Abu Dhabi has now seen new rental dispute committees start to handle cases between landlords and tenants that have disagreements.
Under the new system, landlords with a tenancy contract registered with the Abu Dhabi Municipality can file a case with the committee if a tenant fails to pay rent. If the committee rules in favour of the landlord, tenants will have 21 days to pay the rent failing which they will be served an eviction notice.
Overseas property investors acting as landlords in Abu Dhabi are likely to welcome the new system, which should simplify dealing with any rental dispute they may have with tenants.
Adel Al Achabi, manager of enforcement administration at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and Appeals, explained how the official lease contract should be presented by the landlord when filing a case.
He said: ‘The lessor shall first submit to the committee an application to obtain the executive stamp, which he shall receive after verifying the fulfilment of the conditions. The application shall be submitted in accordance with the contract signed in the executive form.
‘The lessee shall be notified of payment within a period not exceeding 21 days from the date of notification in respect of the residential rents and 30 days from the date of notification for commercial and industrial.’
He continued: ‘If the tenant fails to pay the arrears during the said period, the execution proceedings shall be initiated against the tenant. If the tenant pays the arrears within the period specified, or before that, the execution shall be permanently stayed.’
Al Achabi confirmed that the new regulations would ensure the rights of both the landlords and the tenants and went on to explain how tenants can also use the committee.
He said: ‘Tenants will also have the right through the committee to show that they have made the payment in question, and the judge will verify this by looking at the proof of receipts and any other evidence that the tenants bring. Once the judge looks at the evidence and sees that the payment has actually been made, the case file will be dismissed.’
The new rental dispute system is expected to save both time and money for the courts and have a positive impact on the real estate investment market in Abu Dhabi.