Afridi & Angell inBrief
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, recently issued Decree 26 of 2013 concerning the formation of the Dubai Rent Dispute Settlement Center (“the Center”).
The Decree comes at a time of increasing economic activity and rising rents. The main aim of the Decree is to implement a judicial system specialized in dealing with rental disputes quickly and simply.
The Center shall deal with and hear disputes related to all landlord-tenant disputes including in free zones (but not including: free zones with committees or courts that deal with rental disputes; finance lease contract disputes; or 99 year lease disputes). The Center is to be chaired by His Excellency Judge Abdul-Qader Mousa and staffed by lawyers and administrative staff.
A Reconciliation Department shall attempt to amicably settle rental disputes within 15 days from the date of the parties’ appearance before the Reconciliation Department.
First Instance and Appeal Departments
If reconciliation is not successful, a rental dispute shall be determined by the First Instance Department which shall consist of committees each consisting of a chairman (who must be a judge or legal expert), and two members with sufficient experience and competence in law and real estate.
All members of a committee must be in attendance for a valid meeting and a decision by at least a majority (2/3) of the committee members is required. A committee shall decide a rental dispute within 30 days from the date of the file being referred to it.
Decisions of the First Instance Department may be appealed to the Appeal Department so long as the amount of the rental dispute is more than or equal to AED 100,000. Disputes regarding amounts of less than AED 100,000 generally cannot be appealed except in specific circumstances. An appeal must be filed within 15 days of the day following the issuance of the First Instance Department’s decision.
All final decisions of the Center shall be executed by the Execution Department that is affiliated with the Center, which can be the Execution Department of the Dubai Courts.
Cost and Charges
The costs and charges of the Center shall be determined by resolution of the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai. Until such resolution, the costs and charges of the Rent Committee of the Dubai Municipality shall apply.
The Center Replacing the Rent Committee
The Center shall hear and decide all claims that are presently before the Rent Committee unless such claims are set for judgment. The Rent Committee shall cease to exist and all employees of the Rent Committee shall be transferred to the Land Department. ■
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Afridi & Angell is one of the most prominent law firms in the region, having been established almost 40 years ago. The firm provides comprehensive legal advice in corporate, commercial, real estate and banking law as well as dispute resolution. The firm’s real estate lawyers provide catered strategic advice, and innovative legal solutions and services for the sale, purchase, leasing and development of real estate (including jointly owned property (strata) matters), as well as any related litigation and arbitration.
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Shahram Safai is a partner in the Dubai office of Afridi & Angell. He practices real estate, corporate and venture capital law. He is active in lobbying for and providing constructive feedback to government organizations regarding regional laws and regulations pertaining to real estate, investments and corporate governance. Shahram is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and is a member of the California State Bar.
The content, comments and opinions included in this document are intended solely for information purposes. They should not be regarded or relied upon as legal advice.