I recently had to chase my landlord for the rent renewal, 1 month before the annual renewal. I had found out that they had sent the renewal notice out 4 months ago to an old PO Box number (a former Company I used to work with) and consequently I never received the notice. The rent has increased which I am now disputing as they did not give me enough notice in accordance with the law. By way of background the land lord has not asked for any updates of my PO Box number and I have not updated it. Traditionally and since I have been in this house, the renewal notice has been hand delivered by the compound foreman, so the PO Box has not been an issue. This year it did not happen and nor was I informed this is how the rent renewal would be informed. They do not have a system like Banks have for the issue of credit cards, where the person signs for the item or document. I did not sign for anything. The landlord just has a post office register saying the notice was posted to the PO Box. I have argued that they failed to get the notice to me within the prescribed time period by law, 90 days, and that the onus is on them to get the address right or follow up with another medium including hand delivery to my house (after all they know here I live) or email or phone, all of which is correct. Can you tell me if I can contest this with RERA?
Thank you for your email.
This is an interesting one for sure but we need to look at the bare bones of the situation in order to come to a sensible decision. There is no obligation on the Landlord to make sure that he has your contact details up to date. He will obviously be aware of your physical address but if you have changed companies then actually the onus is on you to inform him of any mailing address changes and in particular any change in visa. If the Landlord has proof of issuing the notice to you four months prior to renewal by post, the likelihood is that he will be able to stand his ground in this respect, even if there is no proof of actual receipt by you. It is not a requirement that notice is given by registered mail or courier as these notices can also be served by email.
You must also consider that to register a complaint with the Dubai Rental Dispute Settlement Centre, will cost you 3.5% of your annual rent as non-refundable fees and a visit to the Centre at least twice in person before a judgement is passed. On the grounds that you are tempted to claim, I would advise that your case isn't strong enough to win and then you will be faced with the rent increase plus the Dispute fees. In saying that, it does highlight an area which could be made clearer but more often than not, an amicable agreement between Landlord and Tenant in such disagreements leads to a better outcome with far less misery and expense.
The above answer has been brought to you by Helen Tatham who is the Managing Partner of Prime Places Real Estate in Dubai.
Helen moved to Dubai from England in 2003 and co-founded her first real estate company, Dubai Luxury Homes, in 2004. She was at the helm of building a successful business through the glory years and then had to steer the company through the difficulties in the aftermath of the crash in 2009 to ...
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