rents, and 30 days from the date of notification for commercial and industrial properties,” he said.

“If the tenant fails to pay the rent arrears during the said period, the execution proceedings (eviction ruling) shall be initiated against him.”

El Achabi noted that the tenant that has failed to pay within the given grace period will be issued another notice that will be handed to them physically, and ordering them to leave the house or property within a period of three days.

“If the tenant pays arrears within the period specified, or before that, the execution shall be permanently withheld,” he said adding that the execution judgment and orders in this respect can be contested in the court of appeal and cassation.

The official noted that the new regulation will contribute to reducing the waste of judicial time by limiting the extent of the flow of cases to the committees of settling rental disputes in cases where the real dispute is present.

“This initiative, the first of its kind in the country, will have a positive impact on the investment and the business sector, as well as in real estate sector in particular,” said El Achabi.