Dubai: Subleasing Issue: Landlord’s Call

Xpress News

Dubai, Apr 12: The landlord’s consent is a must before subleasing under the new tenancy law, said a senior official.

Mohammad Al Shaikh, Secretary General of the Rent Committee, said that while the law does allow subleasing, it also stipulates that it must be done with the landlord’s full knowledge and consent. "As long as the landlord agrees, subleasing is fine – it is legal," said Al Shaikh.

The new Landlord and Tenant Law was signed on November 26, 2007 and came into effect on February 29, 2008.

The Rent Committee, which is a quasi-judicial body under Dubai Municipality, follows the law while presiding over landlord-tenant disputes.

 As long as the landlord agrees, subleasing is fine – it is legal. Mohammad Al Shaikh, Secretary General of the Rent Committee

According to Al Shaikh, rulings are based on what’s stated in the leasehold contract. "If subleasing is clearly written in the tenancy contract, under the law (No 26), then it is allowed. Otherwise the landlord can lodge a complaint."

Strict implementation of this rule, however, could have widespread ramifications for Dubai’s expatriate community.

For thousands of expatriate workers in Dubai, especially bachelors, subleasing is an inevitable part of their lives.

According to Anthony B., a British executive, subletting is "quite widespread" even among his European friends.

Other subleasing arrangements are through real estate agents who, in effect, become absentee tenants. Mohammad Ahmad, of Opera Real Estate, said, "The law is clear on subleasing. We will take action based on what the landlord tells us," he said.

While sharing and subleasing are viewed in the same light, Al Shaikh offers a way out. "If there is more than one family occupying a flat, then it’s better to write the names of all the tenants," said Al Shaikh. "Otherwise, the landlord has the right to take legal action," he stated.


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