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Can the landlord deduct a large sum from the deposit after the tenant vacates the apartment?

A reader wants to know if the money deduction is legal and what options tenants have

Ask: I stayed in an apartment in Dubai for seven years. After I left the place, my landlord deducted about 80 percent of my deposit, citing maintenance costs. Is this legal? How do you challenge it? What legal measures are available to me?

Answer: According to your queries, as you had resided in a rented apartment located in the Emirate of Dubai, the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2007 regulating relations between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai apply.

In Dubai, the landlord must refund the security deposit at the time the tenant vacates the rented apartment. This is in accordance with article 20 of the Dubai Rental Law, What states,

“When entering into a rental agreement, the landlord may charge the tenant a security deposit for the maintenance of the property upon expiration of the rental agreement. The landlord must refund this deposit or the balance thereof to the tenant upon expiration of the rental contract.”

However, a landlord may deduct part of the entire security deposit if the tenant has caused damage to the rental property beyond reasonable wear and tear.

Additionally, it is the tenant’s obligation to deliver a rented apartment in good condition to the landlord while vacating it, except for reasonable wear and tear and for reasons beyond the tenant’s control. This is in accordance with article 21 of the Dubai Rental LawWhat states,

“Upon expiration of the term of the rental contract, the tenant must hand over possession of the property to the landlord in the same conditions in which he received it at the time of signing the rental contract, except for normal wear and tear or any damage suffered for reasons beyond the control of the tenant. . Where a dispute arises between the parties in this regard, it shall be referred to the Court (Dubai Rental Disputes Centre) for its decision on the same.”

Based on the above-mentioned legal provisions, if you believe that your landlord has deducted a certain part of the security deposit amount without a valid reason, you may consider filing a rental dispute case against your landlord at the Rental Dispute Center. Dubai (DRC). However, you may need to prove your claim to the RDC that you are entitled to a refund of the security deposit from the landlord by providing relevant evidence that you have delivered the rented apartment to the landlord in good condition.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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