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UAE: Understanding Maintenance and Repair Responsibilities in Dubai Leases6 min read

Author: Omar Sami
Managing Partner Attorney at German Law Legal- & Tax Consultant

This article explores landlords’ and tenants’ repair and maintenance responsibilities under Dubai’s Lease Law No. 26 of 2007. We will also cover wear and tear and the impact of subleasing an apartment on maintenance and repair reliabilities.

Statutory rule and freedom of contract

Under Dubai’s Lease Law, as a general rule, landlords are responsible for maintaining and repairing any breakdowns in fixtures and fittings unless otherwise agreed upon in the tenancy contract. This ensures that tenants can fully enjoy the property during the lease term.

Tenants are responsible for paying rent on time, preserving the property as their own, and seeking the landlord’s permission for any changes, renovations, or maintenance. However, tenants are not responsible for routine wear and tear.

Subleasing Dynamics

Dubai’s Lease Law addresses subleasing situations explicitly. If a tenant decides to sublease with the landlord’s consent, the sublease period aligns with the main lease. However, the landlord must explicitly agree to extend the sublease period.

If a subtenant needs maintenance or repairs, the primary responsibility lies with the tenant, and the landlord is entitled to hold the tenant accountable for any damages or necessary repairs.

End of Lease / Security Deposit / Dispute Resolution

Upon the termination of the lease, tenants must return the property to the landlord in the same condition as received, accounting for everyday wear and tear.

The collected security deposit at the start of the lease has to be refunded by the landlord upon the end of the lease. This refund is subject to deductions for any amounts due by the tenant. The Landlord has the right to deduct any amounts owed by the tenant or damages beyond normal wear and tear from the security deposit.

Suppose disputes arise between the landlord and the tenant, and they have mutually agreed to refer disputes to arbitration in the lease or subsequent agreements. In that case, neither party can take actions that may affect the property or the rights and obligations defined in the contract.

The Dubai Rental Dispute Centre has the authority to issue provisional decisions to preserve rights and juridical positions until a final decision is reached in arbitration.

How TME Services Can Support You in any Tenancies

Landlords and tenants must understand their repair and maintenance obligations to foster a positive leasing experience. While landlords ensure the property remains in optimal condition, tenants play a vital role in upkeeping and preserving the premises. Subleasing, if approved, introduces an additional layer of responsibility for the tenant, emphasizing the importance of transparency and clear agreements.

TME Services is a team of 45 professionals in legal-, tax-, accounting and compliance with over 18 years of experience. We advised a significant number of SMEs in the context of the implementation of the tax framework in the UAE and KSA over the last decade to make sure that our clients are well-oriented in the new and fast-evolving tax landscape and to reduce the legal liability of managers which may arise in connection with non-compliance.

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