HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai has established the Rent Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC) through Decree No. 26 for 2013. RDSC based at Dubai's Land Department replaces the earlier Dubai Municipality Rent Committee for rental disputes in Dubai.
RDSC promises simplified procedures with most rental disputes being judged within 75 days. The Centre will handle most rental disputes for the Emirate of Dubai including Dubai free zones, unless such disputes have been assigned to special judicial committees or courts. Also RDSC will not look into rent disputes arising from finance lease contracts or long-term lease contracts covered by the provisions of Law No. 7 of 2006 for real estate registration in Dubai.
RDSC includes four departments: Arbitration & Reconciliation Department, Department of First Instance, Department of Appeal and Law Enforcement Department.
First the Arbitration Department will try to settle disputes amicably within 15 days. If not successful, a lawsuit has to be lodged with the Department of First Instance, which will try to settle the dispute within 30 days with rulings final unless appealed to the Department of Appeal, and only for for claims worth more than AED 100,000; and issue a verdict within 30 days.
Steps for legal redress: 1. Prepare all supporting documents, including emails between you and your landlord. Take copies of your passport, Emirates ID, Ejari certificate, original blue tenancy contract, passport copy of landlord, DEWA bill and title deed & copies of cheques that were issued. 2. Get the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre form typed. This form is kept by most typists. Ensure your non-Arabic documents are legally translated into Arabic.3. Go to RDSC and file a case.4. Pay the fee which is 3.5% of your annual rent (minimum AED 350 and maximum AED 20,000).5. Have a hearing scheduled and appear on that day. Try and appear a few minutes earlier. If the defendant fails to show up, the judge may ask you to pay for a newspaper advertisement asking the defendant to appear for the second hearing.
6. The Arbitration & Reconciliation Department will first try to solve the dispute at the second hearing.7. If you are unhappy with the verdict, you can file an appeal with the Department of First Instance. This verdict is usually final, unless the claim is worth more than AED 100,000. Then you can try the Department of Appeal as a last resort.
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