The Tenant Has Caused Damage To Property
Renting out a property always involves certain risks. What if a tenant damages my property? What if he doesn’t pay or pay the low rent? These are two main questions that often restrain persons from stepping into the landlordship.
However, tenancy legislation in Dubai and specially established Rental Dispute Center (RDC) protect landlords’ rights and make it easy to hold your tenants accountable. Read our post to know more about how to resolve property damage, rent default, or low-rent issues.
Claiming damages against the tenant
Property damage and refusing to compensate for this damage is one of the common trouble with tenants.
The best way to go in this case is to hire an experienced rental dispute lawyer in Dubai. To clarify, he knows the laws and all their peculiarities. Besides, he is familiar with all the procedures involved and knows the shortest and most effective way to resolve such issues.
Still, you need to have at least a little idea of what your actions should be and what their sequence is. So, here we prepared a to-do list so you can orient yourself:
- Carefully protocol the damage caused to your property. Take pictures and make a damage list with a detailed description;
- Evaluate the damage scale and estimates your losses;
- Claim your tenants to compensate for their caused damage;
File a case with RDC if you can’t resolve the issue amicably. Prepare and provide proof.
Know your rights. First, according to Law No. 26 of 2007, it is your tenant’s responsibility to preserve your property and be liable to compensate for caused damage. Second, according to Law No. 33 of 2008, damage caused by a tenant is a legitimate reason to evict him prior to the contract expiry date.
The tenant doesn't pay rent
The tenant who doesn’t pay rent is a great nuisance for the landlord. So, what to do in this case?
Contact your tenant to negotiate the issue the next day after the due date. Don’t wait longer. First, your tenant must know overdue rent is inadmissible and it is not the way you allow him to go. After all, this is the breach of the lease. Second, the earlier you start dealing with this non-payment issue, the earlier you can resolve it and, thus, reduce your losses.
So, call, text, or visit him to remind the due rent payment day was the day before but you haven’t received it. Ask why this happened. Perhaps, this is just a bank transfer delay and your tenant has already fulfilled his obligations. However, even in this case your call, message, or visit servers your well for the future rent collecting. To clarify, this informs your tenant there can be such a problem and he needs to move his actual payment day for an earlier date and check the bank transfer completeness.
Another reason may concern your tenant’s financial struggling due to the following factors:
- Unexpected expenses;
- Salary cut;
- Labor contract termination.
Definitely, you may sympathize your tenant but keep in mind you run a rental business but not a non-profit. So, inform your tenant you will send him a payment notice and give him a 30-day grace period to pay the rent. After all, one month for a late rent settlement is a decent period for a tenant to find money and fulfill his rent obligations. At last, send the notification via the Notary Public or registered mail.
If the rental market is weak and you don't expect a queue of wanting to rent your apartment, villa, or another premise, you can go another way. Perhaps it is wise to understand the terms and conditions that your current tenant can afford. Sometimes it is worth providing an extra impetus for your tenant to find money within the given time and pay his rent. For, example, you may offer temporary rent reducing for the coming lease period or revise the payment frequency to reduce the financial burden for your renter.
Note you need to fix the temporary state of your offer. Fix it in written (rent amount, the period during which this rent value will be valid) as an amendment to your initial lease.
Explain to your tenant that if he doesn't pay rent within 30 days, you cancel the lease and he must quit. Underline that otherwise you will have to carry out the eviction procedure.
What to do if the tenant pays low rent?
To start with, playing low rent is also the breach of the lease. Besides, it also falls under article 25 of Law No. 33 of 2008. That is to say, you can send your pay or quit notice and evict your tenants if they don't pay the rent in full within 30 days.
First, contact your tenants to negotiate the issue and find out why they haven't paid the rent in full. The most common reasons are:
- They accomplished some repairs and deducted these expenses out of the rent;
- They paid for a shorter stay;
- They decided to lower rent due to some financial struggling.
Unless you discussed and approved these reasons in written and in advance, your tenants have no rights to lower the sum. So, voice it out and explain your official position referring to the law.
Then, send them a pay-or-quit notice via the Notary Public or registered mail. If you still don’t receive your rent in full within the next 30 days after notification, and your tenants still don’t vacate the unit, apply for eviction to the official department.
How to vacate tenant if he doesn't pay
So, your tenant doesn’t pay and you understand eviction is the only way to go. Where to start and where to go?
First of all, you should know how not to act:
- You can’t disconnect utilities;
- It is forbidden to block access to the premise;
- Don’t threaten or apply any physical violence towards your tenants or their assets.
Then, start the eviction procedure:
- Send your tenants a payment notification via the registered mail or Notary Public;
- Wait for the 30 days to give them time prescribed by the Law No. 33 of 2008 to pay off their debts;
- File an eviction case with Rental Dispute Center (consult an attorney about how to file a case against a tenant and what documents you need to submit or hire him to assist you);
- RDC reviews your case and issues an eviction order if your claims are justified (typically, it takes 15-45 days);
- Send your tenants the eviction order and give them about one week to move out of your premise.
- If they still don’t vacant your unit, reach the police to get their assistance and evict the intruders (yes, since your lease is terminated those persons who continue to occupy your unit are not your tenants any more).
By the way, the practice shows that tenants are more disciplined regarding their payment obligations when their deal not with the property owner in person but with a property management company as his representative. As a result, the number of non-payments is much lower in this case. So, contact our managers to discuss and sign a property management contract. You can always count on us.