When the Rent Dispute Committee (RDC) was established in Dubai it was considered to be an additional and separate legal authority, solely established for the review of cases relating to rental disputes within the Emirate of Dubai. Since its 2013 inception the RDC has gone through several significant changes.
In December 2017 Horizons & Co advised a client; a tenant of a residential property who received a final eviction notice from her landlord due to non-payment of rent. Upon returning home with her two young daughters she discovered that the landlord had changed the locks of the apartment, without prior warning, leaving her with no option but to spend the night inside her car.
Following this incident the woman complained to the RDC in Dubai stating that the landlord had abused his rights by changing the locks without giving prior notice and without giving her the opportunity to remove her personal belongings. Her case was promptly heard by the Committee and a decision was taken to allow her and her children to reside at the property until she has paid the outstanding rent.
Humanity above the Law
To date, the Rent Dispute Committee in Dubai has established two new divisions as a result of the overwhelming number of cases received. The first division, the Committee for Insolvents, will allow for the collection of charitable donations for the purpose of assisting insolvent tenants pay any outstanding rent. With many businesses already participating in the initiative a total of 23 rental dispute cases have been resolved meaning 23 individuals and/or families have kept their homes.
The second division is the Department for Reconciliation the purpose of which is to avoid officially registering a case by giving both parties the opportunity to amicably settle their dispute. The department will act as a mediator, guiding both parties to an amicable resolution. The Department of Reconciliation is a particularly welcome addition given that it aims to decrease the number of cases submitted to the RDC, not only saving time and money, but in assisting tenants obtain their legal rights without the burden of opening an official case.
Year of Zayed
Given that 2018 is the Year of Zayed during which the UAE will promote charity and tolerance, it seems apt that we have these new divisions. Together they will lessen the strain on all those who use the judicial system, they look to the community to solve these matters through either charitable donations; supporting fellow citizens in their time of need or by working out differences face to face.
Yasmin Al Sughayyer
Horizons & Co has several rental disputes specialists, for further information and advice contact us on 04 354 4444 or [email protected].