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Can the tenant negotiate a lower rent after signing the lease?

Ask: I recently signed a rental agreement for a 2-bedroom apartment in Dubai. However, the rents in my building have gone down for some reason and others have renewed their contracts for significantly lower annual rents. Can I renegotiate lower rents in light of this?

Answer: As per your queries, you are alleged to have registered the rental agreement of your two-bedroom apartment with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) through Ejari registry and are currently in possession of the said rented apartment. Therefore, the provisions of Law No. 33 of 2008 amending Law No. 26 of 2007 regulating relations between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai are applicable.

In Dubai, both the owner and the tenant must comply with the terms and conditions mentioned in the lease agreement signed and duly registered with Rera. Therefore, the rent agreed in the lease contract must be paid by the tenant.

This is in accordance with Article 4 of the amended Dubai Rental LawWhat states:

“1. The contractual relationship between a landlord and a tenant will be governed by a rental contract that includes a description of the leased property that leaves no room for uncertainty; the purpose of the rental; the duration of the rental contract; the rent and its payment method; and the name of the owner of the property if the landlord is not the owner.

“2. Every lease contract related to real estate that is governed by the provisions of this law and its amendments must be registered with Rera.”

According to the aforementioned law, since you have already agreed the rent with the landlord in the lease, it may not be possible for you to challenge the same, even if the rents in your locality have been reduced significantly.

You may consider negotiating the rent with your landlord, however, any reduction in rent during the validity of the lease is at the discretion of the landlord.

However, before renewing your lease, if the rents in your locality are lower than the current rent, you can request the landlord to reduce the rent based on Rera’s regulated rent calculator as mentioned in Article 13 of the amended Dubai Rental LawWhat states,

“For the purposes of renewing a rental agreement, the landlord and tenant may, before the expiration of the lease, modify any of its terms or reconsider increasing or reducing the rent. If the landlord and the tenant cannot reach an agreement in this regard, the Court may determine the fair rent, taking into account the criteria established in article 9 of this Law.”

In case there is no amicable decision between you and the landlord regarding the rental for the renewed period, you can approach the Dubai Rental Disputes Center to decide on the rental of your rented apartment.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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