When it’s Time to Evict Your Tenant

October 12, 2018

Ask property owners in Dubai what it means to evict someone. Most will say it’s simply the expulsion of a tenant from a property. Technically, that is correct. However, most of them forget that it must follow a specific process to be done in a legal way. In Dubai, there are three main reasons for which a landlord can legally evict a tenant:

  1. The tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement. In this case, the landlord must issue a notarized 30-days eviction notice to the tenant
  2. The owner wants to sell the property
  3. The landlord wants to occupy the property and start living there

Ideally, though, this won’t be an issue you will have to face after conducting a thorough tenant screening process.


What constitutes a contract violation?

woman with a suitcase enters the house of a friends smiling and waving as they greet her at the entrance

  • Unauthorized Pets. If the lease agreement clearly states that no pets are allowed and you discover one of your tenants has a pet in your property, there is a strong case to evict them.
  • Extended Guests. Just because a tenant has the exclusive right to use the property, it doesn’t mean that they can turn it into a hotel. These issues should be clarified in the lease agreement from the beginning.
  • Unapproved Subletting. Business opportunities are everywhere. However, tenants can’t just float someone’s house on Airbnb for an extra income. If there is no prior approval of such activity, the landlord has a right to evict. As a landlord, it is better to state that in your contract.
  • Property Damage. There’s a famous story about a tenant who installed aquarium walls on a rented apartment without approval. To the surprise of the landlord, there were significant damages to the structural integrity of the room. Remember that there is a big difference between “wear and tear” and real damage.
  • Late Rent Payment. Most lease agreements provide a buffer period for late payment. However, there are habitual tardy tenants. If you are hosting such a tenant, it’s absolutely time to evict.
  • Illegal Activities. When a tenant engages in illegal activities on your property, you can easily evict them. If you discover such a tenant, it would be a good idea to report the matter to the police as you wait for the eviction process to start.
  • Expiration of Lease. Upon the expiration of a lease agreement, the tenant may refuse to vacate. Unfortunately then you end up with a squatter. If the lease naturally expires or is terminated with the right procedure though, the tenant has no legal right to continue occupying the premises.


In case of contract violation

  • Issue a notarized document stating your intentions to terminate the lease
  • If the tenant refuses to vacate within 30 days, contact the rental dispute settlement center (RDSC) for an eviction order
  • Wait for them to review the case. When you win, contact the police to facilitate the eviction
  • Change the locks on your apartment

woman reading letter with her hand over her mouth in shock

If you would like to sell off the property or move in yourself, you will need to issue a notice twelve months in advance. For the following two years after evicting a tenant you will not be allowed to re-issue the property for commercial purposes.

Just like anywhere else in the world, “self-help eviction” is illegal in Dubai. Meaning, just shutting off utilities or locking out the tenant in order to force them out. In fact, if a landlord were to try something like this, it would end very badly for them. If you’re already having a rocky relationship with your tenant, this will only escalate the situation.


In conclusion

As a landlord in Dubai, ensure you follow the due legal process if the time comes to evict. Don’t want to evict your tenants or have to deal with them in such a personal capacity? You should explore the option of renting your apartment to Blueground. We are an award-winning real estate company that leases over 200 properties in Dubai. Signing long-term contracts, Blueground is a professional organization that you will never want to evict.

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